‘Court should avoid interference, leave it to Govt’s decision-making body’

 Syed Rukaya /RK

In view of the impending Darbar Move, a fresh intervention application was moved before the High Court challenging the judicial review of a policy decision of the government while terming it “unwarranted and legally unsustainable”.
The application states that in case Darbar Move is cancelled, it would amount to changing the capital of J&K, which is a pure policy decision upon which the court had to avoid interference and leave it to the policy or decision-making body of the government.
It states that the court had made up its mind to take judicial review of a policy decision either to cancel or suspend the Darbar Move which was evident from the observations and directions passed by it on April 10, 2020 wherein the court had sought comprehensive report of last four Darbar Moves giving details of all the financial resources spent on and various arrangements made on Darbar Move from government respondents.
Filed by lawyers, T A Lone and Umar Mir, the application states that for a simple direction to suspend or postpone the Darbar Move for a certain period of 15 days or one month, such details were not necessary to be called from the government.
“The policy decision of Darbar Move is just, fair and reasonable within the meaning of Article 14 of the constitution, as such the judicial review is not required,” it says.
Terming the Darbar Move a policy decision of the government, it says the move was being done as per the aspirations of the people of both the divisions of Kashmir and Jammu, which is a long-drawn process continued from the times of Maharaja of the erstwhile state of J&K.
The application points out that the practice of Darbar Move is otherwise not arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory as such this policy decision need not be interfered with by the court.
“Therefore, it has attained the status of a convention and precedent as such the interference of the court in this issue is unwarranted and legally unsustainable,” the application contends.
The counsels submitted in the application that Darbar Move is also connected with the caapital of Jammu as well as Srinagar and in case the move is cancelled “it will amount to changing the capital of J&K which is also a pure political and policy decision upon which the court has to avoid interference and leave it to the policy or decision-making body of the government.”
They pointed out that the issue of impending Darbar Move should not only be seen from the prism of loss to financial resources and public exchequer and arrangements to be made by the government for moving employees.
“But a holistic view of the issue needs to be taken as the postponement of Darbar Move will have various serious implications and repercussions associated with it which will affect the interest of the public at large and infringe the rights of people,” they said.
The counsels said that the government has to provide good governance to the people at doorsteps even if the government runs in losses “otherwise the concept of welfare state and democracy will get mitigated”.
In light of submissions, the counsels had sought that observations and the directions passed by the court on April 10, 2020 be either revoked or modified.
The counsels had further sought direction to the government to review the decision regarding Darbar Move periodically after every 15 days.
It was also prayed by the applicants that no further direction be issued to the government regarding the cancellation or suspension or postponement of Darbar Move which is likely to happen in the last week of April in the interests of justice

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