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Submitted to: Abhik majumdar Submitted by: Sourav chandan padhi BBA.LLB(H) Roll no 51 1st Semester




1- Introduction 2-Methodology 3-Development of Indian Legal system 4-Provisions of Constitution of India (like fundamental rights) 5-Change in trends of Judicial decision after Maneka Gandhis case 6- Conclusion 7-Bibliography

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Table of Cases
1 Cocks v Thanet District council 2 case of Golaknath AIR 1967 SC 1643 3 Basheshar Nath v Commissioner of Income Tax, Delhi and Rajasthan and Another. 1959 AIR(SC)
149 4 Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 597. 5 Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation A.I.R. 1986 S.C. 180. 6 Rudal Shah v. State of Bihar A.I.R. 1983 S.C. 1086. 7 Bhim Singh v. State of Jammu and Kashmir, 1985 (4) SCC 677 8 M.C.Mehta v. Union of India A.I.R. 1987 S.C. 1086. 9 Francis Coralie Mullin v. Administrator, Union Territory of Delhi A.I.R. 1981 S.C. 746. 10 Joginder Kumar v. State of U.P., 1994 Cr. L. J. 1981


Introduction Public Law It is the law which deals with the relation between the state and the person.According to Lord Bacon that it is a true and received division of law into ius publicum and ius pri-vatum,the one being sinews of property ,and the other of government. Private Law- It is the law which deals with the relation between person and person, where the state has no intervention. According to kelsen the traditional distinction between public and private law is that private law deals with co-ordination and the relation between equals , where as public law is the realm of political domination.In French Legal system private law and public law are subjected to different rules and jurisdiction. But where as in Indian Legal system there is no distinction between private and public law. However in recent years a distinction of a different kind has emerged in our system .It is based not on differences between courts or rules of law but rather on the different procedure to be used where the purpose of the case is to enforce the public duties of state agency rather than to enforce the private rights of a citizen 1. The distinction has never been clearly marked. Until and unless the state itself develops,public law is mere embryo . Even in the days of feudalism there is much confusion;for no clear line can be drawn between private and public capacities of the king.In the days of laissez-faire such a criterian wouldnot give too great a scope to public law; but today , with the entry of the state into business world, we find that the sphere of private law is diminishing . In a community where the ideal of state socialism was realized, public law would cover all the instruments of production . The test of public and private interest is not sufficiently precise-the whole doctrine of public policy depends on a concept of public interest , yet much of it undoubtedly belongs to private law. The divisions of public law are constitutional law and administrative law . Constitutional law deals with the distribution of legal power and of the functions of the organs of the state. Administrative law deals with rules which determine the organisation, powers, and duties of administrative authorities.

Distinction can be illustrated in the case of Cocks v Thanet District council



Objective -:
The main objective of my research is to study Public law in Indian legal system by viewing historical development of Constitution law and administrative law in India. For this purpose I have taken help from many sources.The method followed by me for the research is completely doctrinal.I have taken help of both primary and secondary resources.Some of primary sources include Indian constitution law.I have also referred to some secondary sources as in articles and books.i have also collected my research materials from many websites. Since Public law is vast topic therefore I would deal with Indian judiciary and its judicial activism for the development of Indian legal system.Then How the Constitution of India prevents Public law being exploitated in India .Lastly I would like to illustrate How Indian legal system or judiciary has been active in protecting the fundamental rights of the citizen of India.

Scope of Research -:
The research is basically looking at constitution law and not looking to other aspects of Public law like the Administrative law or the Criminal law.

Research Question -:
How public Law has developed in Indian legal system, with special reference to constitutional law ?


Chapter -1 activism Development of Indian Legal system through judicial

RQ-How Indian Legal system developed through judicial activism? An impartial judiciary is a sine-qua-non for the smooth functioning of a political system .It is the third organ of the government and is charged with deliverance of justice to the aggrieved party.The judiciary does not have alternative in the present society.In modern democratic political system is known as open, unbiased ,consistent ,stable & Predictable. The judiciary operates in accordance with direction of rule of law i.e.equality of all citizens before the law and a person being innocent unless committed by a court of law .such judicial system believes in the fairness and openness of proceedings . Some times,to protect the interests of the people , but there is seldom a deliberate attempt on the part of the state abrogate the usual process and procedure of justice . In India ,also , the judiciary is taken largely , as independent ,impartial, fair and real protector of the rights and liberties of the citizens. In India , we have a unified structure of the judiciary despite the fact that our Constitution is quasi-federal .Under our Constitution , we have a single integrated system of courts for the union as well as , the states which administer both union and state laws.At the apex,we have the Supreme court ,below the supreme court we have high courts of the different states , under each high courts there is a hierarchy of other courts.Which are called subordinate courts, these are the courts which are sub-ordinate to high court.2

