NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has ordered the restoration of 2.53 lakh ration cards in the national capital and warned officers that they will be 'personally responsible' for starvation deaths of eligible beneficiaries.
Between July and August, the Delhi government claimed that over 2.50 lakh ration cards were cancelled allegedly by Delhi's Food Commissioner, despite strong objections by the Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain.
In a circular issued last week, Hussain ordered officials to immediately restore the cancelled cards.
"The Minister by virtue of powers conferred by the TPDS (Targeted Public Distribution System) Control order, 2015 to the state government has accordingly directed that the FSOs (Food and Supply Officers) of circles shall immediately restore the deleted 2,53,178 ration cards," the circular read.
In the circular, Hussain also said that non-compliance of the directions "shall invite stringent disciplinary action against the FSO/FSI (Food and Supply Inspector)".
"Any death occurring in Delhi due to starvation/non-availability of ration to the otherwise eligible beneficiaries whose card has been cancelled without proper verification, shall also invite criminal action besides disciplinary action against the concerned FSO/FSI for which they shall be personally responsible," it said.