Unchartered Ocean of Policy Decision II

Court will not debate academic matters or concern itself with intricacies of trade and commerce. Legislature should be allowed some play in the joints, because it has to deal with complex problems which do not admit of solution through any doctrinaire or strait­jacket formula and this is particularly true in case of legislation dealing with economic matters. This Court in State of M.P. v. Nandlal Jaiswal, (1986) 4 SCC 566 has observed, Government, as laid down in Permian Basin Area Rate Cases, 20 L Ed (2d) 312, is entitled to make pragmatic adjustments which may be called for by particular circumstances. Court cannot strike down a policy decision taken by State Government merely because it feels another policy decision would have been fairer or wiser or more scientific or logical. Court can interfere only if the policy decision is patently arbitrary, discriminatory or mala fide. BALCO Employees’ Union (Regd.) v. Union of India, (2002) 2 SCC 333 observed, wisdom and advisability of economic policies are ordinarily not amenable to judicial review unless, it can be demonstrated, the policy is contrary to any statutory provision or Constitution. Court has repeatedly said, matters of economic policy ought to be left to Government. In assessing propriety of decision of Government, Court cannot interfere even if a second view is possible from that of Government.

Hon’ble Justice M.R. Shah, Small Scale Industrial Manufactures Association v. Union of India, [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 476 of 2020].