New Delhi: The honourable Supreme Court of India, today, i.e. on Friday, 13th May, requires the Central Government for releasing all the outstanding and necessary funds of MNREGA scheme for the States. Also, while asking so, the Apex Court directed the Central Government to pay compensation for delayed wages to the farmers in drought- affected areas.
While placing its remarks, the bench of the Apex Court comprising of Justice- M. B. Lokur and Justice- N. V. Ramana found stating that “Government can’t hide behind a smokescreen for lack of finances.” Also, this bench further preferred to direct the States to the effect that they should appoint commissioners for the purpose of effective implementation of provisions contemplated under the National Food Security Act, and also for strengthening the public distribution system, more specifically, in drought- hit areas.
Besides, such directions, the Government also directed to establish a Central Employment Guarantee Council as provided under the provisions of the said statute and also for ensuring the compensation for the crop loss in such areas.
Also, while observing that the States are under obligations to follow the provisions provided under the Parliament’s Act, states cannot say they will not follow the law enacted by Parliament and “rule of law binds everyone including the States.” Moreover, pointing the situations in the drought- hit areas, the Apex Court’s bench also directed to the effect that there should be continued the mid- day meal provision throughout the summer season in such areas.
However, the Apex Court rejects the plea where the appointment of the court commissioners were sought for the implementation of the directions given by the said court. And rejecting such plea, it said that it is not disposing of the plea and will hear the matter on next date, i.e. on first day of August, this year.
As the present judgment which is pronounced today, containing three parts and the first part was pronounced on 11th day of May, and it was stated therein that if the State Governments maintain an “ostrich- like attitude” towards disasters like drought then the Central Government cannot wash off its hands from the responsibility upon it provided by the Constitution.
Adv. Faim Khalilkhan Pathan