In the case of Mohammad Hakin and Anr V. Delhi Development Authority W.P.(C) 1585/2022, the residents of Kathputli colony in Delhi, facing redevelopment by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and were seeking new housing which was denied by DDA stating that ration card must be given as it is a mandatory requirement for alternative allotment of home to them as per their policy guidelines and this triggers a dispute over the validity of ration cards as proof of address. Many people had no options due to the Delhi Development Authority’s insistence on requiring ration cards for housing allocation.

The central issue revolved around whether ration cards could serve as legitimate proof of residence, given a gazette notification from the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in 2015, which disallowed the use of ration cards as proof of identity or residence. Justice Chandradhari Singh clarified that the ration card is only to receive food under the public distribution scheme, and therefore cannot be considered as a valid proof of address.

Disregarding the DDA’s investigation and relevant findings, the Court ruled in favour of the plaintiffs, as a result of which the DDA was directed to provide additional housing to the petitioners, provided they fulfilled the prescribed requirements and deposited the required amount. This decision underscores the limited scope of ration cards and the need for authorities to consider broader policies and guidelines in such matters.


M Shanthish Kumar, 5th year B.A, LL. B(Hons.), Veltech School of Law, Chennai


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