The court directed the drought-hit state to notify the food panel within two months, before it heard the matter next on September 16.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court has directed the government to set up a food commission in Maharashtra within four weeks else the chief secretary will be summoned before the court.
Chief Justice Pradip Nandrajog and Justice Bharti Dangre were hearing a PIL filed by Alka Kamble, seeking direction to the state government to set up the food authority. According to Ms Kamble, the government had failed to keep its promise of February 4, 2016 that it would constitute a commission within three months.
As per section 16 of the National Food Security Act, 2013, every state is required to constitute a state food commission which prepares guidelines and identifies priority households to whom public distribution benefits are to be made available through the law.
While hearing the petition Monday, the court said, “If the implementation of government schemes and issues related to children’s homes, jails, ashram shalas and development projects are to be seen by the court, what are the government and its officers doing?”
At last hearing in July, the court gave one last opportunity to the government to set up the state food commission under the Food Security Law. At the time, the court pulled up the state government for failing to constitute the food panel in six years since the passage of the law in July 2013. The court directed the drought-hit state to notify the food panel within two months, before it heard the matter next on September 16.