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Judiciary

Karnataka's plea for drought relief to be decided expeditiously, Centre tells SC

By Jhanak Singh      22 April, 2024 03:20 PM      0 Comments
Karnataka s plea for drought relief to be decided expeditiously Centre tells SC

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court a plea filed by Karnataka for release of drought relief funds would be decided expeditiously following a clearance by the Election Commission of India.

Attorney General R Venkatramani made the submission before a bench of Justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta seeking a direction to post the matter for consideration on next Monday.

The court said this had to happen amicably, given the fact this is federal structure.

Appearing for the Karnataka government, senior advocate Kapil Sibal made no objection to the submission made by the Attorney General.

On April 8, the Centre 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 had submitted 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 had said.

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," the court had then said.

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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