The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Centre to develop a scheme to save people who are “suffering from hunger and dying of hunger”.

The apex court asked the Centre to formulate the scheme after consulting with the state governments.

The Supreme Court issued the directive after hearing a plea seeking the setting up of community kitchens across the country to address hunger and malnutrition.

A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana told Attorney General KK Venugopal: “See if you want to take care of hunger, no constitution, law or court will say no.”

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“My suggestion again is…already we’re delaying, so further adjournments won’t help… We’ll give you the final time of two weeks, please hold that meeting (with state governments to develop a scheme)…”

According to a media report, the Chief Justice told the Centre that “people are dying of hunger and malnutrition is a separate issue, and do not mix them”.

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The CJI said it is not bothered about the international malnutrition index, but it’s only aim is to curb the hunger issues in the country. The bench said for any welfare state, the first responsibility is not to allow people to die of hunger.

The bench comprising Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli also slammed the Centre stating that it appears from the affidavit and submissions of the Centre that it is still in the process of gathering suggestions on the matter.

“It looks like the government is not in a mood to implement the scheme…,” the bench noted.

The top court said it will grant 3 weeks’ time to the Centre to come up with some scheme which can be agreeable by various state governments also.

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