INTRODUCTION

 

Pursuant to the order dated 12th July, 2006 passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Writ Petition (C) No.196 of 2001, "People's Union for Civil Liberties vs.  Union of India and Ors"., the Government of India, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (Department of Food) vide   Notification No.6-1(Accommodation)/2006-BP-II dated 01.12.2006   has constituted a Central Vigilance Committee under the Chairmanship of Hon'ble Mr. Justice D.P. Wadhwa, a former Judge of the Supreme Court of India, to be assisted by Dr. N.C. Saxena, the Commissioner earlier appointed by the Supreme Court, to look into the maladies affecting the proper functioning of the Public Distribution System and also suggest remedial measures.

 

2.         While constituting the Committee, the Supreme Court observed as under:-

 

                  “We are giving this unusual direction in view of the almost accepted fact that large scale corruption is involved and there is hardly any remedial step taken to put an end to this.  The ultimate victim is the poor citizen who is deprived of his legitimate entitlement of food grains.  The Public Distribution System is intended to ensure that a  citizen gets the food grains at a reasonable price keeping in view the economic standards”.

 

3.         In terms of the directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, the Committee shall, amongst other things, focus on the following:-

 

(i)   The mode of appointment of dealers;

(ii)  The ideal commission or the rates payable to the dealers;

(iii) Modalities  as to how the Committees already in place can function  better; and

              (iv)  Modes as to how there can be transparency in allotment of the food stock to   be sold at the Fair Price Shops.

 

4.      The Hon'ble Supreme Court has further directed that –

 

(a)   while dealing with the question of the mode of appointment, the Committee shall also suggest as to a transparent mode in the selection of the dealers,  and

 

(b) The Committee shall also indicate as to how more effective action can be taken on the reports of the Vigilance Committees already appointed

 

5.         The direction is initially given for the Government of Delhi, to be followed on all-India basis.