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HC directs Odisha government to provide social audit details on all schemes under Food Security Act

The Court issued the direction on perusal of an affidavit submitted by the Additional Secretary, State Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department, on Monday.

Published: 25th August 2021 10:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2021 10:25 AM   |  A+A-

Orissa High Court

Orissa High Court (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court has set November 1 deadline for the State government to give details of social audit for all schemes being implemented under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in Odisha.

The Court issued the direction on perusal of an affidavit submitted by the Additional Secretary, State Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department, on Monday. The Court was hearing the PIL that the Odisha State Legal Services Authority (OSLSA) had filed for proper implementation of the NFSA in the State in 2019.

It took note that the social audits - according to the affidavit - have been conducted only in relation to the functioning of the fair price shops and targeted public distribution system (TPDS).

In an order released on Tuesday, the Court clarified that the scope of power of the District Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO) includes looking into implementation of all the schemes.

Also, the DGRO looks into violations of entitlement, not only limited to the TPDS, but also the other schemes including mid-day meal scheme, the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS),  Maintainability Benefit Programme (MBP) as well as any other scheme for implementation of the NFSA, the Court said.

The division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray directed the State government to place before the Court by way of an affidavit to be filed at least one week prior to the next date, details of the social audit conducted for implementation of all the schemes not limited to TPDS. The affidavit should include the statistics regarding the functioning of the DGROs for the period June 1 to October 31, 2021.

The meetings held as part of the social audit should be recorded on video and uploaded to the State Food Commission website as this will ensure greater transparency in conduct of such exercise and serve the public interest in ensuring effective implementation of NFSA, the bench specified in the order.



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