Declines to accept CS’s statement that it will be established next financial year
Viewing seriously the Chief Secretary’s statement that the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) would be established only in the next financial year, the High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday cautioned the government that it will have to issue writ of mandamus to set up the fund immediately if not established by February 2.
Pointing out that the State government has failed to set up SDRF from the past 13 years even though the Disaster Management Act, 2005, came into force in August 2007, the court deprecated “unwillingness” of the government to implement the provisions of the DM Act despite directions issued by the court since October 2019.
A Division Bench issued the direction while hearing PIL petitions filed by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority and Mallikarjuna A, an agriculturist from Tumakuru district, on the issue of implementation of the DM Act.
In response to earlier direction of the court on implementation of certain provisions of DM Act, Chief Secretary P. Ravi Kumar in his affidavit has stated that the SDRF would be set up in the financial year 2021-22.
Declining to accept the Chief Secretary’s statement, the Bench said that the government cannot say that SDRF would be set up during next financial year while terming the government’s response as contrary to Section 48 of the DM Act.
The Bench also noticed that the CAG has been consistently objecting in its reports on transfer of funds to the accounts maintained by the Deputy Commissioners instead of setting of District Disaster Response Funds in each district.
Source: Read Full Article