Published: Friday 31 August 2001

The Supreme Court has directed six drought-prone states to reopen closed public distribution shops. The court's directive was given in response to a lawsuit filed by the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), which cited incidents of starvation deaths despite the storehouses of Food Corporation of India (FCI) overflowing with grains. The apex court said that "the situation in the country was that of plenty wherein the officials created the scarcity of food." The court said that the governments' priority in compliance with the famine code should be to provide food to the aged, disabled, destitute, and pregnant and lactating women.

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