'No one should sleep hungry, central govt's duty': SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court said on Tuesday, 'It is our culture that no one should sleep hungry. It also asked the central government to ensure that food grains reach the last person under the National Food Security Act (NSFS).' In fact, a bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice Hima Kohli directed the Center to submit a fresh table with the number of migrant and unorganized sector workers registered on the e-SHRAM portal. During this, the bench said, "It is the responsibility of the Central Government to ensure that food grains reach the last person under NFSA." We are not saying that the Center is not doing anything. The Central Government has provided food grains to the people during Covid. We also have to see that it continues. It is our culture that no one should sleep with an empty stomach.

The bench was hearing a suo motu public interest matter relating to the condition of migrant workers during the Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdown. On the other hand, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for social activists Anjali Bhardwaj, Harsh Mander, and Jagdeep Chhokar, said, 'After the 2011 census, the population of the country has increased and with that, the number of beneficiaries coming under the purview of NFSA has also increased.' With this, he said that if the law is not implemented effectively, many eligible and needy beneficiaries will be deprived of its benefits.

Bhushan said that the government is claiming that the per capita income of the people has increased in the last few years, but India has come down sharply in the global hunger index. On the other hand, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the Centre, said that there are 81.35 crore beneficiaries under NFSA, which is a huge number even in the Indian context. Let us tell you that Bhushan said that 14 states have filed affidavits saying that their quota of food grains has been exhausted. The matter will now be heard on December 8.

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