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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Court won’t interfere to overstep the wisdom of Executive government in policy matters


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Patna: In an important verdict passed on Monday, the High Court here has held that in the Policy matters, the Court will not interfere to overstep the wisdom of the Executive government.

A division bench of Chief Justice Vinod K. Chandran and Justice Parth Sarthy passed the order on the PIL filed by Rajeev Kumar and others where the petitioners sought court’s intervention to implement a part of Post Matric Scholarship scheme of Government of India for the students belonging to the Scheduled Caste for studies in the country.

In the Judgment, the judges observed that “we are of the opinion that this Court cannot by a judicial order direct implementation of the Scheme formulated by the Central Government”. The state government has also raised concerns about optimum disbursal of funds ensuring maximum coverage of all marginalized sections of the society; which cannot be brushed aside.

In the PIL, it was claimed that without fully implementing the guidelines issued by the Central Government, the State of Bihar has issued a scheme for scholarship whereby the maximum amount of Post Matric Scholarship, including tuition fees and other non-refundable fees payable to eligible beneficiaries has been arbitrarily limited.

Government Pleader Prashant Pratap told the Court that the guidelines mentioned by the petitioners only covers the Scheduled Caste students and the State of Bihar has a scheme for the Scheduled Tribe students too.

He added that the existing resolution -scheme taken by the State Government is to maintain a uniform standard and fair distribution of scholarship among the SC and ST students.

In the State of Bihar, the scholarship amounts of 86616 students for the year 2021-22 and 151978 students for the year 2021-22, have already been disbursed, Pratap told while adding that different institutes were charging different fees for the same course and there was a requirement to rationalise the fee structure, which has been done with a proper approval of the competent authority , the State Cabinet.

A meeting of all the stakeholders, including the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment as also Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, was convened in compliance of an earlier courts order where various issues were discussed like funding pattern, the amounts to be released under the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme, Pratap said.

The Government pleader said that the state Government is sensitive and committed towards the welfare of the SC and ST students and while remaining cognizant of the issue regarding up-gradation of educational qualifications for such marginalized sections, the governance matrix also requires optimum use of financial resources of the state.

Concluding the order, the Judges observed that “These are all matters coming within the policy domain of the state; in which this Court would not interfere and issue directions to overstep the wisdom of the Executive Government.

We decline interference to the scheme already formulated by the State Government and refuse to issue any positive directions based on the guidelines”.

The HC dismissed the writ petition with the fervent hope that the state would always remain alive to the needs of the marginalized and constantly endeavor in uplifting the downtrodden.

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