New Delhi, May 13 : Delhi Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Imran Hussain on Sunday wrote to Food Commissioner Mohanjeet Singh, condemning an official circular on discontinuation of ration supply to those who did not draw it for three consecutive months.
Saying that the circular was "issued without my approval", Hussain directed the officer to restore the ration facility to all beneficiaries who did not draw their ration from January to March 2018.
He claimed that Singh "showed extraordinary interest" to cancel the ration cards of such beneficiaries and issue fresh cards in their place.
"..Food Commissioner's action appears suspicious."
"There are strong rumours that some vested interests in the Food Department are eager to cancel ration cards of genuine card holders and issue fresh cards in their place," he said.
Saying that he was "shocked" to know that the facility was discontinued, Hussain directed starting of verification of all those ration card holders who did not turn up during the period to buy ration.
"If during verification, any card is found not to be genuine, only then the card should be cancelled after giving an opportunity to the person concerned to be heard and after following all rules and prescribed procedures.
Only then should the ration be stopped."
The Minister also asked the officer to refer the matter to the Anti Corruption Branch, as per the direction of Lt Governor Anil Baijal.
Quoting the circular that the verification would be done and ration facility restored "only if they are found to be genuine", the AAP leader termed the step as "draconian, unreasonable and illegal".
"The department should have first conducted verification and if the ration card was found to be bogus...however, strangely, the department has taken a reverse course... it is completely illegal on the part of the department."
He said that some of these cards could be bogus, but many people faced genuine problems in drawing ration due to faulty implementation of e-POS by the Food Department.
He noted that Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have directed for ending e-Point of Sale facility with immediate effect because there were serious problems in its implementation.
"...it has been reported that several fake ration card holders were issued ration during this e-POS period."