Question:- What are the sources of Administrative Law

Answer:- Sources of Administrative Law: Administrative Law is mainly concerned with powers. It is necessary to examine the sources of powers before considering in details how power is controlled. The customary divisions of the sources of legal power are common law and statute s it is with administrative authority. So far as the Central Government is concerned, its common law powers fall under the royal prerogative which, however, has no relevance to the activities either of Local Government authorities or modern statuary corporations, which include both ministerial departments, such as Housing and Local Government, Education. Since the latter are exclusively the creation of Parliament it follows that their powers are derived solely from the same source.

In the realm of administrative law, the conflict between the Parliament and the courts would arise whenever the former seeks to abridge any of the fundamental rights of the citizens which are justiciable.

Now the question arises as to what are sources of administrative law in India. The following are the main sources of administrative law in India.

1. Constitution-The Constitution of India deals with formulation of the executive, the powers of the Executive during peace and emergency times.

Administrative law is concerned solely with the administrative acts of either the administrative or of quasi-judicial bodies. Now the methods by which such acts are interfered with are by the use of the prerogative or Common law writs, especially by the writs of Certiorari, Mandamus and prohibitions. These writs are called prerogative writs in England and are issued by the High Courts in that country and by the Supreme Court and High Courts in India under Articles 32 and 226 of the Constitution of India. Very nature of such a jurisdiction excludes the decision of the ordinary civil or criminal proceedings in the land, because those proceedings carry with them the safeguard provided by statute of appeal, revision and review. Hence, it is clear that these writs are not available against the judicial proceedings of the courts.

The concept of rule of law has provided unique dimension to the study of Administrative law. According to Justice Ramaswami of the Supreme Court, “the rule of law is necessary if fundamental democratic values are to be preserved and if the democratic structure of the State is to be maintained”. The rule of law is a basic structure of the Constitution [Smt. Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narain, A.I.R. 1975 SC 2299]. Every organ of the State under our Constitution is regulated and controlled by the rule of law [A.K. Kraipak v. Union of India, (1970) 1 S.C.R. 457]. Contractual and tortious liability of the Government for its public officials are laid down under Articles 299 and 300 of the Constitution respectively.

2. Statutes- Statute is the main source of administrative power. The term ‘statute’ covers both Acts of Parliament and delegated legislation. Acts of Parliament comprise public general Acts and private or local Acts. Delegated legislation, or as it is sometimes called, subordinate legislation includes statutory instruments which were formerly styled as statutory rules and orders. Acts of Parliament fall into two categories which may be conveniently termed constituent Acts and enabling Act, but some Acts deal with both Constitution and power.

3. Judicial Pronouncements-The contribution of the courts has not been less laudable towards the growth of Indian Administrative Law. The judicial pronouncements exhibit considerable expansion of the right of hearing, judicial control of discretionary powers, judicial review over the administration in general and promotion of open Government.

4. Reports-Reports made by various bodies also constitute and important source of law. Important reports in this respect are Report of the committee on Minister’s Powers, Frank Committee Report and the Reports of Administrative Reforms Commission.

5. Executive orders: Executive orders are directives issued by the executive branch of government that have the force of law. These orders may be used to establish policies and procedures for administrative agencies, such as those governing national security or emergency response.

6. International law: International law may also play a role in shaping administrative law. For instance, international agreements may establish standards for environmental protection or labor practices that administrative agencies are required to follow.

In conclusion, administrative law is a complex body of law that draws from various sources, including the Constitution, statutes, regulations, case law, executive orders, and international law. These sources provide a framework for regulating the actions of administrative agencies and ensuring that they operate in a fair, transparent, and accountable manner.

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