Where the Assembly should function is an executive decision, court cannot interfere: CJI

Observing that the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government’s major policy decision to convert the new Tamil Nadu Secretariat complex to a super-speciality hospital cannot be termed illegal, the Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal against a Madras High Court judgment refusing to interfere with the decision.

A three-Judge Bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices Anil R. Dave and Vikaramajit Sen dismissed the petition filed by advocate R. Veeramani, after hearing his senior counsel T.R. Andhyarujina, challenging the High Court verdict. The High Court had upheld the policy decision and dismissed petitions holding that it was purely a matter of internal procedure adopted by the Legislature.

Mr. Andhyarujina said it was not a policy decision but only an administrative decision and the AIADMK government was consistently reversing all the important decisions taken by the previous government without any rhyme or reason. He said already there were two main hospitals — Rajiv Gandhi hospital and Stanley hospital — located within a radius of two km with all facilities of a super-speciality hospital. Therefore, the decision to convert the Secretariat complex to a hospital was tainted with mala fides and politically motivated. He sought a direction to quash the judgment and an interim stay of its operation.

“Where the Assembly should function is an executive decision,” the CJI told counsel. “How are you concerned? It is a policy decision.” When counsel said Rs. 550 crore had been spent on constructing the building, the CJI said the same amount was now being spent for some other purpose.

When counsel drew the attention of the court to the scrapping of the Samacheer Kalvi scheme, the CJI said that was completely different. “You cannot equate the two. That was for a public purpose. From where the Assembly should function is not for the court to decide. It is an executive decision. It can’t be termed an illegality. Special leave petition dismissed.”

The SLP said the High Court failed to consider whether the decision to convert the Secretariat complex to a multi-speciality hospital was tainted with malice in law as a newly constructed seven-storey building for the said purpose was lying in disuse under lock and key without being opened.