Can Nepalis be given ration cards, asks Himachal court

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 14, 2012 14:10 hrs

Shimla, Dec 14 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh High Court Friday issued notice to the central government, seeking reply whether Nepali migrants are entitled to get ration cards to draw essential commodities from the government-run fair price shops.

Hearing a petition filed by the Mool Pravah Akhil Bharat Nepal Ekta Samaj of Kullu, a group of Nepalis, a division bench of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rajiv Sharma issued notice after the state informed the court that it had sought clarification from the central government about this five years ago, but received no reply.

The bench directed the central government to give clarification to the state government on the issue and to file the reply in the court within two months.

In the meanwhile, the judges directed the state to provide provisional ration cards to Nepalese applicants/migrant labourers in Kullu district.

"They shall also be supplied all the essential articles as are given to other ordinary ration card holders for six months," the bench ruled.

The district controller, food civil supplies and consumer affairs, had informed the court that there was no provision in the Himachal Pradesh Specified Articles (Regulation of Distribution) Order, 2003, to issue permanent ration cards to such persons.

However, under its Clause 10 (4), temporary ration cards could be issued to those persons who have no fixed or identifiable place of dwelling. But the cards could only be used for drawing kerosene only where such person temporally resides.

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