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Court Can’t Replace Policy”: HC Dismisses With Costs PIL Challenging Delhi Govt.’s “Freebie Policy” Of Electricity, Water Subsidies [Read Judgment]

By on May 26, 2021

first_imgNews UpdatesCourt Can’t Replace Policy”: HC Dismisses With Costs PIL Challenging Delhi Govt.’s “Freebie Policy” Of Electricity, Water Subsidies [Read Judgment] Mehal Jain30 July 2020 5:54 AMShare This – xThe Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed with costs a PIL challenging the Delhi government’s grant of electricity and water concessions, and other “freebie policies”, to the residents in the NCT. The plea sought the removal of all subsidies “delivered at door step for people without any specific disability, liability, restriction, or condition”, urging that such a scheme will “damage…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed with costs a PIL challenging the Delhi government’s grant of electricity and water concessions, and other “freebie policies”, to the residents in the NCT. The plea sought the removal of all subsidies “delivered at door step for people without any specific disability, liability, restriction, or condition”, urging that such a scheme will “damage the welfare state”, causing “irreparable loss and injury to society and nation”. The petition also sought a direction to not make such “freebie policies”. The petitioner submitted that the respondents are giving several subsidies at the door steps of the people without any specific disability, liability, restrictions or conditions. According to the petitioner, this is contrary to the objective of establishing a welfare state. By way of example, it was submitted by the petitioner that electricity subsidy is being granted to all persons. The petitioner further submitted that similarly, water subsidy is also being given by the respondents to all. The main contention of the petitioner was that there is no need to give all these subsidies to all the people at large, and the resources which are saved ought to be used for other beneficial purposes. “It appears that providing water and electricity facilities at a concessional rate, are purely policy decisions taken by the concerned Governments”, observed the CJ-led bench. The bench also comprising Justice Prateek Jalan noted that the Court is not inclined to replace the State policy, and that “the Courts cannot replace any policy even if it regards a different policy to be a better policy”. The division bench reiterated that a policy decision of the government cannot be interdicted by the writ court in the absence of a finding of unconstitutionality, illegality or mala fides, and that the petitioner has failed to make out any of these grounds, or to demonstrate any manifest arbitrariness on the part of the executive. “Water and electricity concessions are given by the respondents as per their policy decisions based upon application of facts and situations prevailing in the particular society”, said the Court, adding that the policy decision is always based upon the “priorities of the executive, elected by the people”. The bench proceeded to state that “the Government cannot run at the desire of a person”. Stating that bare assertions have no value in the eyes of law and that assertions are required to be supported by cogent materials and the alleged illegality has to be made out, the bench reiterated that otherwise, the Courts will be extremely slow in interfering with the policy decision. “Accordingly, the petition is dismissed with costs of Rs.25,000/- to be paid by the petitioner to the Delhi State Legal Service Authority within four weeks from today. The aforesaid amount shall be utilized for the programme „Access to Justice‟”, directed the Court.Click Here To Download Judgment[Read Judgment]Next Storylast_img read more

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