HC notice to government on free smartphone scheme. In the petition it was called political interest; Court sought reply by October 5
jodhpur7 hours ago
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Jodhpur High Court has sought reply from the state government by October 5 on the ambitious Indira Gandhi Smartphone Guarantee Card Scheme of the Rajasthan Government. The High Court issued a notice on Tuesday while hearing a PIL.
Petitioner advocate Mudit Nagpal challenged the order dated August 21, 2023 of the Planning Department in the main bench of Rajasthan High Court.
In the Chief Minister’s speech on Independence Day, guidelines were given regarding giving smartphone guarantee card with internet connectivity to the female heads of one crore Chiranjeevi card holding families. The hearing of the petition took place on Tuesday in the division bench of Justice Vijay Bishnoi and Justice Yogendra Kumar Purohit.
Senior advocate Vikas Balia and advocate Sanjeet Purohit appeared on behalf of the petitioner.
Jodhpur High Court has sought reply from the state government by October 5. The High Court issued a notice on Tuesday while hearing a PIL.
Argument in the petition – Not a welfare activity
Advocates argued that the Indira Gandhi Smartphone Scheme launched by the Rajasthan government cannot be called a welfare activity of the state. The objectives and implementation of the scheme clearly show that it does not meet the test of reasonableness and proportionality. This is a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
In the order, it is proposed to distribute guarantee cards given by the state government to one crore women heads of families of Chiranjeevi card holders. This commitment of the government will have a huge financial impact on the state economy and the state government budget. Which has neither been approved in the State Budget and Appropriation Act nor was any financial approval taken before the announcement.
The order of the Planning Department is not only beyond its jurisdiction, but is also contrary to the provisions of the Rajasthan Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2005 and the Medium Term Fiscal Policy Statement issued by the Government of Rajasthan for the year 2023-24.
Attempt to distribute without assembly approval
The petition argued that this guarantee card scheme could increase direct liability on the government by trying to distribute them without any approval of the state assembly. The Rajasthan government has proposed to issue such guarantee cards to all the women heads of families holding one crore Chiranjeevi cards, who do not necessarily belong to the deprived or backward sections of the society.
It was argued in the debate that the economic and financial condition of the state government is not good and the state is already facing a huge fiscal deficit.
Thus, it has been announced to distribute Smartphone Guarantee Card irrespective of the social and economic background of the families of such Chiranjeevi card holders. This is going to put a huge fiscal burden on the state treasury.
planning political agenda
The petition said- The way the public announcement has been made by the Chief Minister in the Independence Day program and the way the present government is trying to publicize the said scheme of Smartphone Guarantee Card, it clearly has an underlying political agenda. It reflects.
It was pointed out in the debate that it is clear from the statements and figures published by the Reserve Bank of India that the economic and financial condition of the government is not good and is already facing a huge fiscal deficit. In such a weak economic and financial situation, the Government has announced to incur huge liability through the said Guarantee Card Scheme at the cost of the hard-earned money of the taxpayers, to achieve its own indirect and extraneous objectives.