The Supreme Court on Friday chided the Delhi government, saying it was not correct to offer sops and then ask someone else to pick up the tab for the losses. On Friday, the court came down heavily on this announcement saying: “Once you enter into sops and then talk of loss then we are in for difficulty.”, the top court said adding that instead of offering free rides to women, the government should ensure that the financial health of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is maintained properly and without losses. It virtually said that sops and loss claims do not go hand in hand. “On one hand it (Delhi government) is extending sops but in court it wants direction to centre to bear 50 per cent operational losses, if ever incurred in future… if you allow people to travel free then it will be a problem, if you give freebies then there will be a problem,” the court said.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta was hearing the Delhi government’s contention that the Centre must share fifty per cent of the land cost and taxes for the expansion of Delhi Metro’s Phase IV.
Justice Arun Mishra said that the court would stop all sops. “Here you talk about losses and fighting for sharing costs. You handle public money. Court is not powerless to order proper channelisation of funds… self-treated bankruptcy should not come in the way.”
In June this year, Kejriwal had announced that his government was working on a proposal to offer free rides to women in Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses, cluster buses and the Delhi Metro.
–India Legal Bureau