HC slaps Rs 25K cost on petitioner challenging power, water subsidies

Updated July 28, 2020

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New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) Dismissing a plea seeking scrapping of the subsidies on electricity and water bills provided to the city residents without any specific disability or condition, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday 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 on concessional rates," said a division bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan.

The petition, filed by Shailender Singh, 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 direction to the government to not provide such 'freebies', as such schemes will damage the welfare state and cause irreparable loss and injury to the society and the nation.

The plea said that government policy in this regard is discriminatory and an infringement of fundamental right of equality as this scheme of subsidy does not qualify under the special power to the state to enact a scheme for fulfilling the condition of disability, liability, restriction or condition of people.

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

The petition insisted that this is dangerous to a welfare state to deliver a free scheme at the doorstep for healthy people who are not facing any limitation.

"...Even fundamental right to free education as given in the Constitution is not delivered at home, and students need to go to school," it said.

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