NEW DELHI: A PIL has been moved in the Delhi High Court on the deaths due to starvation, especially of children, in various parts of the country, including the national capital, and seeking directions to the Centre and the AAP government to take steps to address the issue.
The plea by a lawyer contends that the deaths due to starvation and the issue of malnutrition were more prevalent in families living in slums as many of them do not have ration cards for accessing subsidised food grains.
The petition is listed for hearing on November 15 before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao.
The plea was initially moved by advocate Maneesh Pathak in the Supreme Court, which, on September 7, asked him to first approach the Delhi High Court.
In his PIL, Pathak has referred to the death of three minor girls, in July this year, who according to their post-mortem report were suffering from extreme malnutrition, and contended that such cases were on the rise in other states as well.
He has claimed that often the poor families living in slums do not have ration cards due to a lack of address proof and has contended that it should not be a ground for denial of subsidised food to them.
"Making food security conditional (on a ration card) is a violation of the fundamental right to life under the Constitution," the lawyer has said in his petition.
He has sought framing of a policy so that the marginalised section of society receives adequate supply of food and drinking water to ensure that a proper nutritional level is maintained amongst them.
The petition said that this can be achieved by an efficient public distribution system for free delivery of essential food articles to the poor families, including those without ration cards.