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Orissa High Court orders video-graphing of PDS social audit meeting

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice B.P. Routray issued the directives while hearing the petition moved by the Odisha State Legal Services Authority.

SNS | Bhubaneswar |

The Orissa High Court has asked the State government to video-graph the social meetings to ensure transparency in the National Food Security Act’s public distribution system.

“The village committee PDS meetings held as part of the social audit should be video-graphed and uploaded in the website of the State Food Commission since this will ensure greater transparency in the conduct of such exercise and serve the public interest in ensuring effective implementation of NFSA”, the HC’s division bench directed.

Expressing strong displeasure over the non-constitution of village committees (VCs) for social audit of the public distribution system, the Orissa High Court also directed the State government to constitute VCs in all the 30 districts for effective functioning of the Public Distribution System in the State.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice B.P. Routray issued the directives while hearing the petition moved by the Odisha State Legal Services Authority.

“The Court had noted in its order dated 24 March 2021 had asked the government for a constitution of Village Committees (VCs) at all levels to make them functional immediately”.

“It is seen that the constitution of VCs is abysmally low. As many as 12,068 VCs are yet to be constituted. In this regard as far as District Level is concerned, this Court notes that except five districts, i.e., Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Kandhamal, Kendrapara, and Sambalpur, the District Level VCs have not been constituted in any of the 25 districts”, the HC observed.

There has to be a concerted effort by the State Government to make up a shortfall at an early date to make the provisions of the National Food Security Act to be effected. Directions are accordingly issued to the State Government to constitute VCs at all the 25 remainings positively by 1st November 2021, the HC ordered.