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Supreme Court to hear Tamil Nadu’s freebie case


Chennai : In a major setback to the Tamil Nadu government, the Supreme Court 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 Nov 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 told IANS over phone from New Delhi 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 Sep 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.”