A Division Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court comprising Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice D.V.S.S. Somayajulu has directed the State government to file a counter in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by TDP leader G.V. Reddy against its alleged action of not constituting the 5th State Finance Commission (SFC) even after the expiry of five-year term of the 4th SFC, in eight weeks.
In the petition, Mr. Reddy contended that because of the government’s inaction, funds due to the local self-governments were not being disbursed in a proper manner, which affected their performance.
The net result was that these local governments were unable to realise the goals set under the 73 rd and 74 th Constitutional amendments and Article 40 of the Constitution of India.
It was mentioned in the PIL submitted by the petitioner’s advocate Umesh Chandra P.V.G. that the government was mandated to constitute the State Finance Commission every five years.
Drawing of principles that govern the devolution of funds to local self-governments and reviewing their financial position for the sake of making recommendations to the Governor on the said devolution (of funds) are the main functions of the State Finance Commission.
The term of the 4th SFC came to an end in 2020, but the 5th SFC has not yet been constituted which, Mr. Umesh Chandra said, is in violation of Article 243(I) and the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments.