Judicial Control of Administrative Action

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  • The system of judicial control or Judicial review of Administrative actions came into India from Britain.
  • Article 32 of Constitution of India proves the right to move to Supreme Court of India for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights while Article 32(2) allows the Supreme court to issue directions, orders or writs for the enforcement of the rights.
  • Judicial Review is not about the decision taken by the administrator but about the decision-making process.
  • If there is a clear abuse of a process of the court, petition is maintainable even when there is no violation of fundamental rights. One example is when a person manipulates a court order to defeat the ends of justice.
  • Courts do not deal with the policy of the Government because it is to be dealt by the Legislature. Courts refrain from giving decisions that result in amendment of the existing policy of the Government.
  • Existence of an alternative remedy does not affect the jurisdiction of Writ Court.

Recent Cases / Related Cases / Case Law

  • Tata Cellular vs. Union of India, (1994) 6 SCC 651: Supreme Court held the need to find a right balance between administrative discretion to decide the matters on the one hand, and the need to remedy any unfairness on the other.
  • Federation of Bar Association, Karnataka v Union of India: SC declined for the establishment of High Court benches in other parts of Karnataka. Where there is no violation of fundamental right, the Court can decline Jurisdiction.

Grounds of judicial interference

  • Supreme Court or High Courts interfere into administrative actions when:
    • Express Newspapers vs Workers, AIR 1963 SC 569 (573): Where the tribunal has acted without jurisdiction
    • Ritz Theatre vs its Workmen, AIR 1963 SC 295: Where the award of the tribunal is arbitrary or malicious
    • Andhra Scientific Co vs Seshgiri, AIR 1967 SC 408: Where the tribunal violated the Principles of Natural Justice
    • Punjab National Bank vs Industrial Tribunal, (1959) SCR 220 (231): Where the determination is vitiated by an error apparent on the face of the record.
    • Provincial Transport Service vs State Industrial Courts, AIR 1963 SC 114 (117): Where the award of reference itself is ultra vires to the provisions of the Act

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