Judicial AnalysisCourts Cannot Sit in Appeal Against Policy Decisions

April 29, 20160
The fine demarcation between legislation and adminsitrative functions of Government has had been indispute for years . However, it has been dealt in two leading decisoins of Supreme Court of India as below:
In Peerless General Finance & Investment Co. Ltd. v. Reserve Bank of India- (1992) 2 SCC 343, it was observed as under:
Courts are not to interfere with economic policy which is the function of experts. It is not the function of the Courts to sit in Judgment over matters of economic policy and it must necessarily be left to the expert bodies. In such matters even experts can seriously and doubtlessly differ. Courts cannot be expected to decide them without even the aid of experts.”
The much publicised political cum social issue  was also dealt with caution by Supreme Court of India  In Narmada Bachao Andolan v. Union of India- (2000) 10 SCC 664  wherein  It was held as under: .
In respect of public projects and policies which are initiated by the Government the Courts should not become an approval authority. Normally such decisions are taken by the Government after due care and consideration. In a democracy welfare of the people at large, and not merely of a small section of the society, has to be the concern of a responsible Government. If a considered policy decision has been taken, which is not in conflict with any law or is not mala fide, it will not be in Public Interest to require the Court to go into and investigate those areas which are the function of the executive.


For any project which is approved after due deliberation the Court should refrain from being asked to review the decision just because a petitioner in filing a PIL alleges that such a decision should not have been taken because an opposite view against the undertaking of the project, which view may have been considered by the Government, is possible. When two or more options or views are possible and after considering them the Government takes a policy decision it is then not the function of the Court to go into the matter afresh and, in a way, sit in appeal over such a policy decision.” (emphasis laid by this Court)

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