On 7th July 2021, the division bench of Kerala High Court comprising of Honourable Chief Justice S.Manikumar, and Justice Shaji P.Chaly disposed off the writ petition denying to grant the prayer to direct provision of food kits by the Lakshadweep Administration to the residents of Lakshadweep.
The Petitioner named Nasih K.K, a native of Amini Island in Union Territory of Lakshadweep had filed a writ petition before the Kerala High Court on 9th June 2021. The petitioner prayed to issue a writ of mandamus directing the UOI and Lakshadweep administration to provide necessary food kits, including rice and all other necessary provisions to the residents of Lakshadweep Islands, till the absolute lifting of lockdown and the overall situation in the region reaches normalcy.
The counsel for the petitioner submitted that there is an acute shortage of food kits. Furthermore, the counsel pointed out that 80 per cent of residents of Lakshadweep were daily wage earners, a majority of which lost their jobs due to the ongoing pandemic. It was submitted that the residents of the island made multiple representations before the local authorities about the prevailing situation
The counsel for the UOI disagreed with the petitioner by submitting charts to show the island-wise distribution of rice in May 2021; month-wise beneficiaries for providing Food Security Allowance under NPMDM during the year 2021; and also island-wise details of COVID positive patients treated at CFLTCs, as on 08.06.2021. The counsel submitted that the District Collector and Chairman of the Disaster Management Authority have already taken necessary steps to ensure an adequate supply of rice to the residents and that there is sufficient stock of rice to last up to October 2021. The administration asserted that the residents enjoy the benefit of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana and Antyodaya Anna Yojana supplying subsidized food to the residents who are poor. It was reported that Rs. 1349 crores was allocated for the island, subsidized electricity is supplied, and education and health services were provided for free on the island. Therefore, the respondents argued that the petitioner’s allegations are false.
The Court was satisfied with the measures taken by UOI and Lakshadweep Administration and hence dismissed the petition.