Analysis of the Constitutional Validity of Member of Parliament – Local Area Development (MPLAD) Scheme and Its Suspension amidst Covid-19
School Of Excellence In Law, The Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Chennai, India
Volume III, Issue IV, 2020
Members of Parliament Local Area Development – MPLAD – Scheme was introduced in India in 1993 to empower Members of Parliament of the Lok Sabha to initiate and introduce developmental measures in their constituencies with prioritizing the creation of long-lasting communal assets that were needed for the local population. Every Member of Parliament is eligible to get Rs. 5 crores annually. These funds, which are under the discretion of an MP, are to be used for fulfilling the development or basic needs of the people in his/her constituency. Although the constitutional validity of the MPLAD scheme had come into judicial scrutiny several times in the past, on several grounds, the Supreme Court of India upheld its constitutionality, by relying heavily on various case precedents, holding that the separation of powers was not strictly recognized in the Indian Constitution. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Government of India to suspend the MPLAD scheme for the next two years, on the ground that it is focusing more upon whole needs, requirements, planning, and execution on a national level rather than filling upon root requirements of remote areas. The Government’s decision to suspend the scheme, despite the political backlash, notwithstanding, the SC’s judgement, prompts the need to analyse, in-depth, the scheme, its implementation, and the legal questions surrounding it. The paper aims to discuss the aforementioned questions comprehensively.