Judicial Activism
Judicial activism thus means the judiciarys pronouncement in matters of general social interest or welfare even though these may not be considered in its jurisdiction. According to the traditional understanding of law ,for this the judiciary also may not necessarily follow the established or prescribed procedure of litigation.Since the Constitution doesnot lay down any principle guideline for constitutional interpretation to be followed by the courts, it provided a vast scope for the judiciary to exercise judicial discretion . The judiciarys frequent pronouncements on the parliaments power on the grounds of infringement of individuals rights not taking into account the social interests and directive are called as judicial activism .In the case of Golaknath3 of 1967 of supreme court declared that parliament has no power to amend the Constitution.This was a negative sense of the term. Another critism of judicial system in India was its costliness and time consuming .The normal judicial process in India is so costly that the poor just cannot enter the courts.It is so cumbersome also that it takes years to

Indira Gandhi National Open University,Roleof jjudiciary,available at 3 AIR 1967 SC 1643


get justice.Both the Doctrine of superiority of fundamental rights over directive principles and costly judicial system favours only the rich and deprives the poor from being taken care.So there was pressure for reforms in the legal system. There was increasing pressure from social action groups on behalf of the underprivileged and deprived section of society for the fulfilment of their aspiration. The significant outcomes of these development were the system of public Interest Litigation (PIL) Lok adalats & Legal Aid. Public Interest Litigation (PIL) There emerged a new substitute in judiciary orientation . The supreme court ,in early 1980s , started reforming its own procedural & jurisdictional rules.The purpose was that the cases of the poor , who lacked both resources and awarenwss , could be brought to the courts for redreesal.Public interest litigation means that where the poor who ,on account of their poverty , social disability or lack of awareness , cannot approach the courts incase of the denial of their rights, any member of the public or a social action group can approach the court on behalf of them .Whatever the court fee may be it is relaxed.Any member of public can file a PIL where there is public injury and breach of public duty. In 1990s the courts have gone a step further .They themselves have started taking certain issues on the basis of newspaper reports on their own. Then court itself initiates case pronounces a decision and directs the appropriate authorities to act accordingly.4

Lok Adalat
The other area of development in judiciary system was the introduction of the institution of Lok adalats . In bringing about this reform judiciary ,the executive and legislature have acted more in cooperation .The purpose of lok adalts is to make the process of dispute settlement simple and cheap .The Lok adalat system ,is a method of settlement of disputes which are not of very serious in nature are settled by mutual agreements between parties .The help of arbitrators who have the necessary knowledge and competence to understand and settle the disputes is made available.The arbitrators attempt to settle the disputes an the basis of facts and document .Disputes like divorce , fixation and payment of maintenance, care of children etc are settled by lok adalats. Lok adalats cannot pronounce judgement on criminal cases.The settlements of disputes out of court, emphasis an reconciliation, avoidance of lawyer and court fee.

National Institute of Open Schooling, Judicial Activism,available at



Legal aid movement

As a step towards making the legal system serve the poor and deprived,the judiciary has also taken active interest in providing legal aid to the needy.Directive principle (Art 39A ) directs the state to provide for equal justice and legal aid .The Supreme court has given a positive and broad interpretation . 1) Spread of legal awareness through programme of legal literacy 2) Organisation of the poor and the exploited with a view to building up pressure for enactment and implementation of egalitarian laws 3) Providing legal services to the poor and deprived people 4) Fighting court battles either through social action litigation or through tradition forms to obtain justice for the deprived .5

