AAP govt seeks urgent hearing on plea seeking release of Rs 3000 crore Delhi Jal Board funds

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government on Wednesday sought an urgent hearing of its plea seeking the release of Delhi Jal Board funds worth Rs 3000 crores.

Appearing for the Delhi government, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi emphasized on the urgency of the matter and informed the bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud that the funds will lapse by March 31. He also added that the Centre has not released the funds despite the passage of the budget in the Assembly.

Senior Advocate Singhvi submitted that the government has passed the budget and the legislation, yet the Jal Board funds have not been released. He added that the Chief Justice has listed the matter on April 1 and that the court may either have a sentence that if it lapses on 31st March, then the lordships have a reversal or may put it for hearing on Friday.

Nonetheless, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud reverted that the matter will be heard on April 1. The Senior Advocate was reassured that in the event the bench rules in their favour, the lapsed fund would be reversed and any developments that take place between today and the day of the hearing would be taken into consideration by the apex court. The Chief Justice mentioned that they can always direct a reversal as it is only a financial entry for them. 

In November 2023, Delhi Minister Atishi had alleged that the Finance Department had withheld the funds for the Delhi Jal Board on the instructions of the Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar. She said that the national capital will witness a severe water crisis if the funds are not released. 

AAP leader Atishi had also said that not releasing the funds could lead to an unprecedented public health crisis as the Delhi Jal Board Contractors’ Welfare Association has threatened to stop working, if the dues are not cleared. 

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