The Supreme Court on Wednesday cautioned the judiciary from behaving as a super legislative body and said courts must not interfere in cabinet decisions related to policy matters.
A bench of justice P Sathasivam and justice BS Chauhan set aside Himachal Pradesh order that had quashed the state cabinet’s decision to frame guidelines for education policy.
It said: “We are satisfied that the HC was not justified in interfering with the cabinet decision which was not the issue or challenge in the petition.”
The SC said courts “do not substitute their views in the decision of government with regard to policy matters.” The bench further said if a policy is challenged before a court, the latter must refuse to sit as an appellate authority to weigh the wisdom of legislation, unless it runs counter to the mandate of the Constitution.
“With regard to the importance of human resources, especially manpower requirement in various professional and technical fields, the government is free to frame its policy, alter or modify the same as to the needs of the society. In such matters, the courts cannot interfere lightly as if the government is unaware of the situation,” the bench said.
The SC passed the order on an appeal by the state government challenging the high court order that had set aside a cabinet decision restraining private education institutes from running the course in three streams — Art & Craft, Library Science and Physical Training —on the ground that those were no longer relevant in modern day context. The HC order came on a petition by private institutes.
Quashing the HC judgment, the SC said government was best suited to frame a policy. “The high court has lost sight of the fact that education is a dynamic system and courses have to keep changing with regard to market demand, employability potential, availability of infrastructure.”