Supreme Court on Thursday rapped the central government after its legal representative Pinki Anand arrived at the court late for the hearing on drought in several states in India.
As the hearing was to commence, Additional Solicitor General Anand’s junior sought ‘one week time’ as she was not unavailable.
To which the court asked, “How many law officers do you (Centre) have?”
Slamming the functioning of the central government, the apex court said, “Hum log bethte rahe aur ghadi dekhte rahe. Aap bataiye hum kya kare aur kyu? Kya humara kaam bethe rehna hai aur ghadi dekhte rehna hai. Legal process follow karna zaruri hai. (We remain seated looking at the clock. You tell us what we should do and why? Is our job now to remain seated and stare at the clock? Legal process must be followed.”
The court also pulled up Gujarat government for the delay in declaring drought in the state.
The apex court said, “When situation was clear in September that there could be drought, why did you wait till April 1 to declare drought?”
Gujarat government, replied saying that the the delay in declaring drought was due to local polls.
To which the Supreme Court asked, “Will all work stop if there are elections? ”
The apex court also pulled up another BJP-led government of Haryana by saying, “Is this seriousness that you show on this (drought) issue? We are talking about people who are dying, not tourists.”
In February too, the Supreme Court had criticised the Gujarat government and the Centre for not implementing National Food Security Act properly.
The apex court had directed the Centre to furnish detail of how the states of Gujarat, Haryana and Bihar were implementing ‘drought management schemes, if any.’
“What is Parliament doing? Is Gujarat not a part of India? The Act says it extends to whole of India and Gujarat is not implementing it. Tomorrow somebody can say that it is not going to implement the CrPC, IPC and the Evidence Act,” a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur said.