“The Doctrine Of Impossibility Is Equally Applicable To Courts.” :Supreme Court Stays Allahabad HC Directions For Improvement Of Healthcare System Of UP

The SC stayed the May 17 order passed by the Allahabad HC asking the UP government to consider a series of Covid measures after the state contended that most of the directions were “unrealistic” and “incapable of being performed in the timelines granted”.

An apex court vacation bench of Justices Vineet Saran & B R Gavai said that the possibility of execution of their directions should be considered by the High Courts and such orders may not be passed if they cannot be implemented.

Senior Advocate Nidhesh Gupta was appointed as Amicus Curiae in the case.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in this regard said, “Health infrastructure can never be ignored. But these directions are impossible to comply with…we understand the anxiety of the Court. But this is a matter of concern. Courts should also have some judicial restraint and not pass orders which are difficult to be implemented“.

The Court responded by saying, “We are of the opinion that High Courts should normally consider the possibility of execution of their directions. If such directions cannot be implemented, then such orders may not be passed. The doctrine of impossibility is equally applicable to courts,” and passed the said order.

The State of Uttar Pradesh in it’s appeal also contended that the learned Court has failed to appreciate that it is the most populous state in the whole of India with a population of more than 24 crores. Continuous efforts are being made by the State to control the widespread of the virus and doing so to the best of their abilities.

The bench also rejected a prayer directing that Covid-related matters in various HCs’ be heard by a bench comprising the respective Chief Justices. “We will not pass sweeping orders. We cannot demoralise the High Courts. We have balanced our order.”, they said.


Snigdha Ghosh

Surendranath Law College, Kolkata

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