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Administrative Law (Landmark Judgement)

Updated: May 4


Administrative Law
Administrative Law

Landmark Judgment on Topic:-


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Nalin Kumar Bhatia v. Union of India, (2020) 4 SCC 78

There is no presumption that a decision taken by persons occupying high posts is valid. The judicial scrutiny of a decision does not depend on the rank or position held by the decision maker.


The court is concerned with the legality and validity of the decision and the rank of the decision maker does not make any difference. 


 Moons Technology Ltd v. Union of India, (2019) 18 SCC 401

When a statutory functionary makes an order based on certain grounds, its validity must be judged by the reasons so mentioned and cannot be supplemented by fresh reasons in the shape of affidavit or otherwise.


Otherwise an order bad in the beginning may by the time it comes to the court on account of challenge gets validated by additional grounds later brought out.


T.P. Senkumar. Union of India, (2017) 6 SCC 801

When an order has been passed in exercise of statutory power on certain grounds, its validity must be judged by the reasons mentioned in the order. Those reasons cannot be supplemented by other reasons through an affidavit or otherwise.


 NSDL v. SEBI, (2017) 5 SCC 517

For an act of administrative body to be characterised as quasi judicial following three requisites are to be present:- 


1. There must be a legal authority, 


2. The authority must be to determine questions affecting rights of citizens; 


3. There must be duty to act judicially

 
 

Mangalam Organics Ltd. v. Union of India, (2017) 7 SCC 221 

When a statute vests discretionary power in administrative authority, the court would not interfere with the exercise of such discretion unless it is made with oblique end or extraneous purpose, or upon extraneous considerations or arbitrarily without applying its mind or where it is not guided by norms which are relevant to the object to be achieved.


N. Nagendra Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1994) 6 SCC 205

Concept of sovereign immunity cannot be a defence where the State is involved in commercial activities. Such a concept can also not apply where officers of State are guilty of interfering with life and liberty of citizens.


In all such cases the State should be held vicariously liable and constitutionally bound to compensate and indemnify the wronged person.


State of Mysore v. Shivabasappa Shivappa Makapur, AIR 1963 SC 375

Tribunals exercising quasi judicial functions are not bound to follow the procedure prescribed for trial courts and they are not bound by strict rules of evidence.


The only obligation which they have to follow is that they should not act on any information which they may receive unless they put it to the party against whom it is to be used and give him a fair opportunity to explain it. 


State of Haryana v. Rattan Singh, (1977) 2 SCC 491

Essence of approach of tribunals should be objectivity, exclusion of extraneous materials and observance of rules of natural justice. Tribunals are also required to record reasons for their decisions.


Chandra Prakash Mishra v. Flipkart (2022)

Every erroneous, illegal or even perverse order/action by a Statutory authority, by itself, cannot be termed as wanting in good faith or suffering from malafide - For imputing motives and drawing inference about want of good faith in any person, particularly a statutory authority, something more than mere error or fault ought to exist.


Amarendra Kumar Pandey v. Union of India (2022)

The action based on the subjective opinion or satisfaction can judicially be reviewed first to find out the existence of the facts or circumstances on the basis of which the authority is alleged to have formed the opinion - Scope discussed.

 
 

RULE OF LAW AND SEPARATION OF POWERS


Pancham Chand v. State of HR, (2008) 7 SCC 117 

Our Constitution envisages a rule of law and not a rule of men. It recognizes that, howsoever high one may be, he is ‘ under the law and the Constitution.


All the constitutional functionaries must, therefore, function within the constitutional limits. Various aspects of rule of law have been interpreted by our Supreme Court from time to time


State of M.P. v. Thakur Bharat Singh, AIR 1967 SC 1170

Federal structure of the Indian Constitution is founded on certain fundamental principles. One of them is rule of law which includes judicial review of arbitrary executive action


National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India, (2014) 5 SCC 438

Rule of law is social justice based on public order.


The rule of law strikes a balance between society’s need for political independence, social equality, economic development and internal order on one hand and needs of the individual, his personal liberty and his human dignity on the other. It is the duty of the court to protect this rich concept of rule of law. 


Re Delhi Laws Act case, AIR 1951 SC 332

Although in the Constitution of India there is no express separation of power, it is clear that a legislature is created by the Constitution and detailed provisions are made for making that legislature pass laws.


The Constitution has not recognized the doctrine of separation of powers in the absolute rigidity but the functions of the different parts or branches of the government have been sufficiently differentiated. Our constitution does not contemplate assumption, by one organ, of functions that essentially belong to another.


DELEGATED LEGISLATION 


Roger Mathew v. South Indian Bank Ltd., (2020) 6 SCC

It is always open to a constitutional court, on challenge made to the delegated legislation framed by the executive, to examine whether it conforms to the parent legislation and other laws including the applicable judicial precedents and if found contrary can be struck down without affecting the constitutionality of rule making power itself.


