New Delhi, Jan 10: The Supreme Court Friday declined to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking direction to the government to regulate the prices of onions, potatoes and other seasonal vegetables.
“Stop eating onions for two months, prices will come down to Rs.15 per kg,” said a bench of Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice J. Chelameswar adding: “Now we have no other business. We have to arrange cheap onions and potatoes.”
As the court junked the PIL telling the petitioner Vishnu Pratap Singh Langawat not to burden the court with such public interest suits, in the same breadth, it observed that clients are willing to pay high fees.
Langawat had sought the direction to the central government for enforcement of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 especially with respect to onions, tomatoes and potatoes.
Parliament, the PIL said, in 1955 enacted the Essential Commodities Act to control the production, supply and distribution of commodities which are specified in the legislation to be essential commodities.
But despite unprecedented rise in the price of essential commodities, especially vegetables like tomatoes, onions, potatoes, garlic etc. which are the basic ingredients of Indian meals, the central government did nothing to control prices of the said foodstuffs by invoking the act against middlemen and traders for alleged excessive hoarding, it contended.