Chennai: In a major setback to the Tamil Nadu government, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered the transfer to itself of a case against the freebies announced by the AIADMK government that was in the Madras High Court.
The case was filed by city-based advocate S Subramaniam Balaji.
The court has fixed the next hearing for November 15 when it would hear the AIADMK freebie case along with Balaji`s appeal against the decision of the Madurai bench of Madras High Court in the case against the then DMK government`s free colour television (CTV) distribution.
Balaji said that the court disagreed with the contention of the state government that the case against the AIADMK government`s freebie scheme could be argued in the high court.
"Similarly the court did not agree with the Tamil Nadu government`s argument that the CTV case has become infructuous as the AIADMK government had scrapped it soon after it came to power," Balaji said.
On September 15, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa implemented AIADMK`s electoral promise by giving away cattle, consumer durables and laptops to the poor.
Speaking at the launch at a school in Kakkalur in Thiruvallur district, around 50 km from Chennai, she said that her government`s welfare schemes should not be belittled as "doles" or "freebies".
These, she insisted, were designed to battle poverty in rural areas.
Without mentioning Balaji`s name she said: "Some have gone to the Supreme Court demeaning the welfare schemes as freebies."
Balaji, the lone warrior against the DMK and AIADMK freebie schemes, added: "The latest development is a major setback for the state government. The government`s freebie scheme has come under Supreme Court`s scanner quickly. My case against the DMK government`s CTV scheme took several years to come to the apex court."