SC refuses to hear plea for disbursal of central funds to Tamil Nadu local bodies

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New Delhi, Oct 28 (PTI) The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to entertain a PIL seeking direction to the Centre to release grants for Tamil Madu local bodies from 2016 till date.

The plea alleged that on an average Rs 4,000 crore annual funds for local bodies in the state have not been released since 2016 by Union ministries of finance and panchayati raj, stopping of development works.

Non-disbursal of funds is premised on the ground that the elections for local bodies have not been held since 2016, the plea said.

A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian asked lawyer C R Jaya Sukin to withdraw the plea and approach the Madras High Court.

In a hearing conducted through video conferencing, the bench asked the lawyer about his 'locus standi' to raise the grievances.

On being told that it has been filed in the capacity of a citizen, the bench said, 'We all are citizens of India...If you want to go to the high court, you withdraw this. Otherwise we will dismiss it'.

'I will withdraw this with liberty to go to the High Court,' the lawyer said.

'That Petitioner filed this Writ Petition...for issuance of a writ of mandamus or... by giving direction to the Respondents No.1 and No.2 (union ministries) to release Local body funds to Tamil Nadu State from 2016 to till the date,' it said.

All such funds remain unspent and all development works are stopped for last four years in Gram Panchayats, corporations, municipalities and town panchayats of entire state, it said.

'There are a lot of issues on a daily basis that can be solved at the local level but the Union of India had not given funds, ' it said.

The plea said the since October 1, 2016, the seats in local-bodies are vacant.

'On December 6, 2019, the apex court directed the state election commission to hold the panchayats election in all levels expect nine districts,' it said. PTI ABA SJK MNL SA