Raison D’être For The Wisdom Of The State Legislature

The State in the exercise of its governmental power has, of necessity, to make laws operating differently in relation to different groups or classes of persons to attain certain end and, must, therefore, possess the power to distinguish and classify persons or things. It is also recognized that no precise or formulae or doctrinaire tests or precise scientific principles of exclusion or inclusion are to be applied. The test could only be one of “palpable arbitrariness” applied in the context of the felt needs of the times and societal exigencies enformed by experience.

 It was further observed, “Classification based on differences of value of articles or the economic superiority of the persons of incidence are well recognized. A reasonable classification is one which includes all who are similarly situated and none who are not. In order to ascertain whether persons are similarly placed, one must look beyond the classification and to the purpose of the law.[1]The purpose of the impinged act is made very clear and by all means of legislative wisdom it stands valid. The classification is within the limits up to which the legislature is given free hand for making classification in a statute. The court would not interfere with classification “which is prerogative of the legislature” so long as it is not arbitrary or unreasonable. The nexus of the classification with the object in the instant case lay in “public interest” which is again within the realm of legislative wisdom unless tainted by perversity or absurdity.[2]

“In the interest of public” is a term of wide connotation and it has been rightly interpreted through the Act, 2019. Legislation cannot be declared unconstitutional on the ground that it is arbitrary inasmuch as examining as to whether a particular Act is arbitrary or not implies a value judgment and the courts do not examine the wisdom of legislative choices and, therefore, cannot undertake this exercise.[3]

[1]Federation of Hotels & Restaurants Association of India v. Union of India, 1988 A.I.R. 1291

[2]State of Kerala v. Aravind Ramakant Kodawadeka, (1999) 7 S.C.C. 400

[3]Justice K S Puttaswamy V. Union of India, 2018 S.C.C. OnLine S.C. 1642


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