Delhi HC declines to review order allowing water, power subsidies

Delhi High Court
Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court on Thursday turned down a review petition challenging its verdict to dismiss a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the state government’s decision to grant electricity and water subsidies to city residents.

A division bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, after hearing the matter for over an hour, observed: “There is no substance… there is no prima facie error in that order.”

The bench also refused to remove the costs imposed on petitioner Shailendra Kumar Singh.

On July 28, the Delhi High Court, dismissing Singh’s plea seeking scrapping of the subsidies on electricity and water bills provided to the residents of Delhi, slapped a cost of Rs 25,000 on the petitioner.

“We see no reason to entertain this petition and since government policies cannot be decided in the courtroom, we are not inclined to alter such a decision to provide several services to the public in concessional rates,” said a division bench of Chief Justice Patel and Justice Jalan.

The petition sought the court’s direction to the Delhi government to remove subsidies which are delivered at the doorstep for people without any specific disability, liability, restriction or condition.

The plea also sought court’s direction to the government to not make such “freebies” policy, which “will damage the welfare state and such damage will be with irreparable loss and injury to society and nation”.

The plea also said that government policy in this regard is discrimination between people of India and an infringement of fundamental right of equality.

“State is responsible to make a welfare state where people need to be encouraged to work and participate in growth of the nation, than making addiction of freebie politics,” the plea said.

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