Following a report in The Hindu this past Tuesday on complaints by ration card holders of Harsh Vihar in North-East Delhi about irregularities in the functioning of Fair Price Shop No.7980, the Food & Supply Department has sealed the shop.
The decision to seal the shop and hand over the matter to the Enforcement wing of the department was taken at a meeting of department officials. The Assistant Commissioner (Enforcement) for the area, Ajay Rathi, said he received an appeal on Thursday from the shop owner for de-sealing of the shop.
Now officials of the Enforcement wing of the F&S Department will inspect the shop on Friday and prepare records on the cardholders, inventory and daily stock registers.
Mr. Rathi said if his team finds irregularities a report recommending cancellation of the shop’s licence will be forwarded to the higher authorities. Meanwhile, cardholders attached to this shop can continue to procure rations from the present ownership itself, while the department processes the case.
The report in The Hindu pointed out cases of card holders who were supplied monthly rations only thrice in five years and APL cardholders who were not given their monthly quota of wheat. All of them complained that the shop opened only for a few hours three or four days in the week and they had never received rice despite 4 kg of rice being allocated for September. The women also alleged that they were made to queue up outside the shop through out the night by the owner and that he acted arbitrarily in the supply of the food grains. The owner’s son, Brijesh, said the shop did not receive adequate rations to supply all the cardholders with their allocated quota.
RTI activists had in July inspected the shop and found incomplete daily sale registers having just the signatures or thumbprints of cardholders without their names or quantity of rations supplied entered.
On Tuesday, RTI activist Manmohan Singh received an e-mailed response from Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, on his complaint demanding registering of an FIR against Brijesh and a F&S Department inspector, stating that it has been forwarded to the Joint Commissioner of Police (Southern-Eastern Range) for necessary action with reference no:13194.