Ummid Assistant

IDB scholarship forms available at Bhopal's Companion School

IGNOU's preparatory course for students desiring higher education

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home National

Judges cannot fix poverty line: Supreme Court

Monday September 03, 2012 06:36:25 PM, Parmod Kumar, IANS

New Delhi: In a pronouncement of considerable significance that could check the judiciary's overstepping into legislative and governmental functioning, the Supreme Court has said the question of fixing the poverty line was in the domain of expert bodies like the Planning Commission and the judiciary could not engage itself in setting the nation's economic policies.

"This should be left to expert bodies. Reviewing the poverty line is very difficult. We can't be setting economic policy," the court said last week in the course of a hearing.

The apex court bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla said this when senior counsel Colin Gonsalves appearing for People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) invited the court's attention to the low fixation of the poverty line norm at Rs 32 per day, an issue that has led to considerable debate in the country.

As Gonsalves pleaded the government could not shy away from its responsibilities, particularly towards the vulnerable section of society, the court said the petitioner should come with suggestions that could be entertained without stepping into the domain of governmental functioning.

Shrugging off Gonsalves's plea, Justice Thakur said: "Where is it written in the constitution that food subsidy should be given?"

"The poverty line is hypothetical. Its only relevance is for subsidy," he said.

In contrast, the earlier bench of Justice Bhandari and Justice Dipak Verma had put the government in the dock and compelled it to revise its below poverty line (BPL) norms of Rs.32 for urban areas and Rs.26 for rural areas. It even asked the Planning Commission to spell out the basis on which it had fixed Rs.32 and Rs.26 as the poverty norms in urban and rural areas.

It is not just that the court appears to be less than enthusiastic; it appears to be seeking to shrink its monitoring of welfare schemes.

The court made it clear that it was not going to overstep the statutory regimes governing the food subsidy scheme for people living below the poverty line.

The court said monitoring of the public distribution system (PDS) by it had to come to an end.

"It is going on for six years and it could go on for another 26 years," Justice Thakur said.

He said the court would pass the orders and if they were not complied with, then the court could be moved for necessary remedies.

"Once we direct and if they don't follow then you can move the court. It can be before the Supreme Court or the high courts as well."

Apparently, a change in the approach could be read into the restraint that Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia has asked the judges to exercise before stepping into the territory of the government and the legislature.

Chief Justice Kapadia spoke of judicial restraint during his address at a function on Independence Day and also later on.

(Parmod Kumar can be contacted at




Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS




More Headlines

Doctor held in Karnataka, arrests total 14

IIT-Kanpur barred from taking foreign donations

BJP protests force Lok Sabha to adjourn for day

Coconut oil combats tooth decay

e-cigarettes damaging lungs?

Arab invasion in Syria 'not an option': UN envoy

No Bodo, No Musalman, First Insan (Human)

Mob sets police booth, many vehicles afire in Delhi

Jayalalithaa orders Sri Lanka football teams to return

Veiled presenter makes first appearance on Egypt's state TV

Rs.500,000 reward to Pakistani school topper Kumar

One more terror suspect held in Bangalore, total now 13

Sex before marriage hampers healthy relationship


Top Stories

East Delhi situation under control, 22 detained

The situation in east Delhi's Mayur Vihar was under control, police said Monday, a day after one person was killed and many injured in a clash with police. Twenty-two people have 

Mob sets police booth, many vehicles afire in Delhi


  Most Read

FDI in retail: Walmart and corner stores can co-exist

A fierce debate is raging in cyberspace over the cost and benefit of foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail as the Indian government has once again begun working for its  

Now Raj Thackeray threatens Hindi channels

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray Sunday took potshots at Hindi news channels and said that he would shut them all down if they did not stop misquoting his speeches. "People from Hindi channels dole out news without understanding the issue. Such channels should  


  News Pick

Power woes: Sonia's whisper stronger than SC order

All it took for Amethi and Rae Bareli to get uninterrupted power supply was a whisper from UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to Samajwadi Party  

British soldiers to be questioned over Iraq war crimes

Hundreds of British soldiers will be investigated for crimes allegedly committed during the Iraq war, the Telegraph reported Sunday. Investigators with the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) have

Poor show in parliament again - but it was not like this earlier

As another parliament session nears its end marred by continuous holdups and with little work done, the 15th Lok Sabha will go down as one that has lost over a quarter of its time to disruptions. With around 100 bills pending before  

Supersexualised market and the new Body Politic

The supersexualised market and its mindless validation encourage the assumption that feminist and all equalitarian struggles have ended, that equality for all women and men has been achieved, and the deserving lot can  


Picture of the Day

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh with President of Iran Mehmoud Ahmadinejad, before a meeting, on the sidelines of the XVI Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit, in Tehran, Iran on August 29, 2012.



RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant



Science & Technology



About us




Government Schemes










Contact us




    Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.