Hyderabad: Refusing to issue immediate directions to the state government on spending public money to make arrangements for the distribution of fish prasadam, the Telangana High Court asked a petitioner how providing facilities for a large gathering of people at the event could be considered waste of public money.
The court directed the state government to reply by June 7 to the points raised in the petition regarding the basis on which it was spending huge amounts without legal sanction. A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Raghavender Singh Chauhan and Justice Shameem Akhter was dealing with a PIL filed by Balala Hakkula Sangham, an NGO, which sought directions to the government not to make arrangements by spending huge amounts of money for the fish prasadam programme which will be organised by the Bathini Mrigasira Trust.
Mr C. Damodar Reddy, counsel for the petitioner, said the event would be organised by a private trust at Exhibition Ground on June 8 and 9 to distribute fish prasadam. The government had instructed its official machinery to make arrangements at the venue for the programme which would be attended by up to four lakh people, without any legal sanction for the money that would be spent for the purpose.
Mr Damodar Reddy said that in 2013 the Lok Ayukta had restrained the then united AP government from spending money on the event. The Lok Ayukta had directed the fisheries department not to supply murrel fingerlings for the distribution of fish prasadam. The ACJ observed that it is the duty of the state to provide basic facilities and look after the welfare of the people during such programmes because if something goes wrong then the victims would rush to the courts seeking compensation, jobs for the kith and kin of the deceased and other relief.
“If the government restrains itself from arranging minimum basic facilities... to the people attending such programmes, then the people will be hit,” the ACJ said....