Supply of milk to army: HC upholds government decision

Supply of milk to army: HC upholds government decision
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SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has upheld the Government of India decision that only those milk societies or federations of J&K state are eligible to participate in the contract for the supply of milk and milk products to the military forms who are affiliated to National Corporation Diary Federation of India (NCDFI).
The Court of Justice Sanjeev Kumar has dismissed the petition by stating that no merit has been found in the petition challenging the government decision.
In communication vide order dated 12-07-2017, Ministry of Defence has issued a notification that it has restricted the eligibility to enter into a contract for supplying fresh milk to the Army in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. “Only such corporative milk societies /federation belonging to the state of Jammu and Kashmir which are affiliated to National Corporation Diary Federation of India (NCDFI) are eligible to participate into the contract for supplying milk and milk products to military,” it reads.
Aggrieved of the communication issued by Ministry of Defence, the petitioners (milk federations and societies) filed the petition in the court seeking a writ to quash the communication. In addition to it, the petitioner pleaded that respondents should allow him to supply milk and milk products to the Military Forms located in the state through Army Supply Corps.
The petition reads that the petition society is a corporative society of Milk producers registered under the Jammu and Kashmir Self Reliant Corporative Society Act 1999. It further reads that the petitioner society has registered under several acts.
AH Naik, representing petitioners submitted before the court that the communication has the effects of depriving the other cooperative societies of the state and the right of petitioner to enter into the contract with the Army to supply of milk and milk products.
Tahir Majid Shamsi and Pranav Kohli, appearing for Union of India opposed the petition on the grounds that award of government contracts fall in the realm of public policy and cannot be challenged in a writ petition under Article 226.
“It was done to ensure that only such milk cooperatives are permitted to supply milk and milk products to Indian Army which are incorporated for the primary goal of empowering and befitting the farmers and to encourage the development of dairy industry,” Advocate Shamsi had rued.
He further had said that there is no bar for the J&K Cooperatives to become a member of NCDFI as the petitioners will not lose their registration in the state.
The court had said that if any cooperative milk federation approach respondents for admission as a member within a period of two weeks and if the application is in tune with the provisions with the Act of 2002, the same shall be considered and disposed of within two weeks from receipt of applications

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