Administrative Law

Administrative Actions: Meaning, Nature, Scope, Significance and Case Laws 

These notes elaborate on administrative actions, their classifications, scope, significance, and the role of judicial review in maintaining fairness and control over administrative authorities' actions.

These notes elaborate on administrative actions, their classifications, scope, significance, and the role of judicial review in maintaining fairness and control over administrative authorities’ actions.

Definition:

  • Administrative actions are operations within administrative law, focusing on the powers and functions of administrative authorities.
  • They pertain to legal actions tied to public administrative bodies, aiming to protect the public and uphold societal law and order.
  • Not legislative or judicial in nature; they enforce or refrain from enforcing specific actions by an authority.

Characteristics and Types:

  • Quasi-Legislative Action: Involves the administrative body exercising delegated law-making powers (e.g., Civil Servant Efficiency rules 1973, Conduct Rules).
  • Quasi-Judicial Action: Administrative acts with judicial characteristics, such as disciplinary proceedings against students or employees for misconduct.
  • Fully Administrative Action: Application of legislative rules to specific cases, like transferring civil servants or appointing inquiry officers.

Nature and Scope:

  • Administrative actions aren’t solely restricted to administrative, quasi-judicial, or quasi-legislative roles; they encompass various activities.
  • Actions not falling under legislative or judicial categories constitute administrative actions.
  • They can be statutory (having the force of law) or non-statutory and are subject to judicial review if they violate natural justice principles or citizens’ rights.

Significance:

  • Reducing judicial workload: Quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative bodies help alleviate the burden on the judiciary by handling certain cases.
  • Emergency response: During crises like war, administrative actions offer effective solutions due to the executive’s authority to address such situations.
  • Power for public good: Administrative authorities wield powers used efficiently for the benefit of citizens, executed through diverse administrative actions.

Judicial Review and Control:

  • Administrative actions must adhere to fairness principles; any deviation invites potential judicial review.
  • Challenging in court: Individuals or corporate bodies can challenge administrative actions in a court of law.
  • Court intervention: The Supreme Court, under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, holds the power to issue writs for controlling administrative actions.
ADMINISTRATION ACTION - SCOPE DETAILS AND CASE
ADMINISTRATION ACTION – SCOPE DETAILS AND CASE

Case Laws dealing with Administrative Actions

Sat Pal Singh v. Union of India and Ors.

Facts:

  • The petitioner, a Border Security Force Lance Naik, fell ill during special leave and was unable to report back for duty due to an accident.
  • Consequently, he received an order of removal from service passed by the Commandant 44 Bn BSF., which he challenged through appeals and then a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution.

Decision:

  • The Court found the administrative action taken against the petitioner lacked proper application of mind and reasons as required under Rule 22.
  • Directed the authorities to initiate fresh departmental proceedings, providing the petitioner with an opportunity and following due process.
Full Case of Sat Pal Singh v. Union of India and Ors.

A.K Kraipak v. Union of India

Facts:

  • The case involved a selection panel for a government post where the acting officer was also part of the interview panel.
  • A candidate challenged the selections, citing bias and a violation of principles of natural justice.

Decision:

  • The Court found the selections violated principles of natural justice due to the presence of the acting officer in the selection panel.
  • Set aside the selections and directed payment of costs by the Union and State Governments.
Full Case of A.K Kraipak v. Union of India

Karnataka Public Service vs B.M. Vijaya Shankar And Ors.

Facts:

  • A candidate violated exam instructions by writing the roll number on every page of the answer sheet, leading to cancellation of his paper.
  • The candidate challenged this action before the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal.

Decision:

  • The Court upheld the commission’s decision to cancel the paper, stating it was a purely administrative action without provisions for breach penalties.
Full case on Karnataka Public Service vs B.M. Vijaya Shankar And Ors.

Ratnakar Vishwanath Joshi vs Life Insurance Corporation

Facts:

  • Employees claimed a right based on an administrative scheme issued by the Corporation’s Chairman.
  • They challenged the withdrawal of this scheme by the Chairman.

Decision:

  • The Court held that the scheme was an administrative instruction, not enforceable as law, and its withdrawal could not be challenged through a writ petition.
Read Ful Case of Ratnakar Vishwanath Joshi vs Life Insurance Corporation

These cases illustrate the judiciary’s approach towards administrative actions, emphasizing procedural fairness, adherence to rules, and the distinction between administrative instructions and legal rights enforceable under constitutional provisions like Article 226.

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