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Judiciary

Centre questions growing tendency among States to approach SC for funds

By Jhanak Singh      08 April, 2024 03:58 PM      0 Comments
Centre questions growing tendency among States to approach SC for funds

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday questioned growing tendency among the States to approach the Supreme Court seeking a direction for release of funds.

Responding to a plea by Congress government in Karnataka to release drought relief funds, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before a bench of Justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta said a lot can be said about the timing of the filing petitions, indicating to ongoing general election process.

Mehta said there is a "growing tendency" among the states to file such petitions. 

"If somebody had spoken at some level, the problem could have solved," Mehta said.  

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Karnataka government, submitted that the Centre had to decide within one month about release of funds. The period was over in December, 2023. 

The Karnataka government sought a direction to the Centre to release Rs 35,162 Cr for drought relief because of "grave humanitarian distress" and "calamity" of severe nature faced by it.

"Let there be no contest between the Centre and States. We see various state governments filed petitions for it," a bench of Justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta said.

As Attorney General R Venkatramani and Solicitor General Mehta for the Centre sought time from the court to resolve the matter, the court fixed the matter for consideration after two weeks.

"Let's hope with your interventions, the problem can be solved," the bench told the AG and the SG.

"Both the AG and the SG to take instructions and inform the court," the bench said.

Sibal sought issuance of formal notice. Mehta said it may not be required.

In its writ petition, the Karnataka government said the Union government's Ministry of Home Affairs has failed to take a final decision and release the financial assistance from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to the state for drought relief, though six months have lapsed since filing of a report by the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT). 

Separately, Tamil Nadu also filed a plea in the Supreme Court for a direction to the Centre to release of a sum of Rs 19,692.69 Cr as financial assistance for the damage caused by cyclone 'Michaung' in December 2023, contending despite several requests funds were not made available in violation of fundamental rights of the affected people. 
 



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