Landmark Judgments of Administrative Law: Part- I

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Landmark Judgments of Administrative Law: Part-I

Administrative Law Definition

Administrative law is the law that governs administrative actions. According to Ivor Jennings- Administrative law is the law relating to administration. It determines the organisation, powers and duties of administrative authorities.

Droit Administratif

French Administrative law which is considered widely popular and old, through which many administrative provisions in other countries have been influenced from. Napoleon Bonaparte founded the “Droit Administratif” and formed the Conseil d’Etat.

The three main stages led to the expansion of the meaning of the term Administrative law-
1. Laissez Faire
2. Dogma of Collectivism
3. Social Welfare State

Landmark Judgments of Administrative Law

1. Ram Jawaya Kapoor v. State of Punjab 1955

Whether Fundamental Right of the petitioner was violated or infringed and what is the extent of executive power?

  1. Supreme Court held that the action of the govt did not amount to violation of the Art. 19(1)(c) and 19(1)g)
  2. Separation of powers under Article 77/162
  3. Motilal vs. State of UP
  4. Executive power connotes the residue of govt functions that remain after legislative and functions are taken away.
2. Asif Hameed v. J&K 1989

Does High Court have power to issue directions to the State Government to constitute a ‘statutory body’ for making admissions

  • Court followed the State of HP v A Parent of a Student of Medical College, Shimla AIR 1985 3 SCC 1669
  • While exercising power of judicial review of administrative action the Court is not an appellate authority.
  • The Constitution does not permit the Court to direct or advise the executive in matter of policy or to sermonize qua any matter which under the Constitution lies with the sphere of legislature or executive, provided these authorities do not transgress their constitutional limits or statutory powers.
  • Separation of power is not a absolutely rigid concept
  • Judicial review is an important tool
  • High Court was patently in error in issuing directives in Jyotsan’s case and reiterating the same in this case.

3. State of MP v. Bharat Singh

  • Supreme Court upheld the order of the High Court and held 3(1)(b) of the Act as unconstitutional on the ground that it invested the govt with very wide discretion without any procedural safeguards as a person could have even be interned in a place which could render him a destitute without any means of livelihood.
  • This violated the principles of natural justice.
  • It can not be arbitrary even in case of Article 358.
  • Rule of Law- Dicey/ No continental system, only British Common Law system.
4. In Re. Delhi Laws

Is it permissible for the legislature to delegate legislative power to a subordinate authority- limits within which this could be done

  • Separation of power is not a part of Indian Constitution
  • Doctrine of delegates no potest delgare is not applicable.
  • Parliament completely can’t abdicate itself by creating a parallel authority.
  • Only ancillary functions can be delegates.
  • Separation of powers is not followed strictly in India.
  • It can not be an excessive delegation.

5. Govind Chhagan Lal Patel v. A.P.M Committee AIR 1976 SC 263

Procedural requirements- Publication

Issue: Whether the publication of notification u/s 6(5) if the Gujarat Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1964 covering additional varieties of agricultural produce (like ginger and onion), must not only be published in official gazette but must be published in vernacular i.e., Gujarati Newspaper?

  • The question of whether statute is mandatory or directory depends upon the intent of the legislature and not upon the language in which the intent is clothed
  • Khub Chand v. State of Raj 1967 referred
  • Held publication in the local news is mandatory
  • The notification could affect valuable rights if the traders
  • Violations could subject them to penal consequences
  • Absence of proper and adequate publicity the right of the traders and agriculturalists hampered without offering them an opportunity to offer objections and suggestions.
  • Publication in the Newspaper attracts the greatest attention of the public than in OG.
6. Sonik Industries Rajkot v. Municipal Corp. Rajkot 1986
  • Under section 77 of the Bombay Municipal boroughs Act, 1925 power is given to Municipality to levy the taxes. If any rule has to be made under this Act then rules have to be published in local news papers having circulation in that area.
  • Rules were framed, however, instead of publishing the entire rules a notice was published by municipality that all the rules so made has been sanctioned by State Government.
  • The rules could be inspected in the Municipal office.
  • Held Notice satisfies the requirement of Section 77 of Publication.

7. Atlas Cycle Industries Ltd. State of Haryana AIR SC 1149

  • Simple laying is merely directory, no laying could not make the Executive order void.
  • Legislative Control through Laying Requirement
  • Supreme Court held that the impugned provisions of law which provided that every order by the Central Govt. or its officer or authority “shall be laid down before both houses as soon as may be after it is made” as merely directory and did not make ‘laying’ a condition precedent to the making of the order. According to the court, the word shall in section 3(60 of the Essential Commodity Act, 1955 is not conclusive and decisive of the matter; and the Court is to determine the true intention of legislature.

8. Rajnarain Singh v. Chairman PAC 1954

  • Section 3 of the Bihar and Orissa Municipal Act was in question. Power was delegated to Patna Admin. To extend with modification and restriction any law prevailing Indian to the area of Patna. Accordingly Bengal Municipality Act was extended with modification and restriction. Section 104 provided levying of tax in that area with consultation with affected people.
  • Tax was levied but people were not consulted. Court held that consultation is mandatory in nature and non compliance is procedural ultra vires.

Also Read: Development in of Sovereign Immunity

9. Dwarka Prasad Laxmi Narain v. State of UP 1954

  • Under the Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act, 1946, the UP.. Coal Control Order, 1953 was issued, which provided that no one can carry on business in coal except under a licence. It further laid down that the State Coal Controller can exempt any person from the licence power.
  • No guideline was allowed for the regulation of this discretionary power.
  • The said order was held unconstitutional.
10. JR Ragupath v. State of AP 1988

No power to the judiciary to issue writs when there is nothing on record to show that the decision of the government was arbitrary or capricious or was one not reached in good faith or actuated with improper considerations or influenced by extraneous considerations.

Also Read: Administrative Law case law and judgments Part-II


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