‘Offering financial aid a policy matter, court cannot intervene’

Extending financial aid fell within the domain of policy decision of the government and the court cannot direct it to pay each of the aggrieved persons, observed the Madras High Court, adding that the process also required enumeration. The court made the observation on Monday while dismissing a plea moved by the Tamil Nadu Independent Rental Vehicle Owners and Drivers Association.
‘Offering financial aid a policy matter, court cannot intervene’

Chennai

The plea had sought several demands, including financial assistance of Rs 15,000 for the transport workers on the basis of commercial badge license as identity proof. But a division bench comprising Justice R Subbiah and Justice Krishnan Ramasamy cited a couple of coordinate bench orders on similar pleas seeking financial assistance to hold that it could not issue any positive direction to the State in this regard.
“We find that the affidavit filed in support of the writ petition is bereft of particulars and the affidavit is couched with vague and bald statements. It is seen that the petitioner (association) is seeking monetary assistance from the State/central governments,” the bench said, reiterating that financial aid fell within the domain of policy decision of the government.
“As observed by the coordinate bench, it is for the official respondents (State government) to take a decision on the prevailing facts and circumstances as expeditiously as possible,” the bench added.
The association represented by its secretary Jude Mathew had submitted that due to COVID-19, the taxi and rental vehicle operation had come to a complete standstill. Taxi operators were basically driver-cum-owner of their vehicles and self-employed. In the extraordinary situation, the taxi drivers and hire vehicle owners must be provided with financial assistance, it had contended.

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