Introduction To Administrative Law
In the field of law, the most significant and outstanding development of the 20th century is the rapid growth of administrative law. It does not, however, mean that there was no administrative law before this century. Since many years it has been very much in existence. But in this century, the philosophy as to the role and function of the state has undergone a radial change. There was increase in governmental functions.
Today, the state is not merely a police state, exercising sovereign functions, (protecting the population from external aggression and from internal strife and for this collecting taxes from the people) but as a progressive democratic welfare state, it seeks to ensure social security and social welfare for the common man, regulates the industrial relations exercises control over production manufacture and distribution of essential commodities; starts many enterprises, tries to achieve equality for all and equal pay for equal work. (Ref. Directive Principles of state policy enumerated in the constitution of India) Today, the state is required to look after the health, and morals of people, provide education to children and takes all the steps which social justice demands. All these developments have widened the scope and ambit of administrative law.
Defining Complex Term of "Administrative Law"
It is indeed difficult to evolve a scientific precise and satisfactory definition of administrative law. Many jurist have attempted to define it. But none of the definitions has completely demarcated the nature, scope and contents of Administrative Law. Either the definitions are too broad and include much more than what is necessary or they are too narrow and do not include all the necessary contents.
Definition by Ivor Jennings
Ivor Jennings in his "The law and the constitution, 1959" provided the following definition of the term "administrative law".
According to him, "administrative law is the law relating to the administrative authorities".
This is the most widely accepted definition, but there are two difficulties in this definition.
(1) It is very wide definition, for the law which determines the power and functions of administrative authorities may also deal with the substantive aspects of such powers.
For example :- Legislation relationg to public health services, houses, town and country planning etc.. But these are not included within the scope and ambit of administrative law, and
(2) It does not distinguish administrative law from constitution law.
Definition by K. C. Davis
According to K. C. Davis, "Administrative law as the law concerning the powers and procedures of administrative agencies, including especially the law governing judicial review of administrative action".
Definition by Prof. Wade
According to Wade (Administrative Law, 1967) any attempt to define administrative law will create a number of difficulties. But if the powers and authorities of the state are classified as legislative, administrative and judicial, then administrative law might be said "the law which concerns administrative authorities as opposed to the others".
Again, there are some difficulties with this definition also. It falls to distinguish administrative law from constitutional law Like Jennings definition mentioned above, this is also very wide definition. It includes the entire legal field except the legislature and the Judiciary. It also includes the law of local government. It is also said that it is not possible to divide completely and definitely the functions of legislative, executive and judiciary.
It is very difficult to say precisely where legislation ends and administrative begins. Though enacting a law is function of the legislature the administrative authorities, legislate under the powers delegated to them by the legislature and this delegated legislation is certainly a part of administrative law.
Definition by Jain and Jain
According to Jain and Jain, "Administrative law deals with the structure, powers and function of the organs of administration, the limits of their powers, the methods and procedures followed by them in exercising their powers and functions, the method by which their powers are controlled including the legal remedies available to a person against them when his rights are infringed by their operation".
Administrative law, according to this definition, deals with four aspects :-
- It deals with composition and the powers of administrative authorities.
- It fixed the limits of the powers of such authorities.
- It prescribes the procedures to be followed by these authorities in exercising such powers and,
- It controls these administrative authorities through judicial and other means.
Definition by Griffith and Street
According to Griffith and Street, (Principles of administrative law, 1963), the main object of Administrative law is the operation and control of administrative authorities, it must deal with the following three aspects :-
- What are the limits of those powers?
- What sort of power does the administration exercise?
- What are the ways in which the administrative is kept within those limits?
Improvement To Griffith and Street's Definition
According to the Indian Law Institute, the following two aspects must be added to have a complete idea of the present - day administrative law :-
- What are the procedures followed by the administrative authorities?
- What are the remedies available to a person affected by administration?
Definition by Garner
According to Garner, administrative law may be described as "Those rules which are recognised by the court as law and which relates to and regulate the administration of government."