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JUDICIAL CONTROL OVER ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS

INTRODUCTION

The creation of an effective and efficient administrative system is the fundamental goal in all countries with developed or developing democracies. Neither legislative nor judicial in character, administrative law is a system that deals with citizen-government contact and is both quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative. In other words, it defines the organization, power, and duties of administrative authorities and controls their behavior. Administrative law is a subset of constitutional law and has some restrictions. But as administrative law has a wider scope than other laws, courts are compelled to examine the legality of administrative activities. The primary goal of judicial control is to safeguard people’s rights from administrative authorities abusing their power by ensuring the legality and constitutionality of their actions. An administrative justice system can be improved to make a country more egalitarian and fairer. A country’s commitment to the values of equality and dignity can be judged by how strongly it supports the right of its citizens to lodge complaints with the government. When an administrative justice system fails, this fact becomes glaringly obvious. Therefore, the control mechanism over administration and reliefs when an individual’s legal rights are violated by any administrative activity are two significant topics with which administrative law deals. In any legal system, the court is crucial to providing relief and control, which is why it implements an administrative tribunal system as a separate branch in an effort to relieve pressure on both the higher court and regular courts.

Types of Judicial Control over the Executive

1-Judgement Review

2-Legal Appeals

3-Defending the government in court

4-Public officials are the targets of criminal and civil lawsuits.

5-Amazing Treatments[1]

JUDGEMENT REVIEW

Judicial review is one of the Supreme Court’s and the High courts’ most significant powers.[2] A developing civilization must safeguard and uphold the rights of the people by looking at administrative practices for both constitutionality and legality. This theory is prevalent in nations like the United States, India, Australia, and others where the constitution is regarded as the highest law. The constitution places limitations on the ability of courts to conduct judicial reviews. The Legislature, however, cannot prevent judicial review if the administrative decision violates the constitution or is detrimental to the public interest. [3]

The idea of judicial review was originally established by the U.S. Supreme Court on February 24, 1803, when it determined in Marbury v. Madison[4] that a legislative act (Congress) was unconstitutional.

LEGAL APPEALS

The legislature’s own legislation and laws provide for the possibility of demanding judicial intervention in the case of any damage or loss. A higher administrative tribunal than the one that made the verdict is an alternative for the party that was mistreated one that made the initial ruling. For instance, anyone who feels wronged by a session court’s ruling can request the high court’s participation in an appeal. Since the highest court is the Supreme Court there is no ability to challenge any of its rulings.[5]

Defending the Government in Court

Regarding filing lawsuits against the government, there are several restrictions. When it comes to constraints that the parliament can impose under the constitution, the government’s obligation under contract law is comparable to that of the people. Only those actions of government officials for which they are accountable are subject to legal liability, nevertheless. Only with relation to non-sovereign tasks is the government accountable for the deeds of its representatives.[6]

Public Officials are the targets of criminal and civil lawsuits

Different countries have different rules governing civil and criminal actions brought against the actions of public officials. The Indian Code of Criminal Procedure makes public officials personally liable for their actions while serving in that position and permits lawsuits to be brought with two months’ notice. Certain authorities, such as the President and the governor, are exempt from such civil lawsuits, with the exception of ministers. The president of the United States and the king of Great Britain are exempt from these legal actions.[7]

Amazing Treatments

In addition to the judicial limitations outlined above, the Indian constitution provides a few more remedies through the writs under Articles 13 and 226[8]. The court has the discretion to grant these remedies, with the exception of the writ of habeas corpus where no other remedy is available. The Indian constitution does not directly mention the writ of injunction, but the Supreme Court nonetheless offers it as a remedy. There are two different kinds of injunctive writs: preventative and obligatory. In some ways, the required writ is comparable the preventative is comparable to the prohibitionary writ of mandamus. The executive authorities are the target of the writ of injunction.

The following are the remedies by way of writs:

1-HABEAS CORPUS

It comes from a Latin phrase that meaning “you could have the body.” It is used to protect someone who is being held against their will or against the law. An individual who has wrongfully held another person liable may be required to bring that person’s corpse before the court through the use of this writ. If the detaining party fails to present a sufficient reason for the custody, the court will order the release of the imprisoned party. The Supreme Court’s decision in Ichhu Devi v. Union of India[9] ruled that any pro bono publico applicant’s postcard application shall be taken into consideration while deciding whether to award a writ of habeas corpus.

