Why is ration card necessary for aid under Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi, asks Delhi HC


Justice Yashwant Varma issued notice on the petition by the 30-year-old woman whose request to AIIMS for financial aid under the scheme was rejected on account of non-availability of a ration card and granted time to the respondents to file their reply

Delhi High Court. File Pic


The Delhi High Court on Friday questioned why having a ration card was necessary for a citizen to avail financial benefits under the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) and sought the stand of the Centre and city government on plea by a below poverty line cancer patient to declare the mandate illegal and unconstitutional.

Justice Yashwant Varma issued notice on the petition by the 30-year-old woman whose request to AIIMS for financial aid under the scheme was rejected on account of non-availability of a ration card and granted time to the respondents to file their reply.

The court observed that without a ration card, the petitioner would not get the benefit under RAN, which would defeat the scheme itself.

RAN provides financial assistance to patients, living below poverty line and who are suffering from major life threatening diseases, to receive treatment at any super speciality hospital or other government hospitals. The financial assistance to such patients is released in the form of a ‘one-time grant’ which is released to the hospital concerned.


The judge noted that Delhi has already reached its limit with respect to the issuance of ration cards and asked, “What happens to someone without a ration card?”

“What is this necessary? If you want to find out the details of the family then there are other documents. Why is ration card important?,” the court questioned.

The petitioner, in her plea filed through advocates Ashok Agarwal and Kumar Utkarsh, said she needs blood and platelets from outside and since no medicine is working on her, the only way to save her life is through Immunomodulation which will cost around Rs 15 lakhs.

Delhi government counsel said that its representation to the central government seeking an increase in the limit imposed on the ration cards to be issued has been rejected.

In the plea, the petitioner said the mandate under RAN to provide a ration card, besides an income certificate –when one of such document is sufficient to prove the financial status –is “arbitrary, discriminatory, unconstitutional, illegal, irrational, having no nexus with the object underlying therein, opposed to public policy and contrary to public interest”.

The plea added that on account of the Centre “not extending new ration cards beyond the limit of 72,77,995 persons”, the petitioner’s family could not be issued a new ration card for no fault of their own.

“It is also to mention here that respondent Government of NCT of Delhi had requested respondent Union of India to increase the threshold limit of ration card beneficiaries but the same was consequently denied. Due to this issue petitioner could not be issued a new ration card resulting in non-acceptance of application under RAN scheme for grant of aid for treatment at AIIMS,” the plea said.

The matter would be heard next on August 31. 

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Originally published at www.mid-day.com

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