SC asks UP, Haryana to ensure supply of essential commodities

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the governments of UP and Haryana to ensure supply of water and essential commodities to Delhi in the wake of the threats by Jats demanding quota in central jobs.

The apex court also directed the two state and the Rajasthan government to ensure that supply and transportation of petroleum products from Mathura and Panipat oil refineries to the national capital should not be affected in any manner.

The directions were given by a bench comprising justices Altamas Kabir and Dalveer Bhandari which held a hearing despite it being a holiday in the Supreme Court.

Two urgent petitions had been filed by the Delhi Jal Board and the Indian Oil Corporation in the wake of threats by Jats to block movement of essential commodities to Delhi.

Advocate Najmi Wajiri, standing counsel for Delhi government appeared for both DJB and IOC and apprised the court about the difficulties arising out of the agitation.

The bench, in its order, said, "The agitation should not interrupt the supply of water and essential commodities including milk and milk products. Essential commodities reaching Delhi either by road or railways should not be stopped. It is needless to say that the state governments shall take every necessary step in this regard."

It said these directions to the states concerned will not prevent them from asking help from Central authorities to implement the order.

"We are also directing the respondent (Government of UP, Haryana and Rajasthan) that they will ensure that the oil refineries of Panipat and Mathura are not affected and the supply and transportation of petroleum products either through pipelines or road and railways is not affected," it said.

The bench further said it was passing the order despite the reported statements of the Chief Ministers of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh indicating support to the agitation.

"We are constrained to pass the order having regard to the statements made by the highest functionary of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh indicating support to the agitation," the bench said.

The bench said the copy of the order passed in the matter of Delhi Jal Board should be given immediately to the Chief Secretaries of Uttar Pradesh and the Haryana as well as the Resident Commissioners of the two states in Delhi. The copy of the order shall also be given to the standing counsel of the two states, it said.

The bench issued notices to the government of Haryana and UP and posted the matter for hearing after two weeks.