Karnataka

12 years on, Karnataka yet to frame rules to enforce disaster management law

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This makes out a case for issuing directions to the govt.: HC

Observing that the State government did not find time in the past 12 years to prepare a disaster management plan, which includes measures to be adopted for prevention and mitigation of disasters, the High Court of Karnataka on Thursday indicated that the present situation prima facie makes out a case for issuing directions to the State to frame rules for implementing the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S.R. Krishna Kumar made these observation in its order after noticing that the government was yet to frame rules for implementing the Act even 12 years after the enforcement of the Act. The Bench noted that majority of the provisions of the Act came into force by 2007.

Stating that normally the courts would not issue writ of mandamus to the State to frame the rules but such directions are issued in exceptional cases when the the legislative enactments are rendered ineffective for not framing of the rules, the Bench said the present instance in the State, prima facie, is one such exceptional case.

The Bench made these observations after the Advocate-General admitted that the State had not yet framed the rules under the Act. The Bench was hearing public interest litigation petitions related to management of cattle during drought and failure of the State to enforce the Act.

Pointing out that though it is stated in an affidavit filed by the government that the State Disaster Management Plan for 2019–20 had been prepared but not yet approved by the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), the Bench said the Act had no provision for preparation of the plan annually as it only stipulates review and update of the plan. The affidavit only indicates the failure of the State to implement the Act, the Bench observed.

The Bench directed the government submit by November 27 details of the formation of the SDMA, the State Advisory Committee, details of meetings conducted and decisions taken by these bodies, and actions taken to enforce various provisions of the Act.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 12:04:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/12-years-on-karnataka-yet-to-frame-rules-to-enforce-disaster-management-law/article29790439.ece

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