The Supreme Court in a ruling has said that policy decision must be
left to the government as it alone can decide which policy should be
adopted. The scope of judicial interference is extremely limited in
matters of policy decisions or exercise of discretion by the government
so long as infringement of Fundamental Right is not shown, said the
apex court rejecting direction to the state of Uttar Pradesh to
reconsider its decision carving out a new district of Baghpat in 1997.
A bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat, Justice C K Thakker and Justice L S Panta said: “The policy decision must be left to the government as it alone can decide which policy should be adopted after considering all relevant aspects from different angles. In matter of policy decisions or exercise of discretion by the government so long as the infringement of Fundamental Right is not shown, courts will have no occasion to interfere and the court will not and should not substitute its own judgement for the judgement of the executive in such matters. In assessing the propriety of a decision of the government the Court cannot interfere even if a second view is possible from that of the government”.
The court said, as rightly contended by counsel for the State of UP that in matters of policy decisions, the scope of interference is extremely limited.
Justice Pasayat writing the verdict said that the cabinet’s decision was taken nearly eight years back and appears to be operative. That being so, there is no scope for directing reconsideration, as was done in Ram Milan’s case, though counsel for the respondents (Chaudhari Ran Beer Singh and others) prayed that such a direction should be given.
The Cabinet in its meeting on January 10, 2000, after discussion had decided that new districts and divisions created in 1997 shall be continued as it is and with regard to them further steps as necessary regarding placing of Ordinance/Bill be taken.
On September 15, 1997, a notification was issued under Section 11 of the UP Land Revenue Act, 1901, read with Section 21 of the Uttar Pradesh General Clauses Act, 1904. The then governor of the state had directed for the creation of a new district of Baghpat with effect from the date of publication of the notification. It was challenged in the Allahabad high court, seeking quashing of the notification and not to permit Baghpat district to continue. It was carved out from Meerut district.
Another petition was filed, challenging creation of District Sant Kabir Nagar. The division bench of the high court in 1999 delivered its verdict which is called as Ram Milan Sukla case. It quashed the notification of 1998, and directed a fresh consideration by the state government to reconsider the matter and decided whether there was any good administrative and financial grounds to issue such notification. If the state government again decides to continue Sant Kabir Nagar and other districts created by the previous government, then it must introduce a bill in the state legislature for this purpose, high court had said.
The court noted that another petition was filed in the high court challenging creation of Kausambi District. It was also decided with reference to the order passed by the high court in Ram Milan Shukla’s case.
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