National Institute of Open Schooling, Judicial Activism,available at



Chapter-2 Fundamental Rights are Integral Part of Indian Constitution

RQ-How fundamental rights affected the relation between state and citizen ? "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." Patrick Henry The primary function of constitutional law is to ascertain the political centre of gravity of any given state. It announces in what portion of the whole is to be found the internal sovereignty, supremepotestas, Staatsgewalt.In other words ,it defines the form of government.The function of state goes farbeyond mere presentation of internal order and external independence .It is expected to promote social and economic ends of every kind , and these are conveniently classed as executive function.It is also necessary to alter from time to time the existing law and this is a distinct function of the legislative.Since it is the source of law ,its act can never be illegal. The definition of sovereign power in a state necessarily leads to the consideration of its constituent parts. The distinction between legislative ,executive and judiciary functions.Constitution law deals with the functioning of different organs of the constitution very minutely.It prescribes the order of succession to the throne; or in a Republic ,the mode of electing a president.It provides for the continuity of executive power .It regulates the composition of the council of state ,and of the upper and lower houses of the assembly.It describe about the process of election to lower and upper house and the tenure of representatives. It also mentions about the powers and privileges of the assembly as a whole,and the machinery of law-making.6

Historical perspectives of constitution of India

The constitution of India, the precursor of the new Indian renaissance,become effective on January 26th 1950.Before the advent of the constitution ,India was governed by the government of India act 1935.India was part of the British Empire ;sovereignty of the British crown prevailed over the country and it was in the exercise of this sovereignty that the british Parliament had enacted the Act 1935. The only two major features of the Act were that the act



conferred only a very limited right of self government on the Indians. The executive authority of province was vested in the governor appointed by the crown. The Constitution of India being written constitutes the fundamental law of the land . This has several significant implications.It is under this fundamental law that all laws are made and executed ,all government authorities act and the validity of their functioning adjudged. A legislative cannot make a law and a govt agency cannot act ,contrary to the constitution.the Constitution thus conditions the whole governmental process in the country .The judiciary is obligated to see that the provisions of constitution are not violated by any governmental organ.This function of the judiciary entitles it to be called as guardian of the constitution ,it can declare any act of the state invalid if its contradicts the constitution.

Fundamental rights
The Indian Constitution guarantees to the people certain basic human rights and freedoms,such as inter alia,equal protection of laws, freedom of speech and expression , freedom of worship and religion, freedom of assembly and association, freedom to move freely and to reside and settle anywhere in India ,freedom to follow any occupation ,trade or business,freedom of person .A person can claim Fundamental rights against the state subject to the state imposing some permissible restrictions in the interest of social control.These restriction are also mentioned in the Constitution. These rights ,in substance , constitute inhibitions on the legislative and executive organs of the state . Any law or the action of executive can infringe the fundamental rights,the Constitution demarcates an area of individual freedom and liberty where the state cannot interfere.The Constitution provides a machinery in Arts 32 and 226 for the reinforcement of rights.7 They give emphasis to fundamental unity of the country by guaranteeing the access and use of the same facilities, irrespective of caste, colour, creed and religion to all citizens .Ours is a nascent democracy and situated as we are, socially, economically, educationally and politically, it is the sacred duty of the Supreme Court to safeguard the fundamental rights which have been for the first time enacted in Part III of our Constitution. The limits on those rights have been enacted in the Constitution itself, e.g., in Arts. 19, 33 and 34. But unless and until we find the limitations on such fundamental rights enacted in the very provisions of the Constitution, there is no justification whatever for importing any notions from the United States of America or the authority of cases decided by the Supreme Court there in order to whittle down the plenitude of the fundamental rights enshrined in Part III of our Constitution.8

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Basheshar Nath v Commissioner of Income Tax, Delhi and Rajasthan and Another. 1959 AIR(SC) 149

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The different Fundamental Rights the Constitution provides the Indian citizen are 1)Right to freedom 2)Right to equality 3)Right to freedom of religion 4)Right to freedom from exploitation 5)Cultural and educational rights 6)Right to Constitutional remedies These Fundamental rights have been conceived in a liberal spirit and seek to draw a reasonable balance between individual freedom and social control.These rights are similar to those of Englands Bills of Rights,The United nations Bill of Rights and Frances declaration of the rights of men.

Chapter -3

Case laws

RQ- How the trend of judicial decision have been changing after the Maneka Gandhi case? By playing a vital role in the task of protecting fundamental rights, the Supreme Court has made a positive contribution in this fertile field. The turning point came in 1978 in Maneka Gandhis case9 when the Supreme Court held that any state action affecting life and liberty of a person has to be right, just, fair and reasonable and not arbitrary fanciful and oppressive. Thereafter, there appeared era of progressive judicial activism for protection of human rights. In the postManeka period courts activism blossomed and flourished. A new trend was set in Maneka Gandhis case. The Supreme Court, in its anxiety to protect human rights, has at times undertaken the roles of both organs of the government, the legislature and the executive. The Constitution does not confer such omnipotent power on the Judiciary. In Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation10, one Journalist of Bombay claimed relief against demolition of hutments of pavement dwellers by the Municipal Corporation of Bombay. His letter to the Supreme Court was treated as writ petition and the court granted interim relief to pavement dwellers.

Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 597. Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation A.I.R. 1986 S.C. 180. 11 | P a g e


There is no express provision in the Constitution of India for grant of compensation for violation of a fundamental right to life and personal liberty. But the judiciary has evolved a right to compensation in cases of illegal deprivation of personal liberty. Rudal Shah v. State of Bihar11 is an instance of breakthrough in Human Rights Jurisprudence. The Court granted monetary compensation of Rs.35,000 against the Bihar Government for keeping a person in illegal detention for 14 years even after his acquittal. The Court departed from the traditional approach, ignored the technicalities while granting compensation. In another case12, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir was arrested by the police mala fide and he was not produced before the Magistrate within the required time. Holding that his fundamental rights under Article 21 and 22 (1) were violated, the Court observed that when there is mala fide arrest, the invasion of constitutional or legal right is not washed away by his being set free and in appropriate cases the Court has jurisdiction to compensate the victim by awarding suitable monetary compensation. The Court awarded Rs.50,000 as monetary compensation by way of exemplary costs to the petitioner to compensate him. In M.C.Mehta v. Union of India13, the Supreme Court held that the power of the Court under Article 32(1) is not only injunctive in nature, that is, preventing the infringement of a fundamental right, but it is also remedial in scope. The power of the Court to grant such remedial relief may include the power to award compensation in appropriate cases. The appropriate cases are those cases where the infringement of fundamental right is gross and patent. It is considered unjust to ask the victim to go to the civil court for claiming compensation as it may take many years for the victim to get relief in a civil court.

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. Rudal Shah v. State of Bihar A.I.R. 1983 S.C. 1086. Bhim Singh v. State of Jammu and Kashmir, 1985 (4) SCC 677 13 M.C.Mehta v. Union of India A.I.R. 1987 S.C. 1086. 12 | P a g e

The Supreme Court, while elaborating the scope of the right guaranteed under Article 21 observed in Francis Coralie Mullin v. Administrator, Union Territory of Delhi14 that right to life cannot be restricted to mere animal existence. It means something more than just physical survival. Right to life includes the right to live with human dignity and all that goes along with it, namely, the bare necessities of life such as adequate nutrition, clothing and shelter and facilities for reading, writing and expressing oneself in diverse forms, freely moving about and mixing and co-mingling with fellow human beings. The Supreme Court ruled that the detenu should be treated with more humanity and dignity than the undertrial or a convict. He should be allowed greater freedom than allowed to an undertrial or a convict as he stands on the higher rung of the ladder. In the opinion of the Supreme Court no arrest can be made because it is lawful for the police officer to do so. The existence of the power to arrest is one thing. The justification for the exercise of it is quite another. No arrest can be made in a routine manner on a mere allegation of commission of an offence made against a person. There must be some reasonable justification in the opinion of the officer effecting the arrest that such arrest is necessary and justified. Except in heinous offences, an arrest must be avoided.15

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Francis Coralie Mullin v. Administrator, Union Territory of Delhi A.I.R. 1981 S.C. 746. Joginder Kumar v. State of U.P., 1994 Cr. L. J. 1981 13 | P a g e

India incorporated a number of basic Human rights as guaranteed fundamental rights,these rights are adopted by the partIII of our constitution.These rights go much beyond American Bills of rights and Frances declaration of rights of men.These were drawn from the universal Human rights declared by united nation,1948. The fundamental rights are very much required for the development and welfare of citizen of India.If fundamental rights are infringed then they can be challenged in the court and various writs are issued according to the infringement.As we saw the role of judiciary in protection of Human rights is commendable.However ,in the quest for socioeconomic justice the judiciary has been overstepping the limits of judicial function and trespassing the areas of executive and legislative.Its the need hour to have balance between Judicial activism and judicial self-possession.Though Indian Constitution is rigid ,but has dynamism ,expansion and flexibility .It does not impose any rule on the citizen of India ,it can be amended as per the time demands .Hence public law in Indian legal system is an important aspect for development of the nation .

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1) National Institute of Open Schooling, Judicial Activism,available at 2) Indira Gandhi National Open University,Roleof jjudiciary,available at 3) 4)


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