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SC: Govt has wonderful Schemes, but nothing on ground

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday criticized the Centre, saying the ground reality vis-a-vis welfare of children from vulnerable sections of society was far divorced from the government’s “wonderful” laws, policies and schemes for their care and welfare.

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“All the ideas you have seem OK. Government of India has wonderful laws, ideas and schemes but the things are different at the ground,” the social justice bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said as Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta shought to apprise the court of the schemes the government has framed for welfare of children. As ASG Mehta mentioned “Sabla”  the Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls — the court observed: “It is a wonderful scheme but what is happening. People do a lot of work, make plans but what happens. But ground realities are completely different. “The court noted that on April 17, it asked the government to take steps for the expeditious appointment of the chairman and members of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) which are lying vacant for quite some time but even today the situation is where it was then.

The vacancies of the NCPCR chairperson who demitted office in 2014 and that of the members who completed their terms in 2013 have not been filled. The court on April 17, while referring to the government’s affidavit, said: “Absolutely, no indication has been given as to when the selection process will be or is likely to be completed. “Having disapproved of the way the “wonderful” laws, schemes and policies for the welfare of children were being implemented, the court sought details of the budgetary allocations and utilization towards Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). The court directed further hearing of the matter on October 16.

(IANS)

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Another Deadline Missed, No Draft Scheme on the Cauvery Dispute Till Now

On the expiry of the six-week deadline, the Centre sought extension of time till the completion of the electoral process in Karnata for submission of the Scheme.

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The court said that even if the Centre has not framed the scheme, Karnataka, under the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award, was obliged to make monthly releases to Tamil Nadu.
Supreme Court of India. Wikimedia commons

The Centre yet again failed to submit a draft Scheme on the Cauvery river water dispute before the Supreme Court on the ground that the Prime Minister and other ministers were campaigning in Karnataka, which Tamil Nadu flayed as “brazen partisanship”.

Seeking 10 more days to finalize the scheme, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud: “A draft scheme has been placed before the Cabinet. Because of Karnataka elections, the Prime Minister and all other Ministers are in Karnataka. Before that the Prime Minister was abroad (in China).”

It also sought response from the Centre on the steps taken by it since the pronouncing of the judgement for putting in place a scheme for implementing its order on the sharing of Cauvery water among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
Parliament of India, wikimedia commons

The Centre’s submission was countered strongly by senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, who said: “Sorry to say, the Central government is politicizing the issue. They are worried about their electoral fate in Karnataka. Election in Karnataka is on May 12 and somehow they don’t want to do it till then. We have enough of it. It is brazen partisanship of the Union of India. It is the end of co-operative federalism.”

The apex court in its February 16 judgement had directed the Centre to frame a Scheme within six months in accordance with the recommendation by the Cauvery River Water Tribunal for constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Regulatory Authority (CRA), which Karnataka opposes strongly.

On the expiry of the six-week deadline, the Centre sought extension of time till the completion of the electoral process in Karnata for submission of the Scheme. Tamil Nadu filed a contempt petition against the Centre for failure to act within the deadline.

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During Thursday’s hearing, the court directed the Karnataka government to respond on how much of the four TMC of water it can release by month end. It also sought response from the Centre on the steps taken by it since the pronouncing of the judgement for putting in place a scheme for implementing its order on the sharing of Cauvery water among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

In the course of the hearing, the court asked Karnataka to release 4 TMC of water by Monday.

The court said that even if the Centre has not framed the scheme, Karnataka, under the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award, was obliged to make monthly releases to Tamil Nadu.

The court directed the next hearing of the matter on Tuesday. (IANS)

 

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