New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday favoured relaxation of model code of conduct in poll-bound Jammu and Kashmir to remove any hindrance in government's relief and rehabilitation work following devastation by floods recently.
A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu asked the Election Commission to respond to the issues and questioned why political parties did not approach the Commission for postponement of elections in view of prevailing situation when life has allegedly not come to normal.
"Notification has been issued and now hands are tied. All parties should have approached the Election Commission asking for postponement of elections. You could have said that people are still suffering and elections be postponed," the bench observed.
The court made the observations when J and Kashmir National Panthers Party Bhim Singh submitted that the model code of conduct was coming in the way of relief work and the tragedy should be declared as National Disaster.
"We would asked Election Commission to allow distribution of materials by relaxing model code of conduct," the bench said asking the petitioners to make the EC a party in the case. The bench is concerned about the state.
It also raised the question about the ongoing relief and rehabilitation work in the state after going through a report filed by a committee appointed by it.
"There is noting like convincing. You take care of people is all that we are saying. You should really feel bad about performance," the bench told the state government.
The committee, in its report, said people in many affected areas had not got any relief from government side so far.
It said that relief was not being properly and equitably distributed in some districts, particularly in Srinagar, Udhampur and Rajouri.
The committee also alleged that there was lack of sufficient number of doctors in the state and adequate number of medical practitioners be sent from AIIMS, PGI Changarh and other hospitals to affected areas.
"The state seems to have asked the Centre not to send any team, while nothing much is being done to take care of countless silent sufferers caused by this calamity," the report said.
The apex court had on September 24 had appointed a five-member committee headed by Senior Registrar of Jammu and Kashmir High Court to ascertain the ground situation of the flood-affected state.