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TN govt moves SC seeking direction to Centre to release Disaster Relief Funds


NEW DELHI: After Karnataka govt, Tamil Nadu has now moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre for releasing financial assistance meant for disaster relief funds (DRF) and natural calamities.

In its petition filed before the top court, TN govt alleged that the Centre was withholding the relief funds meant for relief for natural calamities.

Sources in the Supreme Court registry and staff said that the matter is very important and would likely to come up for hearing very soon in the top court.

Recently in the last month, the Karnataka government had also knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court alleging that the Centre was not releasing any financial assistance to the State, which was currently fighting a drought situation.

Besides seeking immediate interim relief of Rs 2,000 crore, TN govt said and requested the top court to pass urgent and appropriate directions and orders to the Union of India to extend and or release of over Rs 35,000 crore of relief towards relief for damages caused by the recent floods and cyclone Maichung.

TN govt alleged that the Centre had failed in its duty to act on the reports and decide on releasing financial aid to it, is clearly "illegal, arbitrary, and violates citizens" fundamental rights under Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution".

It further said in its petition that altough the TN govt had in the past on various occasions, requested the Centre to provide financial assistance, but the UOI has not provided any funds to it to deal with the relief and recovery from the twin disasters of Cyclone Michaung and the unprecedented rains and floods the state faced.

"There is no justification in delaying the release of funds. The differential treatment in the release of funds in comparison to other states is tantamount to class discrimination. This step-motherly treatment violates the National Disaster Management Policy, including financial relations and the federal nature of tax division," the plea of TN said.

It further alleged that the Central government has not acted upon on the report of an inter-ministerial team that visited the site to assess the damage caused by the natural calamities.

"Such inaction is ex-facie illegal, arbitrary and violative of fundamental rights of the people of the State," it said.

This kind of failed action hampers the State's developmental acticities and causes mental agony and hardships to its people, the petition stated.

Tamil Nadu govt had filed the petition in the top court through its lawyer, D Kumanan and settled by Senior advocate P Wilson.