State govt didn’t spend crores sanctioned for court complexes: Centre tells High Courthttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/state-govt-didnt-spend-crores-sanctioned-for-court-complexes-centre-tells-high-court/

State govt didn’t spend crores sanctioned for court complexes: Centre tells High Court

The Centre Thursday blamed the Punjab government for making “false” claims and not utilising several crores given to it for construction of court complexes in the state.

The Centre Thursday blamed the Punjab government for making “false” claims and not utilising several crores given to it for construction of court complexes in the state.

As per the Centre,from 1993 till now a total of Rs 156 crore has been released to Punjab for construction of court complexes. Accusing the Punjab government of not submitting utilisation certificates for five years,the Ministry of Law and Justice said that unless utilisation certificates are submitted,no more funds will be released to the state.

This came to fore during the hearing of a case in Punjab and Haryana High Court Thursday where appearing on behalf of the central government,Assistant Solicitor General of India,Rupinder Singh Khosla,produced a letter written by S Chatterjee to Under Secretary,Department of Home Affairs and Justice.

The letter was written in response to a claim made by Punjab that an amount of Rs 390 crore,as assured,has not been released by the Union government. A statement to this effect was made,in the shape of an affidavit by Punjab’s Chief Secretary on the last date of hearing. Dubbing the affidavit filed by Chief Secretary as “patently false and incorrect”,Khosla said the Centre is under no obligation to release funds if the state does not submit the utilisation certificate (proof that funds released for a said purpose has been utilised).

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Punjab,according to the Centre,has not submitted utilisation certificates of years 2004,2005,2009,2010,2011.

Khosla elaborated that after the state submits the utilisation certificate of a preceding year,the Centre releases funds for the current year. In the letter,the Under Secretary has explained that for the development of judicial infrastructure,a centrally-sponsored scheme (CSS) was launched in 1993.

“Punjab has been regularly provided with central assistance since inception of the scheme except for the years when utilisation certificates were not received. In fact,out of the total fund of Rs 708 crore released to the states in 2012-13,Rs 79.02 crore was for Punjab,which is more than 10 per cent of the total fund released.

“As for the current year,an amount of Rs 50 crore was released on May 10 to the state government out of Rs 151 crore available under vote on account for the first two months of the financial year,” reads the letter.

Adjourning the case for four weeks,the court directed the Centre to file an affidavit.