HC directs DCs to ensure sale of essential commodities at fixed price

Srinagar: J&K High Court has directed all the Deputy Commissioners to ensure compliance of rates fixed by the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) department for various essential commodities in their respective districts.
“The month of Ramadan is likely to start by the end of June, and man on the street is still not aware about rates of essential commodities,” said a division bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar while hearing a Public Interest Litigation—G M Wani Vs Director CAPD department.
“The whole object of this PIL is to provide some space to common man. He should have hygienic food at a reasonable rate, and that has not been achieved,” the bench said.
“The possibility of providing healthy competition by the state by opening their own shops to sell essential commodities has also not been explored, nor displaying of the rate list on hoardings in various public places has been achieved.”
The bench observed that rate lists have to be displayed on hoardings, and subsequently directed the CAPD department to sent rate list fixed by committee of its officers to DC of each district within two days.
“The rate list should also be displayed on website of CAPD and emailed to the (DCs). All the DCs shall ensure displaying the rates on hoardings in crowded area in their respective districts so that everyone is aware about the rate of essential commodities and there is no overcharging,” the court said.
The DCs, court further directed, shall ensure compliance of rates as displayed on the hoardings. “For (this) purpose, they may constitute flying squads to check whether the rates are charged as per the rates decided by CAPD and displayed on hoardings. Any person indulging in unnecessary profiteering shall be booked and a report to that extent shall be submitted to the court,” the bench said and directed government to file compliance report on or before June 12.
Advocate General M I Qadri represented the state in the PIL while none appeared for the petitioner.