: April 20, 2011 |
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meaning and development
According to the definition of Sir Ivon Jennings” Administrative Law can be defined as a law relating to administration. It determines the organization, powers and duties of administrative authorities.”
With the advent of time the defintion and meaning of administrative law has gone through a great deal of transition .From early 19th century to today’s era the functions of the administration has increased manifold leading to a transformation in the meaning of the term administrative Law in accordance with the changes in the society.
The term “administrative law” is not a newly coined term. The traces of administrative law can be seen in almost every legal system of the world. In India, from Mauryas to Guptas, Guptas to Mughals, from Mughals to the East India Company : in all the mentioned periods administrative law was one of the most developing branches of law. Administrative Law can be said to be the most remarkable development of the 20th Century. The development of administrative law goes hand-in-hand with the development of the society. Administrative law can more rightly be said to be the sociology of law and not the philosophy of law.
The three main stages led to the expansion of the meaning of the term Administrative law-
1. Laissez Faire
2. Dogma of Collectivism
3. Social-Welfare State
1. Laissez Faire-
In the early 20th century the political gospel of laissez-faire was preached. The principles on which the theory of laissez-faire works are as follows-
· Minimum control of government
· Free enterprise
· Law and order not counted as subjects of state
· Power said to be concentrated in the hands of the individual
The theory of Laissez –faire met with the following pitfalls-
· Concentration of powers
· Which led to human misery
· Widening the inadvertent gap between the poor and the rich
The consequence of giving the powers in the hands of the individuals and the minimum government control proved catastrophic .By this the vital power was concentrated in the hands of the rich people and the balance of economy got terribily shaken which only paved way to a debacle that is the increasing economic disparity where the rich became richer and the poor became poorer.
2. Dogma Of Collectivism-
After the miserable consequences that the police state suffered because of the terrible failure of Laissez-Faire, the principle of collectivism evolved which said that the state and individuals shall work in proper synchronization. The state had proper control over the actions of the individuals and the state also stood up to take the responsibility for the individual’s life .liberty and property.
3. Social Welfare State-
The Dogma of collectivism gave birth to the being of a social-welfare state. India is a socialistic republic as the Preamble of the Constitution articulates. The social welfare state thrives on the principle of providing justice of all kinds be it social, economic or political and all laws and actions of the government to be taken keeping in mind the interests of the citizens. The Constitution envisions to have an egalitarian society.
From Laissez –faire to a social welfare state the meaning and definition of administrative law has developed tremendously. After turning into a social-welfare state the function of state shifted from setting the parameters or for deciding the administrative functions to following the principles of natural justice and reasonableness. Administrative Law today is an all-pervading feature existing in almost all parts of the society and its functions. According to I.P. Massey Administrative Law now includes-
1. The powers and functions of the administrative and quasi-administrative agencies.
2. The procedures these powers to be exercised, prescribed and reviewed.
3. The review by individuals and how the aggrieved persons whose powers have been abused and can seek a remedy.
In a nutshell, Administrative Law is all about the organization of powers and individual liberty, the procedures how individuals can exercise there powers and the remedies for the individuals if there power is abused by administrative authorities.
1. Takwani C.K. Lectures on Administrative Law. (Lucknow: Eastern Book Company) 2007.
2. Joshi K.C. An Introduction to Administrative Law, (Allahabad: Central Law Publication) 2006.
3. I.P. Massey, Administrative law(Eastern Book Company),2008
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