Courts should not interfere in policy matters unless clearly discriminatory and arbitrary: SC

New Delhi, Feb 17 (PTI) The Supreme Court Thursday said that courts should not interfere in policy matters unless it is clearly discriminatory and arbitrary.
A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.R. Gavai said the courts should not get in the way of policy issues if it is shown that there is the application of intelligible differentia in the application of policy.
It is trite that the Courts would be slow in interfering in the policy matters unless the policy is found to be palpably discriminatory and arbitrary.
“This court would not interfere with the policy decision when the State is in a position to point out that there is intelligible differentia in the application of policy and that such intelligible differentia has a nexus with the object sought to be achieved,” the bench said.
The top court was hearing an appeal against the judgement of the division bench of the Rajasthan High Court.
The division bench had allowed the plea of the Rajasthan government which challenged the single bench order directing the state to grant bonus marks to the appellants, who have worked under the National Health Mission [NHM] Schemes and National Rural Health Mission [NRHM] Schemes in states other than Rajasthan.
The apex court said the division bench of the high court recorded a finding that Rajasthan has conducted several training programmes for the persons working with it on a contractual basis, as well as under different schemes.
The training programmes mainly pertain to the peculiar working pattern in the rural areas of the state of Rajasthan including tribal and arid zones.
The Division Bench has further come to a finding that participation in such a training is mandatory and non-joining of the same would result in non renewal of service contracts, the bench said.
The top court said it has held that persons having special knowledge in working in Rajasthan form a class different from the persons not having such experience of working in the state.
It was found that the benefit extended by the state policy was only that of giving a little more weightage on the basis of experience and all the candidates were required to undergo the rigor of the selection process.
The Division Bench has clearly held that the experienced candidates in other states cannot be compared with the candidates working in the state of Rajasthan, as every state has its own problems and issues and the persons trained to meet such circumstances, stand on a different pedestal, the bench said.
The top court said it was in complete agreement with the observations of the Division Bench.
“We find that the policy of the state of Rajasthan to restrict the benefit of bonus marks only to such employees who have worked under different organizations in the state of Rajasthan and to employees working under the NHM/NRHM schemes in the state of Rajasthan, cannot be said to be arbitrary,” the bench said.