Is Gujarat not part of India? SC raps state on food scheme

Is Gujarat not part of India?  SC raps state on food scheme
The Supreme Court pulled up Gujarat and others states for not implementing welfare legislation of the National Food Security Act, questioning why they had failed to comply with provisions of the law passed by Parliament.

“What is Parliament doing? Is Gujarat not a part of India? You want to break away? The Act says it extends to whole of India and Gujarat is not implementing it. Tomorrow, (a state) can say that it is not going to implement the CrPC, IPC and the Evidence Act,” a bench presided over by Justice Madan B Lokur said.

The bench, also comprising Justice R K Agrawal, asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, to collect and collate information from drought-hit states on the status of welfare schemes like MGNREGS, National Food Security and midday meal.

The court asked the Centre to file an affidavit by February 10 and posted the matter for further hearing two days thereafter.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO Swaraj Abhiyan, sought direction for providing minimum food like pulses, edible oil, milk and eggs per month as guaranteed under the National Food Security Act and the implementation of MGNREGS for providing minimum days of employment.

Advocate Hemantika Wahi, appearing for the Gujarat, submitted that the state was in the final stage of implementing the law.

Kumar, on his part, said the Centre can act as nodal agency but the work relating to implementation has to be performed by the states only.

He had earlier claimed that funds to the tune of over Rs 1,500 crore, Rs 1,276 crore, Rs 2,032 crore, Rs 3,044 crore have been made available to Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, respectively. He had claimed that for 2015-20, a total fund of Rs 61,291 crore has been earmarked to provide relief to the states which may be hit by disasters.

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