SC asks J&K for status report on Committee constituted by SC for relief to flood victims

A division bench of the Supreme Court headed by Mr. Justice Madan B. Lokur today directed the Advocate-General of J&K Govt. to provide status report to the court regarding the distribution of relief to the flood victims in J&K. Supreme Court was hearing a writ petition filed by J&K National Panthers Party and others for the distribution of equitable relief in cash and kind to the victims of floods and rain in Jammu and Kashmir in September, 2014.

Prof.Bhim Singh, Sr. Advocate appearing for JKNPP submitted that the Supreme Court on 24thSeptember, 2014 constituted a Special Five-Member Committee to monitor the distribution of relief to the floods and rain victims all over the state. The committee comprising of the Senior Registrar of the High Court (Convenor), Secretary, Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Govt. of J&K, a nominee of the Union of India besides President, J&K High Court Bar Association at Srinagar and President, J&K High Court Bar Association at Jammu was appointed as the Members of the Special Committee. The Committee was directed to submit its interim report within four weeks. The committee submitted its report on 09.10.2014. The four members of the committee signed the report except the Revenue and Rehabilitation Secretary of J&K Govt. Mr. Vinod Koul. Prof.Bhim Singh further submitted that Mr. Koul in his decision not to sign the report remarked in writing that, “More than 95% of the affected areas were yet to be covered as such”. He had further stated that the Committee required sufficient time for visiting the other affected areas to ascertain the factual position. He had prayed for extension in time”.

Prof.Bhim Singh strongly argued that the committee was to monitor the relief and rehabilitation programmes of the State Govt. He strongly objected that State Disaster Management Authority has not been constituted and if any floated formerly was not engaged in the process of distribution of relief or verify claims and counter claims. He charged the Govt. of J&K for misusing Central aid for their political interest ignoring thousands of affected farmers and others. He urged the court to ask the committee to submit its comprehensive report regarding distribution or fixation of relief to the floods and rain victims.

Supreme Court granted four weeks to the Govt. of J&K to file its status report.

Prof.Bhim Singh was assisted by Mr. B.S. Billowria, Mr. D.K. Garg, Mr. S. K. Bandopadhyay, Advocates.