Show ‘some seriousness’: Centre draws SC ire over drought situation
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today slammed the Centre for its “non-serious approach” towards the drought situation prevailing in several states across India.
Furious over the Centre's lawyer arriving late for a hearing on the matter, the top court asked the Centre to show ‘some seriousness’ as several states in the country are reeling under severe drought condition.
"Show some seriousness...are we useless?" the SC bench rebuked as the Centre requested more time saying the Additional Solicitor General was busy in another courtroom.
"Is this like cattle or something? Go here, go there. This is not your priority? Two judges are sitting here. You expect us to do nothing and just keep looking at the watch waiting for time to pass?" the judges questioned angrily.
The court was hearing a petition by Swaraj Abhiyaan leader Yogendra Yadav which asked for relief for farmers at a time 10 states have declared drought.
The PIL has alleged that parts of the 12 states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana and Chattisgarh were hit by drought and the authorities were not providing adequate relief.
The Supreme Court had on Wednesday slammed the Centre on inaction in drought-hit areas. The court said nine states are facing drought and the government cannot turn a blind eye. The petition on drought and government's alleged apathy was filed by Swaraj Abhiyan seeking extra effort and free food for the poor in the affected states.
Several regions of India are battling drought and many farmers have committed suicide after their crops failed.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu today said, "Is drought in our hands? It will rain when God wishes. If it rains it is good, otherwise we will do what we have to. The state recommends compensation and we release funds, it is a continuous process."