Swaraj Abhiyan vs. Union of India & Ors.

Swaraj Abhiyan vs. Union of India & Ors.

 

The Supreme Court of India 
CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTIONIN 
Writ Petition (Civil), 857 of 2015
Petitioner
Swaraj Abhiyan
Respondent
Union of India & Ors.
Date of Judgement

21st July, 2017
Bench
 Justice Madan B. Lokur

Background 

The National Food Security Bill was passed by the two Houses of Parliament and got the consent of the President on tenth September 2013. Just about four years have passed by however the specialized authorities and bodies commanded to be set up under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (for short the NFS Act’) has not yet been made practical in certain States. This is despite the way that Section 14 of the NFS Act requires that “Each State Government will set up an internal grievance redressal mechanism….”

Statue and provisions involved 

Section 14, Section 15, Section 16, Section 28, Section 29 of the National Food & Securities Act

Facts 

  • At first, the National Food Security Ordinance, 2013 was proclaimed by the President on fifth July 2013. From that point, the National Food Security Bill, 2013 was presented in Parliament. Food security is without a doubt critical and as saw by this Court in People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India and ors[i].”Mere plans with no execution are of no use.”
  • Similarly, one may ask what is the use of a law passed by Parliament if State Governments and Union Territories don’t actualize it by any means, not to mention execute it in letter and spirit. These inquiries have been alarming since this issue was recorded on 24th October 2016 ensuing to arrange dated May 13, 2016, in Swaraj Abhiyan.
  • It was anticipated that the concerned State Governments should actualize the arrangements of the NFS Act with all due reality since it is social government assistance enactment ordered by Parliament. Section 15 and Section 16 of the NFS Act were not being conformed, compiled, or implemented by the State Governments in letter and spirit. Hence the petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking the implementation of the NFS Act in letter and spirit.

Issues 

  • What can the Government of India do to require the State Governments and Union Territories to make practical those bodies and specialized authorities that are commanded by a law passed by Parliament, (for example, the National Food Security Act, 2013)?
  • What are the remedies that the residents of India have if the Government of India doesn’t issue such a bearing and the State Government or the Union Territory doesn’t actualize a law passed by Parliament?

Arguments Advanced 

  • In that capacity, they probably won’t be sufficiently free to manage the complaints. Tragically despite the fact that the NFS Act has been in power for around four years The appointment of a District Grievance Redressal Officer is concerned, an individual ought to be designated and not the District Collector or the Deputy Commissioner of the region. The explanation progressed by learned guidance was that these officials are as of now very occupied, they will most likely be unable to address the complaint of the individuals inside their region and are legitimately worried about the execution of the NFS Act.
  • Just a couple of the State Governments before us had paid attention to its arrangements. It is a pity that enactment instituted by Parliament to serve the individuals ought to be kept as a second thought by a part of the State Governments before us. It was presented that this lack of care is all-unavoidable and there are other State Governments and Union Territories that have not taken the arrangements of the NFS Act truly enough for their usage.

Judgment

Ratio Decidendi:

  • NFS Act is not being properly implemented as it should be as social justice and beneficial legislation. With respect to the constitutional obligation, it is a bane for our society that such an act isn’t implemented to its core. So, in order to avoid any further lacuna in the implementation of NFS Act the following principles were laid down by the apex court-
  • On or before 31st August 2017 one or more meetings should be convened by the Secretary in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution of the Government of India in order to find means and ways to implement the provisions of the NFS Act to its core.
  • For a Grievance Redressal Mechanism, State Government and Union Territory should notify appropriate rules following the to condemn the Secretary in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution of the Government of India.
  • To constitute, establish and make fully functional State Food Commission under the provisions NFS Act State Government and Union Territory should take solid steps as soon as possible by following the condemn of the Secretary in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution of the Government of India.
  • Under Section 29 of the NFS Act, a fully functioning Vigilance Committee has to be established or constituted by the State Government and Union Territory so that the said committee can fulfill the duties and responsibilities enshrined under the said section.
  • Under the Section 28 of the NFS Act the social audit machinery should be established by the Secretary in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution of the Government of India; thereby, enabling the State Governments and Union Territories to make social audits whenever required to keep the machinery in check.

Obiter Dicta:

  • It is notionally conceivable to have a statutory commission or bodywork as a State Food Commission, given that statutory commission or body is comprised and set up as per the arrangements of Section 16 of the NFS Act there may be a few challenges in the real working of one statutory commission performing two divergent capacities under two distinct resolutions.
  • This is more than liable to bargain the effectiveness of that statutory commission or body with the outcome that the recipients of the diverse elements of the statutory commission or body would endure at the two finishes. This is not helpful for good organization and decreases the significance of a fundamental right to healthy and nutritious nourishment especially for children and woman which is actually the goal of the NFS Act.

Conclusion 

It is progressively significant that each State Government and Union Territory acknowledges and values their statutory and established commitments and guarantees that the desire of Parliament which sanctioned the National Food Security Act, 2013 is given the full impact to in letter and spirit. On the off chance that the State Governments and Union Territories conclude that they don’t wish to submit to a law enacted by Parliament to assist the individuals, maybe some other arrangement may be found yet it is accepted that no State Government or Union Territory disobey the desire of Parliament further.

Edited by Parul Soni

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

Reference

[i]. People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India and ors, AIR 1997 SC 568.

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I’m Adya Aditi Samal, pursuing B.A. LL.B in Xavier Law School. I’m a self-motivated law student who believes in the idea that “there is always someone better than you”, and this makes me keep going. I love to learn new things because I feel learning refine you, redefines you. I’ve been an ardent admirer of world history, psychology and mythology all through my life. Finally, my heart found solace when I fell in love with criminal law and human rights law. The intrinsically intimate thread between society and law mesmerizes me every time. In my leisure, I write poems and short stories in Odia. And finally; I don’t eat to live but rather live to eat.