The Delhi High Court Tuesday sought Delhi government's stand on a plea by ration shop dealers seeking the margin amount owed to them and is pending since July.
Justice Yashwant Varma said, “Tell us why they are constrained to come to the court.” The Petitioners, Delhi Ration Dealers Union and individual dealers, said they are in dire need of money and cannot run the fair price shops because the advanced margin money they are entitled to under the National Food Security (NFS) Act has not been provided to them for the last four months.
The plea said the dealers cannot fulfil their basic need due to non-payment of margin money of the ration supplied by them to people per the direction of the government.
The counsel appearing for the Delhi government sought time to seek instructions on the issue after which the court listed the matter for further hearing on January 20.
The petition said the margin amount has not been paid to the shop owners from July 2021 and it has become a huge due, because of which the fair price shop owners do not even have the means to provide the service they are entitled to as many of them have rented shops and do not have many to pay the rent.
“Therefore, the fair price shop owners cannot even provide basic necessities to the families because of shortage of money. This is a writ seeking direction to the Government of NCT of Delhi to release the margin amount they are liable to pay and which was promised to them so that the fair price shop owners can perform the duty towards the society more efficiently,” the plea said and urged the court to pass directions to speed up the process.
The plea claimed that over Rs 2 lakh to 4 lakh of margin amount is due to each of the individual petitioners.
It further said there is no justification in delaying or denying the payment of margin amount to the dealers and the authorities are liable to pay the money to enable them to live their lives without any hardship.
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