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“One Nation One Ration Card” to be implemented, not later than 31.07.2021; Supreme Court

The SC on June 29, 2021 {Bandhua Mukti Morcha vs. Union of India & Ors.} directed that the Central Government to develop the Portal in consultation with National Informatics Centre (NIC) for registration of the unorganized labourers/migrant workers.

It was also directed by the Bench, comprising of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice M.R. Shah that the Central Government as well as the respective States and the Union Territories to complete the process of Portal for registration under National Data Base for Unorganised Workers (NDUW Project) as well as implement the same, which by all means may commence not later than 31.07.2021. It was also directed that the process of registration of the unorganized labourers/migrant workers is completed at the earliest, but not later than 31.12.2021.

The SC further directed that the Central Government, Department of Food and Public Distribution (Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution) to allocate and distribute food-grains as per demand of additional food-grains from the States for disbursement of dry food-grains to migrant labourers. It was also directed that the States to bring in place an appropriate scheme for distribution of dry ration to migrant labourers for which it shall be open for States to ask for allocation of additional food-grains from the Central Government as aforesaid.

The SC directed that the States, who have not yet implemented “One Nation One Ration Card” scheme are directed to implement the same by not later than 31.07.2021. It was also observed that the Central Government may undertake exercise under Section 9 of the National Food Security Act, 2013 to re-determine the total number of persons to be covered under the Rural and Urban areas of the State.

The SC also directed all the States/Union Territories to register all establishments and license all contractors under the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service)Act, 1979 and ensure that statutory duty imposed on the contractors to give particulars of migrant workers is fully complied with. It was lastly ordered that the State/Union Territories are directed to run community kitchens at prominent places where large number of migrant labourers are found for feeding those migrant labourers who does not have sufficient means to procure two meals a day. It was held that the running of the community kitchen should be continued at-least till pandemic (Covid-19) continues.

In view of the above directions, the writ petitions were disposed of by the SC. 

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