New Delhi: Responding to a PIL submitted to the Delhi high court, drawing attention to deaths of poor children caused by hunger and malnutrition, the court has sent notices to the Union and Delhi governments. These governments ought to respond to the notice within four weeks.
Further, the court has asked the petitioner to make other departments concerned parties to the case.
The petitioner had demanded that the governments named provide poor families nutritious food and potable water for free. According to the PIL, the section of the population of poor children that are affected the most comprises families that do not have even ration cards.
The petitioner said that news of such deaths has unfortunately been a regular affair. In the recent past, there was news of three girl children — Shikha (8-year-old), Mansi (4 years) and Parul (2) — of a family living in Mandavli of east Delhi dying of starvation.
There have been similar deaths in Jharkhand and Odisha. Last year, an 11-year-old girl called Santoshi died of starvation. A 58-year-old woman died of the same cause. In Madhya Pradesh’s Sheopur district, 116 children had died of malnutrition, fever, and diarrhea in 2016.

The Centre on Thursday has assured the publishers of the National Herald, Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) that there will be no evictions for now from the building. The Delhi High Court had ordered "status quo" in a case involving land leased to the publishers till November 22, when it will take up the case next. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was representing the government's Land and Development Office, gave the assurance of no action until then.

During the case hearing, Congress leader and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: "It is malicious prosecution and an impugned order vitiated by malafides and ulterior political motives.”

He added that the property cannot be used for commercial purpose. 

One of the grounds mentioned in the L&DO order is that no press has been functioning in the premises for last at least 10 years and that it is being used only for commercial purposes in violation of the lease deed. This allegation has been refuted by the AJL in the petition filed by the firm and its company secretary. 

In 2008, Associated Journals had shut down over its debts. The BJP alleges that the Gandhis used Congress party funds to pay off its debts even though the publisher has real estate assets worth thousands of crores.

On November 12, National Herald tweeted that it was being targeted by the BJP government for its growing digital presence.

In 2012, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had filed a case against then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, alleging irregularities related to a loan of Rs. 90 crore given by the Congress to the AJL.