2-MANDAMUS

It is an order given to lesser or subordinate courts, tribunals, or public agencies by the Supreme Court and High Court. The Supreme Court ruled State of Kerala v. John Paily and Others,[10] which the court cannot use a writ of mandamus to order any state legislature to create a tribunal. The petition was denied because it could not be considered.

3-QUO WARRANTO

When a private person takes the position of a public official over which he has no authority, a writ is issued against that person. It is up to the court’s discretion whether or not to exercise its discretionary power to publish this writ. In Niranjan Kumar Goenka v. The University of Bihar, Muzzafarpur[11], and the court ruled that the writ of quo warranto cannot be given if the person is not in a position of public service.

4-CERTIORARI

This writ is issued by the Superior Courts (the High Courts and the Supreme Court) to a subordinate court, tribunal, or other body that may exercise judicial or quasi-judicial responsibilities in order to remedy a jurisdictional or legal error that was made by that body. The Superior Court has the authority to revoke or invalidate any order that it has made if it is unlawful. The grounds for this writ include (a) exceeding or failing to exercise jurisdiction; (b) violating natural justice standards; and (c) the authority failing to correct a mistake that was obvious from the surface of the record. 

CONCLUSION

 Judicial control primarily protects individual rights from abuse by administrative authorities by ensuring the legality and constitutionality of the actions taken by those authorities. The Indian Constitution provides a variety of judicial control mechanisms, including judicial review and statutory appeal, as well as a few additional remedies in the form of writs under Articles 13 and 226. All of these remedies, with the exception of the writ of habeas corpus when none are available, may be granted at the court’s discretion.
Administrative law’s beating heart is, in a way, judicial control of administrative activity. It is a great technique to find out if a public authority is competent legally. It is believed that judicial review is the fundamental element of our Constitution. Judicial review has grown to be a significant aspect of administrative law as a result of the enormous expansion of administrative bodies’ capabilities. The major goal of judicial control is to safeguard people’ interests from abuses of administrative authorities’ power or illegal conduct.

Author(s) Name: Akarsha Bajpai (University of Lucknow, Lucknow)

References:

[1] Judicial Control over Administrative Action” (Judicial Control Over Administrative Action) <https://legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-9395-judicial-control-over-administrative-action.html> accessed November 16, 2022

[2] “Judicial Review | Definition, Forms, & Facts” (Encyclopedia Britannica, November 1, 2022) <https://www.britannica.com/topic/judicial-review> accessed November 27, 2022

[3] “Limitation Of Judicial Review – Legal Articles in India” (Legal Articles in India) <https://www.legalservicesindia.com/law/article/1989/10/Limitation-Of-Judicial-Review> accessed November 27, 2022

[4] “Judicial Review of Administrative Action – iPleaders” (iPleaders, July 3, 2020) <https://blog.ipleaders.in/judicial-review-administrative-action-2/> accessed November 16, 2022

[5] “Limitation Of Judicial Review – Legal Articles in India” (Legal Articles in India) <https://www.legalservicesindia.com/law/article/1989/10/Limitation-Of-Judicial-Review> accessed November 27, 2022

[6] “The Legislative Process – Stages in the Legislative Process” (The Legislative Process – Stages in the Legislative Process <https://www.ourcommons.ca/marleaumontpetit/DocumentViewer.aspx?Language=E&Sec=Ch16&Seq=6> accessed November 27, 2022

[7] “Constitution of India” (Constitution of India) <https://www.constitutionofindia.net/constitution_of_india/miscellaneous/articles/Article%20361> accessed November 27, 2022

[8] “Article 13 of the Indian Constitution – iPleaders” (iPleaders, January 4, 2020) <https://blog.ipleaders.in/fundamental-rights-article-13/> accessed November 27, 2022

[9] “Judicial Review of Administrative Actions an Overview” (Judicial Review of Administrative Actions an Overview) <https://legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-1979-judicial-review-of-administrative-actions-an-overview.html> accessed November 27, 2022

[10] “Judicial Review of Administrative Actions an Overview” (Judicial Review of Administrative Actions an Overview) <https://legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-1979-judicial-review-of-administrative-actions-an-overview.html> accessed November 27, 2022

[11] “Judicial Review of Administrative Actions an Overview” (Judicial Review of Administrative Actions An Overview) <https://legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-1979-judicial-review-of-administrative-actions-an-overview.html> accessed November 27, 2022