NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions to scrap the subsidies on electricity and water bills provided to the residents of Delhi without any specific disability, restriction, or condition.
Observing that government policies can't be decided in court, a division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan dismissed the petition and imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on the petitioner.
"Government policies can't be decided in court. We see no reason to entertain this plea and we are not inclined to alter the government's decision to provide several services to the public in concessional rates," the bench said.
The petition, filed by Shailender Singh, sought directions to the Delhi government to not make such freebie policies for people as these policies are in violation of the provision of the welfare state in the Constitution and infringement of fundamental right to live and equality.
The plea said that government policy in this regard is discrimination between people of India and infringement of fundamental right of equality as this scheme of the subsidy do not qualify under special power to the state to enact a scheme for fulfilling the condition of disability, liability, restriction or condition of people.
This is clear that this policy is politically motivated, in which free and subsidy units of electricity further increased during the Delhi election of 2019, the plea said.
It said that there are so much of work need to be completed to address problems in Delhi including pollution, traffic issue, health and sanitation, education.
However, respondents have no interest in making fund available to projects which indirectly benefit people in the long term like clean air, educational institutes and facilities, it said.
It said that the state is responsible to make a welfare state where people need to be encouraged to do work and participate in the growth of the nation rather than making addiction to freebie politics.
"In view of the facts and circumstances enumerated hereinabove, it is expedient in the interest of justice that this court may very kindly be pleased to issue mandamus- commanding respondent to remove all freebie policy and scheme which are given to the general public, and focus on improvement along with building infrastructure and services to have a welfare state," the plea said.