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Karnataka Govt Seeks Time from Supreme Court for Additional Information in Plea for Drought Relief Funds

The Karnataka government has requested more time from the Supreme Court of India to submit additional information in its plea seeking the release of financial assistance from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for drought relief. Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal informed the bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta about discrepancies in the filed reply, prompting the court to list the matter for post-vacation hearing.

A month earlier, the Supreme Court had instructed the Attorney General and Solicitor General to provide instructions on the plea within two weeks. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta pointed out that the Karnataka government could have directly engaged with the Union government to address its concerns, instead of filing a petition.

The Karnataka government’s plea seeks a directive to the Ministry of Home Affairs to release financial aid from the NDRF for drought relief. It also contends that the Centre’s failure to release the funds violates the fundamental rights of the people of Karnataka under Article 21 of the Constitution. Despite severe drought conditions and a visit by an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT), the Union government has not convened a high-level committee to address the state’s requests.

The state government has sought Rs 18,171.44 crore under the NDRF, allocated towards various drought relief measures, including crop loss subsidies, drinking water provision, and cattle care. With agricultural livelihoods severely affected by crop failures and water shortages, Karnataka emphasizes the urgent need for financial assistance to mitigate the crisis.

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