Ticked off by apex court, Pawar falls in line
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After the Supreme Court ticked him off about being casual on its order to distribute free foodgrain that rots in godowns, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said later in the day that the government would honour the decision of the apex court.
Pawar had earlier said the Supreme Court's "suggestion" to distribute free foodgrain to the poor could not be implemented.
Taking strong exception to that remark, the court had told the government counsel earlier on Tuesday: "It was not a suggestion. It is there in our order. You tell the Minister."
While responding to the issue raised by Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj in the Lok Sabha, Pawar said: "This government will honour the decision of the Supreme Court. Members' suggestions will also be considered."
The Supreme Court today made it clear that it had ordered the free distribution of foodgrain to the poor instead of allowing it to rot in godowns and that it was not a 'suggestion' as made out by Pawar.
In the Lok Sabha, Pawar said he had heard about the observations made by the Supreme Court from the media and had made attempts to obtain a copy of the court order.
He said it would be "improper" on his part to make any comments without reading the official order of the apex court as it could even amount to misleading the House.
Swaraj raised the issue hours after the Supreme Court took exception to Pawar's statement that its directive on free distribution of foodgrain to the poor instead of allowing them to rot in godowns was a suggestion which could not be implemented.
The apex court had on August 12 asked the Centre to consider free distribution of foodgrain to the poor instead of allowing it to rot in Food Corporation of India godowns.
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