Karnataka Govt Moves Supreme Court Seeking To Direct Union Government To Release Drought Relief Funds

Karnataka Govt Moves Supreme Court Seeking To Direct Union Government To Release Drought Relief Funds

The State of Karnataka has filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court alleging that the Central Government was denying financial assistance for drought management to the State under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the Manual for Drought Management.

The State has contended that the actions of the Centre violate the fundamental rights of the people of Karnataka under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution and the statutory scheme of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Manual for Drought Management and the Guidelines on Constitution and Administration of the State Disaster Response Fund and National Disaster Response Fund.

The State submitted that under the Manual for Drought Management, the Central Government is required to take a final decision on the assistance to the State from the NDRF within a month of the receipt of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT). The IMCT report visited various drought-affected districts from 4th to 9th October, 2023 and submitted a report to the National Executive Committee constituted under Section 9 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. However, the Central Government has not taken a final decision on the assistance to the State from the National Disaster Response Fund even after a lapse of almost six (6) months from the date of the said report.

For the Kharif 2023 season (the season starts in June and ends in September), a total of 223 out of 236 taluks are declared as drought-affected, with 196 taluks categorized as severely affected and the remaining 27 categorized as moderately affected.

The State Government has sought Rs.18,171.44 crore under National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), through three Drought Relief Memorandum submitted in September-November 2023 ie, Rs.4663.12 crore towards crop loss input subsidy, Rs. 12577.9 crore towards gratuitous relief to families whose livelihood has been seriously affected due to drought, Rs.566.78 crore for addressing shortage of drinking water relief then and Rs.363.68 crore towards cattle care.

The total estimated loss due to crop damage in the State is Rs. 35, 162.05 Crore and the assistance sought from Government of India under NDRF is Rs. 18,171.44 Crore.

It is contended that the Union’s refusal to take a decision violates the fundamental rights of the people of the State and hence the Government, acting as per its parens patria jurisdiction, has filed the writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution.

“In terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, Union of India is under obligation to render financial assistance to the State Governments. However, despite the calamity being of a severe nature, despite the constitution and visit of an Inter-Ministerial Central Team(IMCT) in October for a first-hand assessment of the humanitarian needs towards response and relief of immediate/temporary nature, damages caused and relief work carried out by the state and submission of their report for allocation of funds from NDRF, despite the submission of the sub Committee of the National Executive Committee’s report for allocation of the funds under NDRF to the High Level Committee(HLC) and despite repeated requests by the State, the Union of India has not convened the High Level Committee to take action on the Sub-Committee of the National Executive Committee’s report on the Memorandums submitted by the State Government seeking financial assistance, which has impaired the fundamental right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India to its people,” the plea states.

The State seeks a direction to the Ministry of Home Affairs to forthwith take a final decision and release the financial assistance from the National Disaster Relief Fund to the State of Karnataka.

The petition was filed through Advocate DL Chidananda and settled through Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat and Advocate General (AG) K Shashi Kiran Shetty. (Live Law)

Srinagar News

Srinagar News is one of the oldest newspaper in kashmir it was founded by Late Mehraj-ud-Din Wani Sahab in 1975.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button