Thursday, May 6, 2010

The MPLAD scheme, it is not illegal - SC

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the constitutional validity of the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) saying it was for public purpose.

The bench said that improvement can be made in the working of the MPLAD scheme, but it is not illegal.

Under MPLAD scheme, members of Parliament are allocated Rs two crore annually for development of their constituencies.

"We hold that the MPLAD scheme is valid," a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said in an unanimous verdict.

"There is no reason for us to interfere in the scheme," the bench also comprising Justices R V Raveendran, D K Jain, P Sathasivam and J M Panchal said.

The bench said the mere allegations that the funds are prone to be misused cannot be a ground for scrapping the scheme.

It said that both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have standing committees to monitor the scheme and there are various levels of accountability for its implementation.

The apex court said that the scheme has benefited the local area development by way of providing water, electricity, infrastructure, library and sports facilities.

It rejected the contention of the opponents of the scheme that it gives an unfair advantage to the sitting MPs against their political rivals.

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