New Delhi | The Supreme Court today set aside the Madras High Court order directing the Centre to conduct caste-wise census in the country, terming it as a colossal transgression of power of judicial review. The apex court said that while passing the order in 2010, the HC had travelled beyond the matter in dispute before it which is legally impermissible.
The High Court had not only travelled beyond the lis (matter in dispute) in the first round of litigation, but had really yielded to some kind of emotional perspective, possibly paving the adventurous path to innovate. It is legally impermissible. On the second occasion, where the controversy squarely arose, the High Court did not confine to the restrictions put on the jurisdiction and further, without any kind of deliberation, repeated the earlier direction, a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said.
The bench said it is extremely difficult to visualise that the HC without having a lis before it in that regard, could even have thought of issuing a command to the Census Department to take all such measures towards conducting the caste-wise census in the country. The order is exceptionally cryptical. That apart, it is legally wholly unsustainable.
The High Court, to say the least, had no justification to pave such a path and we have no hesitation in treating the said path as a colossal transgression of power of judicial review, and that makes the order sensitively susceptible, the bench, also comprising justices R F Nariman and U U Lalit, said.
The bench said it is not within the domain of the courts to embark upon an inquiry as to whether a particular public policy is wise and acceptable or whether a better policy could be evolved.
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