Ensure Food Security Act is implemented: SC to Centre

New Delhi, Oct 24 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday said it was incumbent upon the Central government to ensure that the National Food Security Act, 2013, was implemented both in letter and spirit by the state governments, and it asked the Centre to frame model rules under the Act.

Asking Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to inform it on Friday whether the Central government would frame the rules or not, the bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice N.V. Ramana said, “Tell us on Friday whether you will do it or not. Rule making is an important part of Governance. Unfortunately it is not being done.”

The bench said that Rules should be framed after holding wide consultation involving all the stake holders and not just three-four people sitting and doing it.

Noting that state governments were not framing the rules under the National Food Security Act, the bench told Attorney General, “What is so difficult about it. I don’t see what is difficult about it. If states have not done so, then you do it.”

Telling the Attorney General that “there can’t be a situation where after Parliament has passed a law, that states would not comply with it and do whatever they want. There is some kind of responsibility on the Central government (after all) it persuaded the Parliament to pass a law.”

Telling the Centre to frame Model Rules under the National Food Security Act, 2013, the court said that States can’t take a position of “You (Parliament) may pass whatever you like (but) we will do whatever we want.”

“We don’t want such a thing,” the court told the Attorney General indicating that dithering States will have to fall in line.

In the meanwhile, the Centre on Monday told the court that the PIL by the Swaraj Abhiyan can’t be entertained as “they are now ploughing into the political field after graduating into a political party”.

The Attorney General to buttress his point referred to media reports quoting Swaraj Abhiyan leaders mixing court proceedings with their political campaign.

AG urged the court to substitute Swaraj Abhiyan by some other entity in the matter.

Appearing for the petitioner Swaraj Abhiyan, counsel Prashant Bhushan told the court that though they have decided to float a political outfit, the Swaraj Abhiyan would retain its distinct entity and campaign for humanitarian causes. He said that he himself would not hold any position in the political outfit.

Saying that they themselves have been urging the court to appoint a court commissioner, Bhushan said that “We will be happy to go out. We don’t mind if a credible court commissioner is appointed or an amicus curiae is appointed.”