Asia & Australia

January 25, 2017

Court Should Not Interfere In Decisions Of Govt’s Policy: SC


The Supreme Court is setting up the limits on judiciary to review government's policy decisions, by saying that the policy decision should not be open to judicial review if it passes the test of reasonableness.

The Judgement of Delhi High Court and Madras High Court has been quashed by the Supreme Court bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Ashok Bhushan.

The HCs Judgement which had set aside Centre's decision not to increase the number of attempts for physically handicapped candidates belonging to OBC while number of attempts for physically handicapped belonging to General Category was increased from 4 to 7 in 2007 Civil Services Examination.

The Supreme Court said that there was nothing arbitrary in the decision taken by the Centre and Delhi High Court and Madras High Court should have not interfered with it.

The bench said that "It is not in the domain of the courts to embark upon an inquiry as to whether a particular public policy is wise and acceptable or whether better policy could be evolved. The Court can only interfere if the policy framed is absolutely capricious and non-informed by reasons, or totally arbitrary, offending the basic requirement of the Article 14 of the Constitution."It also said that “it was for the government to decide on how and in what manner the reservations should be made and such a policy decision normally would not be open to challenge subject to its passing the test of reasonableness.”

"There is one more reason due to which we are unable to subscribe to the view taken by the Madras HC and Delhi HC. The horizontal reservation and relaxation for Physically Handicapped Category candidates for Civil Services Examination, is a matter of governmental policy and the government after considering the relevant materials have extended relaxation and concessions to the Physically Handicapped candidates belonging to the Reserved Category as well as General Category," the court said.

"We, therefore, come to the conclusion that the view taken by both the Madras HC and the Delhi HC that increasing the number of attempts for Physically Handicapped candidates belonging to General Category from 4 to 7 w.e.f. the 2007 Examination and not proportionally increasing the number of attempts for Physically Handicapped candidates belonging to OBC Category from 7 to 10, is discriminatory and arbitrary, is unsustainable," the court said.

The Delhi High Court and Madras High Court had passed the order on a pleas of physically handicapped persons belonging to OBC who had contended that number of attempts for them should be increased proportionally from 7 to 10 after number of attempts for general category students was increased from 4 to 7.

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