New Delhi, July 13 (IANS) The central government Friday told the Supreme Court that the procedure adopted by Bihar for implementing the MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) was within the guidelines and in no way affected its operation.
A bench of Justice D.K. Jain and Justice Madan B. Lokur was told that "no adverse effect in the implementation of MPLADS is perceived on account of procedure prescribed under the resolution", adopted by the Bihar government Nov 10, 2011.
The affidavit filed by the central government told the court that though the MPLADS was fully funded by the central government but the state governments could frame their procedure in line with the scheme for its implementation.
Under the MPLADS, every member of parliament is entitled to sanction works of public interest in his constituency to the tune of Rs.5 crore per annum.
The central government's stand was in response to a petition by the BJP Lok Sabha member Capt. Jai Narayan Prasad Nishad, challenging the procedure framed by the Bihar government for the implementation of MPLADS.
Appearing for Nishad, senior counsel Jayant Bhushan told the court that the procedure framed by the Bihar government by its resolution Nov 10, 2011, conflicted with the guidelines framed by the central government for the implementation of the scheme.
The senior counsel contended that the state government could not lay down procedure on the spending of the funds under the MPLADS for members of parliament.
The court asked him what could be his (petitioner) objection when central government had no objection to Bihar's procedure. "If the fund provider has no difficulty, how do we come in the picture," Justice Jain asked Bhushan.
Responding to the poser by the court, Bhushan argued that "it was a grant that was sanctioned by the parliament for the parliamentarians and executive (government) nod could not cure the legal infirmity created by Bihar procedure".
Pointing out that state government had laid down the procedure with the concurrence of the central government, Justice Jain told Bhushan that the court "is not a forum to decide how will it (MPLADS) be spent".
Bhushan told the court that Bihar government's procedure may veto the project proposed by the members of parliament from Bihar in their respective constituencies.
The court asked him to cite the instance where such a situation has arisen. Not ready with an instant answer, Bhushan sought some time to find some instances.
The court then adjourned the hearing for three weeks.