The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice on a petition seeking directions from the Delhi Government to spend the entire amount allocated for Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan (SCSP) under the Budget Outlays for the financial year 2021-22 and future financial years for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes.
The petition further sought direction to Delhi Government, department for the welfare of SC/ST/OBC, Delhi Scheduled Castes Financial and Development Corporation (DSFDC), and Planning Department to ensure that the unspent funds that have been diverted in the last three years are reverted to the SCSP and are used for special schemes set up for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes.
The bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on Tuesday issued notice to all respondents including the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and fixed the matter for January 11, 2022, for hearing in the matter in detail.
Petitioner Harnam Singh, a social activist and former Chairman of Delhi Commission for Safai Karamcharis through Advocate Mehmood Pracha and Jatin Bhatt submitted that the concept of the SCSP was introduced as a part of the 6th five year Plan (1980-1985).
The SCSP envisages channelizing a minimum flow of the outlays and benefits from all sectors of development in the Annual Plans of States/UTs and Central Ministries in proportion to the Scheduled Caste population of the concerned state/UT. The State/UT Budget Outlays are approved by the Union of India only if the Budget Outlay contains a provision for allocation of funds for the SCSP.
Petitioner alleged that the statistics of the Delhi Government show that only a total of 17.92 per cent of the Budget Outlay has been spent on the welfare of SC/ST/OBC/ Minorities in 2020-21. As per the Delhi Government, the population of Scheduled Castes in Delhi is 16.9 per cent. Therefore, the expenditure mandated for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes under SCSP ought to have been a minimum of 16.9 per cent of the Budget Outlay.
The plea stated that a bare perusal of the data published in the Economic Survey and the data provided to the Petitioner under the RTI Act shows that the budget allocated for SCSP is grossly underutilized.
Petition submitted that the Delhi Government has failed to implement a web-enabled MIS in respect of the SCSP and have failed to provide the latest and relevant information/data regarding the SCSP Annual Plan on their website which contains details of outdated plans, the last one being the draft SCSP Annual Plan of 2013-14.