Daily News Analysis » April 2024 » SC shares rising Concern on State’s Grievances against Appeal: 15 April 2024

SC shares rising Concern on State’s Grievances against Appeal: 15 April 2024

Why in News:

  • The Supreme Court of India has raised concerns regarding the increasing number of cases where states are compelled to appeal against the Central government.

Instances of State Grievances:

  • Tamil Nadu: The state has accused the Centre of withholding disaster relief funds amounting to nearly Rs. 38,000 crore, claiming this neglects the state’s needs.
  • Kerala: Kerala has taken its grievance to the Supreme Court, arguing that the Centre’s restrictions on its borrowing limit (set at 3% of its projected Gross State Domestic Product for 2023-24) are pushing it towards a financial emergency.
  • Karnataka: Has been waiting six months for a response on its request for ₹18,171.44 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to combat a humanitarian crisis due to severe drought and shortfall in rainfall. The state contends that this delay violates both the Disaster Management Act, of 2005 and constitutional rights, including the right to equality and the right to life.

Constitutional Provisions on States’ Borrowing and Dispute Resolution:

  • Article 293: Outlines the state’s power to borrow within India, subject to the conditions that the borrowing must be secured against the state’s Consolidated Fund. States require the Centre’s consent to raise loans if they have any outstanding loans from the Centre, and this consent may come with conditions.
  • Article 131: Establishes the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction to directly hear disputes between the Centre and states, or among states themselves, acting as a judicial referee in such disagreements.

Significance of the SC’s Concern: 

  • The Supreme Court’s observation highlights the growing friction between state governments and the Centre, pointing to potential systemic issues in federal governance and financial management.