3 July 2023 9:15 AM GMT
The Supreme Court, on Monday, directed the Delhi Government to file an affidavit within two weeks disclosing the funds used for advertisements in the last three financial years.A Bench comprising Justice SK Kaul and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia passed such an order on being apprised that the Delhi Government is not making contribution towards the RRTS Project (Regional Rapid Transit System) due...
The Supreme Court, on Monday, directed the Delhi Government to file an affidavit within two weeks disclosing the funds used for advertisements in the last three financial years.
A Bench comprising Justice SK Kaul and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia passed such an order on being apprised that the Delhi Government is not making contribution towards the RRTS Project (Regional Rapid Transit System) due to budgetary constraints.
“The Delhi State Government has expressed its inability to contribute the funds for the project. Since paucity of funds seems to be an impediment in the project on behalf of NCT of Delhi, we call upon the NCT of Delhi to file an affidavit setting forth the funds utilised for advertisements by the State Government as the project is of considerable importance. Details be furnished for the last three financial years", the Bench ordered. The order was passed while hearing the MC Mehta batch of cases relating to environmental issues.
The Bench was informed that the Delhi Government is not ready to contribute towards the project, particularly towards the Delhi-Alwar and Delhi-Panipat corridors. It was beseeched to send the matter to the Commission appointed in this regard so that a decision can be taken. One of the Counsels appearing in the matter submitted that the Delhi Government has taken a similar stand and refrained from releasing funds towards the Delhi-Meerut corridor.
The Counsel appearing on behalf of the Delhi Government submitted, “In December, 2020 itself the DG had informed NCRTC. They conveyed their in principle approval…They also expressed their inability to provide their share of the funds.”
Justice Kaul enquired, “Why?”
The Counsel responded, “Because of lack of funds. That was the cabinet decision”.
Justice Kaul indicated that, if required, the Court would pass orders to divert funds utilised for advertisement towards the project. “Let us check what funds you have been spending...We will say that all funds for advertisement will be diverted … Do you want that kind of order?”, he said.
The Counsel for the State submitted, “In 2020 we communicated that there aren't any funds available with us. The position has worsened due to COVID. The GST compensation provided by the Centre has also been stopped since the last financial year. Therefore there are no finances available.”
She added, “It (contribution) is upwards of INR 5000 crores.”
Justice Kaul said, “Is it required at one go? Let us see how much you spend for other things. This is a development project. Though financial aspects we leave to the State Government but for a project of this nature when you say no funds we want to know how much you have spent on something like an advertisement. Making a project is also an advertisement that you are doing something.”
Case : MC Mehta v. UoI And Ors. WP(C) No. 13029/1985 PIL
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