Telangana High Court on Tuesday directed the State government to make use of Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana for distribution of food grains to transgenders.

Hearing a PIL plea seeking a direction to State government to distribute essential goods and groceries to transgenders in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic, the HC directed Advocate General B.S. Prasad to speak with the Civil Supplies Commissioner in this regard.

If the Centre’s scheme was utilised, food grains can be supplied not only to transgenders but also to all citizens who do not have ration cards, a bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy said.

The bench directed the State government to synchronise its other schemes with that of the Centre to ensure that maximum number of people benefit from those. Social activist Vyjayanti Vasanta Mogli filed the PIL petition seeking an order to provide ration and other essentials to all transgenders in the State without insisting for furnishing of ration cards.

Supreme Court senior counsel Jayna Kothari, appearing for the petitioner, told the bench that the State government had taken a stand not to provide food grains to transgenders who don’t have ration cards.

“But under Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana, ration would be supplied to even those who have no ration cards,” the senior counsel explained.

The scheme was extended till November this year. According to the Centre, the State government had lifted only 1% of the food grains under the said Central scheme. In this backdrop, the State can avail the full benefits of the Central scheme and pass on the same to the transgenders who have no ration cards, the lawyer contended.

The bench directed the AG to file a report on the matter within a week. The plea was posted to July 14 for next hearing.

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