SC takes note of Centre’s inability to constitute National Disaster Mitigation Fund [Read Order]

SC takes note of Centre’s inability to constitute National Disaster Mitigation Fund [Read Order]

The Centre told the Supreme Court bench comprising justices Madan B Lokur and NV Ramana, on August 1, of its inability to comply with its direction regarding constitution of the National Disaster Mitigation Fund. The bench had directed the Centre on May 11 to constitute the Fund in terms of Section 47 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

The Additional Solicitor General, P.V.Narasimha told the bench that Section 47 has not yet been brought into force because of its non-notification. Therefore, he requested the bench to reconsider this particular direction, given in its May 11 judgment in Swaraj Abhiyan v Union of India case.

The fact that Section 47 has not yet been notified escaped the notice of both the bench and the counsel, during the hearing of the case, which resulted in the erroneous direction in the May 11 judgment.

The case dealt with the inadequate measures taken by the Centre and the State Governments to tackle the prevailing drought situation in several States.

Despite the non-constitution of the Fund, Narasimha told the bench that the Centre would inform it about the measures for mitigation of disasters including financial measures that have been taken, as mentioned in the affidavit filed by it.

The bench requested Prashant Bhushan, counsel for the petitioner, to inform the ASG couple of days before the next date of hearing on September 14, about facts and figures relating to MNREGA, the National Food Security Act, crop loss compensation and restructuring of loans.

Bhushan pointed out that effective steps have not been taken to inform ration shops under the public distribution system to comply with the directions that have been issued and there has been some lack of compliance of the directions regarding the mid-day meal scheme.

The ASG has promised to review the feedback from the petitioner, regarding non-compliance with the May 11 directions of the Supreme Court in the case.

Read the order here.