In light of the floods that have ravaged the State of Kerala, Binoy Viswam, Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala and Communist Party of India (CPI) leader, has moved the Supreme Court requesting that foreign aid offered be accepted in accordance with the provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005, National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009 and National Disaster Management Plan, 2016..The petition filed through advocates Sriram Parakkat and Sarath Janardhanan states that in light of the unprecedented flood situation in Kerala which caused losses worth almost Rs 21,000 Crores, the Kerala government had requested the Government of India for an immediate release of Rs 2000 Crores. However, only a fraction of that amount was released..The petition states that a total of Rs. 600 Crores has been released by the Centre till now for Kerala flood relief. Another Rs 200 Crores was donated by other States in addition to the funds given by individuals including Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)..Considering the losses suffered by the State, it will take Kerala years to get back on it “path of glory” again, the petition states..As per the petition, there is a deep bond between Kerala and UAE, where 50 per cent of the NRIs belong to Kerala. In light of this deep bond, UAE government offered to contribute Rs. 700 Crores for Kerala. Even countries like Qatar, Thailand, and the Maldives offered to make contributions for the relief aid. The State does not have enough natural resources, industries or funds from the Union government to manage rehabilitation work on its own..However, the Centre has refused to accept foreign funding for the purpose of relief aid citing “unwritten policy which is said to have been followed from 2004, whereby the country does not accept foreign aid towards disaster funds until its necessary.”.The petition claims that this policy is inconsistent with the provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005, National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009 and National Disaster Management Plan, 2016 and amounts to a violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India..It is stated that the Disaster Management Act provides for an initial assessment of damage caused which has not been done in Kerala’s case. Without conducting the initial assessment of the disaster, the denial of foreign aid by the Centre is arbitrary, the petition avers..Viswam’s petition submits that the policy allows for denial of foreign aid when the disaster can be managed using domestic funds but the outright denial of such foreign aid by the Centre without even as much as assessing the loss is inconsistent with the policy..“That the central government did not hold any consultation with the state of Kerala. The said decision of the Central Government is arbitrary and without ascertaining the financial status of the state and is in violation of Article 14 and 21 guaranteed by the Constitution to the people of Kerala”, reads the petition..Terming this instant decision of the Centre to reject foreign aid as “arbitrary”, the petition clarifies that petitioner is not challenging any policy decision but only the implementation of the same in this specific case..“The petition instead challenges arbitrariness in implementation of the policy without taking the steps provided for under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009 and the National Disaster Management Plan, 2016.”. The only prayer made by the petitioner, in this case, is for the Court to direct the Government of India to accept funds from foreign governments and international organisations in accordance with the provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005, National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009 and National Disaster Management Plan, 2016..Image taken from here.