Ensure supply of subsidized K-oil as per GoI guidelines: HC to Govt

Srinagar:  Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday directed administration to ensure supply of subsidized kerosene oil to the targeted beneficiaries in keeping with the norms and guidelines notified by the Centre and regulated by a J&K government’s 2 September 2016 order.

Hearing a petition by aggrieved registered dealers, a bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey also directed the Commissioner/ Secretary to the Government, Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs to explore the possibility of subsidized kerosene oil supply to the targeted beneficiaries by use of POS (Point of Sale) at Sale shops or outlets in all the districts.

“The Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs in order to ensure convenient and effective distribution, shall review the allocation of subsidized kerosene oil to the wholesale distributions/ dealers on district wise basis equally amongst the licensees,” the court said as per GNS and  sought the compliance report on or before the next date of hearing on August 23.

The court also directed the J&K government to update its stand before the Court with the support of relevant record and documents regarding the distribution of subsidized kerosene oil.

“This is so because, upon perusal of the Objections so submitted by the (officials), the main reason supplied by the (officials) in the process of reduction of allocation of Subsidized Kerosene Oil in favour of the (aggrieved dealers) corresponding to increase in favour of some other dealers is that same was aimed to achieve the target of reaching more beneficiaries.”

The official concerned, the court said, have contended that this re-allocation was done only keeping in view the objective of the benefits of the scheme reaching the maximum beneficiaries. However, the court observed, the same was not forthcoming from the pleadings placed on record by the parties. “Besides, the (officials) have, in their objections, also not categorically rejected the claim of the (aggrieved dealers) that the entire process of allocation of Subsidized Kerosene Oil is governed by the instructions/ guidelines issued by the (centre) on the subject.”

The officials concerned, the court said, in this behalf, have casually stated that the guidelines and policy so formulated by union government on the subject cannot be allowed to remain in force for all times to come, without specifically verifying and appreciating as to whether the policy is still in vogue or stands revoked or modified. “On this score, too, the (officials) need to update their stand before the Court. Furthermore, the court also asked the government of India to file objections, specifically to the averment in the plea regarding the status of the guidelines and policy formulated by it in the year 2013. (GNS)

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