What constitutes essential legislative function is difficult to define in general terms. However, essential legislative function must at least consist of determination of legislative policy and its formulation as binding rule of conduct.


The legislature must retain in its own hands the essential legislative functions and what can be delegated is the task of subordinate legislation necessary for implementing the purpose and objects of the Act


Council of Architecture v. Mukesh Goel, (2020) 16 SCC 446

Delegated legislation is susceptible to invalidity on the ground of being ultra vires not only to its parent legislation but also other primary legislation.


Sidhartha Sarawgi v. Kolkata Port, (2014) 16 SCC 248

Delegation generally means parting of powers by the person who grants the authority to do things which otherwise that person would have to do himself


Chief Settlement Commissioner v. Om Prakash, AIR 1969 SC 33

Under our constitutional scheme the authority to make the law is vested in Parliament and State Legislatures and other law making bodies. Whatever legislative power is exercised by the executive must be derived directly from the legislature and exercised validly within the limits prescribed.


Agricultural Marketing Committee v. Shalimar Chemical Works Ltd., AIR 1997 SC 2502

Supreme Court of India mentioned the following as the dominant reasons for giving power of delegated legislation to the government


  •  The area for which powers are given to make delegated legislation may be technically complex, so much so that it may not be possible and may even be difficult to set out all the permutations in the statute.


  • The executive may require to experiment and to find out how the original legislation was operating and therefore to fill up all other details. It gives an advantage to the executive, in the sense that a Government with an onerous legislative time schedule may feel tempted to pass skeleton legislation with the details being provided by the making of rules and regulations.

 
 

Union of India v. Purushottam, (2015) 3 SCC 779

Power of delegated legislation must not be exercised in such a manner so as to delegate the essential or primary legislative functions.


One of the most fundamental principles of delegated legislation is that the primary legislative function cannot be delegated. Once essential legislative powers have been exercised by the legislature, ancillary and incidental powers , can be delegated.


Vasu Dev Singh v. Union of India, (2006) 12 SCC 753

In conditional legislation the law is complete in all respects but it has not been brought into force immediately. The enforcement is left to the executive upon fulfilment of conditions.


Hamdard Dawakhana v. Union of India, AIR 1960 SC 554

Distinction between conditional legislation and delegated legislation is that in the former the delegate’s power is that of determining when a legislative declared law shall become effective.


The latter involves the delegation of rule-making power which may be exercised by the administrative authority. The power conferred on the executive by way of delegated legislation is much wider than the power conferred on the executive in conditional legislation



NATURAL JUSTICE


Kanachur Islamic Education Trust (R) v. Union of India, (2017) 15 SCC 702

Fair hearing requires the affected party to be given an opportunity to make a case against him effectively and passing of a just decision supported by reasons. It is the duty of the adjudicator to ensure fairness in procedure and action.


Deepal Ananda Patil v. State of Maharashtra (2023)

An adjudicatory body cannot base its decision on any material unless the person against whom it is sought to be utilised has been apprised of it and given an opportunity to respond to it.


Deepal Ananda Patil v. State of Maharashtra (2023)

A quasi-judicial authority has a duty to disclose the material that has been relied upon at the stage of adjudication - the actual test is whether the material that is required to be disclosed is relevant for purpose of adjudication - if it is, then the principles of natural justice require its due disclosure.


Esteem Properties Pvt. Ltd. v. Chetan Kamble (2022)

Importance of natural justice and an opportunity of hearing to be afforded to the affected party in any administrative or quasi­ judicial proceedings.


A.K. Kraipak v. Union of India  (1969) 2 SCC 262

Principles of natural justice supplement the law of the land. In other words, even if the statute is silent on principles of natural justice, it is incumbent upon the authorities to follow the principles of natural justice in its proceedings. 


B.D. Gupta v. State of Haryana, (1973) 3 SCC 149

Even where there is no provision for notice in the statute, the notice must be given if the order is likely to adversely affect the rights of the parties involved. The notice should be clear, specific and unambiguous.


Gorkha Security Services v. Govt, of (NCT of Delhi), (2014) 9 SCC 105

Object of the notice is to give opportunity to the individual to present his case. In case the party is aware of the charges against him, a formal defect in the notice will not vitiate the notice unless prejudice is caused.


Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, (1978)1 SCC 248

Power to refuse to disclose the reasons in support of the order is exceptional in nature and it ought to be exercised fairly, sparingly and only when folly justified under a given situation. Reasons recorded by the authority are subject to judicial scrutiny by the courts. If the reasons are found to be irrelevant or extraneous then the order passed by the authority can be set aside by the court.

 
 

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