The Supreme Court of India has today lashed out at Gujarat and few other state governments for not implementing welfare acts like the National Food Security Act.
“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.
The bench also came heavily on the counsel appearing for Gujarat by saying that, “You want to break away from India. Law was passed by Parliament but the state is not implementing the law. How can a state say that it won’t implement the law. Tomorrow other state would say that it won’t follow IPC, CrPC.”
The court was hearing a PIL by the NGO Swaraj Abhiyan, run by Yogendra Yadav and others, who had sought the implementation of the NFSA which guarantees 5 kg of food grains per person per month. The plea also sought directives from the authorities to provide pulses and edible oil to the drought affected families and, egg and milk to the school going kids under the mid day meal scheme.
The PIL alleged that states like Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana and Chattisgarh have been hit by drought and the authorities were not providing adequate relief.
Replying to the bench, Gujarat’s Counsel Hemantika Wahai informed that the state is at the final stage of implementation of the law.
The bench also asked the Centre to collect and collate information from drought-hit states on the status of welfare schemes like MGNREGA, National Food Security and mid-day meal. The centre was also asked to file the affidavit by February 10 and posted the matter for further hearing two days thereafter.