The Kerala High Court has stayed the Election Commission's order blocking the distribution of special rice to non-priority ration cardholders. The Court noted that the decision to distribute the special rice was taken on February 4 before the election notification. Also, the court stressed that the auctions for the rice from the Food Corporation of India have already been carried out for Rs 83.34 crores.
In the interim order, the HC said that it is not easy for the State government to approach the Election Commission with a fresh proposal seeking sanction as the payments have to be made before March 31, 2021. However, the Court noted that the distribution of rice should strictly adhere to the Model Code of Conduct.
Earlier, the Election Commission had halted the distribution of special rice following a complaint by the opposition claiming that it would amount to the violation of the Model Code of Conduct ahead of the Kerala Assembly polls.
The State government filed a writ petition in the High Court challenging the Election Commission's decision.