New Delhi, March 23: The Supreme Court on Wednesday summoned Chief Secretaries of ten drought affected states for failing to implement the National Food Security Act, NFSA. Initially, there were 12 states in the drought case but the Supreme Court removed Uttar Pradesh and Odisha.
A bench headed by Justice M B Lokur said that it is a matter of concern that State Food Commission, as mandated under section 16 of the National Food Security Act, has not been appointed. It said that with regard to the statute, the state governments have to appoint the food commission and it cannot give a go by to the statute enacted by the Parliament.
Further, it asked the centre to use modern technology for early determination of drought and take into account humanitarian factors such as migration, suicides and the plight of women and children while formulating policies.
Besides Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, other states who’s Chief Secretaries have been summoned include Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana and Chhattisgarh, Telangna.
The bench's order came on a plea filed by an NGO seeking various reliefs for farmers in drought affected states. Significantly, the apex court had directed all the 10 states, including Haryana and Bihar, to provide five kilogram of food-grains per person a month at the price meant for below poverty line (BPL) families and this should be given to even those above the poverty line (APL) and those not holding ration cards.