NEW DELHI (TIP): The Supreme Court on November 7 asked the Centre to clarify its stand on the Jammu and Kashmir government’s demand to disburse Rs 44,000 crore, including blueprints, to carry out relief and rehabilitation work in floodaffected areas. A bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice A K Sikri also expressed displeasure on being informed about news reports that the ration distributed to the people was of poor quality, even as the Election Commission (EC) submitted that the Model Code of Conduct in the pollbound state would not come in the way of relief work. “Don’t treat it as adverse litigation.

Treat the people as human beings. Now for the relief and rehabilitation, you don’t have to be bothered about the Model Code of Conduct. You are supplying inferior quality ration. What citizens expect is good governance. Please don’t ask the court to monitor these things,” the bench told state government counsel. The state government counsel, however, claimed that even the Supreme Court appointed panel did not say the quality of ration was not good. However, he promised to bring the news report to the government’s notice.

The court put the matter for further consideration on November 17 on a plea by petitioner Vasundhara Pathak Masoodi, who wanted direction to the Union government to spell out its stand on the state government’s demand of Rs 44,000-crore monetary package. At the outset, advocate Amit Sharma, appearing for the poll panel, submitted that a communication was issued to the Cabinet Secretary here and the J&K Chief Secretary on November 5 stating that emergent relief work could be carried out without the approval of or reference to the EC. He said the model code of conduct code would not be any kind of obstruction.The apex court had earlier issued direction to the Centre and the state to take adequate measures, including steps to check outbreak of epidemics and supply of essential commodities, in the state.

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