SC orders to transfer Delhi government advertisement funds to the RRTS project

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On November 21, 2023, the Supreme Court (SC) of India admonished the Delhi Government for failing to fulfill its commitment to allocate funds for the Regional Rapid Rail Transit System Project (RRTS Project). Moreover, the bench comprising Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, with great disappointment, ordered to transfer of the advertisement funds of the Delhi Government (AAP) for the project if they fail to do the same within a week. The order reads, “Budgetary provision is something which the state government should make, But if such national projects are to be affected, and against that, money is being spent on advertisement, we would have been inclined to direct those funds to be transferred to this project.”

During the SC proceedings, Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora, who appeared for the Delhi Government, sought one week’s time to initiate the allocation of funds for the project. To this, Justice Kaul stated “We have thus little option but to direct that funds allocation for advertisement purposes be transferred to the project in question. At the request of the learned counsel, we will keep this order in abeyance for a period of one week. If the funds are not transferred, the order will come into operation.” While hearing the matter, Justice Kaul expressed displeasure over the fact that in July 2023, the Delhi Government assured to allocate funds for the project. Earlier, the SC had given two months time to clear the due for the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS).   

Justice Kaul pointed out, “Delhi government had specifically mentioned the balance amount of Rs. 415 Crore payable by the Delhi Government and directed the government to pay the amount promptly but nothing happened.” He further remarked, “If INR 1100 crores can be spent on advertisement in the last 3 financial years, certainly, contributions can be made to infrastructure projects.” The SC passed the order based on an application filed by the National Capital Region Transport Corporation that drew attention to the fact that the Delhi government has not made any payments thus far.