The Supreme Court on Wednesday restrained the Andhra Pradesh government from diverting funds collected for ex-gratia compensation to families of COVID-19 victims, from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to a Personal Deposit Account [Palla Srinivasa Rao v. Union of India and ors.] .A Bench of Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathana issued notice to the State of Andhra Pradesh after observing that it is a very serious issue since such diversion and transfer of funds is not permissible under the Disaster Management Act. "The State of Andhra Pradesh is restrained from transferring the funds from SDRF to a personal deposit account and whatever is transferred, the same shall not be utilised under the Disaster Management Act," the top court ordered.The plea was filed by a former Member of Legislative Assembly, Palla Srinivasa Rao praying to restrain the State government from utilising the funds deposited under the Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Response Fund for any other purpose other than as mentioned under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and laid down by office memorandum issued by the Union of India.The plea also sought directions to the State to submit the details of funds utilised under SDRF during the COVID-pandemic..The Supreme Court has been monitoring the implementation of its October 2021 order dealing with the issue of disbursing ex-gratia assistance of ₹50,000 to next of kin of those who died due to COVID-19. ."The act of Government of Andhra Pradesh whereby the state is diverting the State Disaster Response Fund to Personal Deposit Account is not only against the law of the land but is also contemptuous in nature," the petition said. .Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal appearing for the petitioner submitted that March 12, 2022, letter by the Union Finance Ministry clearly stated that the Government of Andhra Pradesh received ₹324.15 crore as the Central Share of the State Disaster Response Fund, and ₹570.91 crore under the National Disaster Response Fund from the Government of India. "The said letter dated March 12, 2022 also mentioned that State of Andhra Pradesh has transferred the funds from State Disaster Response Fund to Personal Deposit Account without spending on immediate relief," the counsel added. Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati representing the Central government, affirmed the said letter..The matter will be next heard on April 29, 2022.