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PRESENTATION ON ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

DOCTORINE OF
ACCOUNTABILITY

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
Administrative lawisthebodyoflawthatgovernsthe
activitiesofadministrativeagenciesofgovernment.
Governmentagencyactioncanincluderulemaking,
adjudication,ortheenforcementofaspecificregulatory
agenda.Administrativelawisconsideredabranchof
publiclaw.Asabodyoflaw,administrativelawdeals
withthedecision-makingofadministrativeunitsof
government.Administrativelawexpandedgreatly
duringthetwentiethcentury,aslegislativebodies.

DEFINATIONS
Ivor Jennings
AdministrativeLawisthelawrelatingtothe
administration.Itdeterminestheorganization,powers
anddutiesoftheadministrativeauthorities.
Kennith Culp Davis
AdministrativeLawisthelawconcerningthe
powersandproceduresofadministrativeagencies,
includingespeciallythelawgoverningjudicial
reviewofadministrativeaction.

NATURE AND SCOPE OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

AccordingtoJainNJain-Administrativelaw
dealswiththecompositionandpowersofthe
administrativeauthority,fixesthelimitsofthe
poweroftheseauthorities,prescribesthe
proceduretobefollowedbytheseauthoritiesin
exercisingthesepowersandcontrolthese
administrativeauthoritiesthroughjudicialand
othermeans.

1. FUNCTIONS PERFORM
AdministrativeorexecutiveIthastwopowers
Discrenatorypowers
Ministerialpowers
QuasiLegislative
QuasiJudicial

2. PROCEDURE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE


LAW
NaturalJustice
RuleofLaw
Fairtrial
Equity,Justiceandgoodconscience

3. METHODS TO BE CONTROL TO
ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY

Parliamentarycontrol
Judicialcontrol
Lokpal
CentralVigilanceCommission

4. REMEDIES

ConstitutionalRemedy-Article32andArticle
226

OrdinaryRemedy-Stayorder,Declaration,
Compensation,Injunction.

DOCTORINE OF ACCOUNTABILITY
Accountabilityreferstotheprocessofholdingpersons
or organisations responsible for performance as
objectively as possible. India, as a parliamentary
democracy,haselectedlegislaturesthathaveoversight
functions over the Executive and an independent
judiciary that can hold both the legislative and
executivearmsofthestateaccountable.Ithasavariety
of independent authorities and commissions that
perform accountability functions vis--vis different
partsofthegovernment.

In a federal system like that of India, public


accountability is a two way process involving
upward
accountability
and
downward
accountability. Upward accountability comes
through the governmental control over
administrative authorities like power to dissolve
them,approvalofbudget,auditingofbudgetsetc.
Downward accountability is to public which is
relatively weak and it comes primarily through
theirmandateinelections.

EVOLUTION OF DOCTORINE OF
ACCOUNTABILITY
Themostimportantcasewhichelaboratedthescopeof
doctrineofpublicaccountabilityisA.G. Hong Kong v.
Reid. In this case, Reid who was a Crown prosecutor
took bribes to suppress certain criminal cases and
purchased properties with the bribe money. The Hong
Kong Government claimed these properties stating that
the owners thereof are constructive trustees of the
Crown.TheCourtupheldtheclaimandobservedthata
gift taken by a public officer as an incentive for breach
constitutedabribe.

The Supreme Court of India followed


this case in A.G. of India v. Amritlal
Prajivandaswhere court upheld the
validity of SAFEMA act which provided
for forfeiture of properties gained by
smuggling or other malafide activities.

SCOPE OF DOCTORINE OF ACCOUNTABILITY


PublicAccountabilityisapartofgovernance.Itisthe
Government that is accountable to the public for
deliveringabroadsetofoutcomesbutmoreimportantly
it is the public service consisting of public servants that
constitutes the delivery mechanism. Therefore, the
accountability and governance arrangements between
Government which acts as the principal and the public
service which is its agent, impact on the Governments
abilitytodeliverandonitsaccountabilitytothepublic.

RIGHT TO INFORMATION
The right to information is defined in sec. 2(j) as a right to
information accessible under the Act which is held by or under the
controlofanypublicauthorityandincludesarightto
(i)inspectionofwork,documents,records,
(ii)Takingnotes,extractsorcertifiedcopiesofdocumentsorrecords,
(iii)Takingseparatesamplesofmaterial,
(iv) Obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes,
video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts
wheresuchinformationisstoredinacomputerorinanyotherdevice.

CONSTITUTIONAL ASPECT OF RIGHT TO


INFORMATION
Article19(1)(a)oftheConstitutionguaranteesthefundamentalrightsto
free speech and expression. The prerequisite for enjoying this right is
knowledge and information. The absence of authentic information on
matters of public interest will only encourage wild rumours and
speculations and avoidable allegations against individuals and
institutions.Therefore,theRighttoInformationbecomesaconstitutional
right, being an aspect of the right to free speech and expression which
includestherighttoreceiveandcollectinformation.Thiswillalsohelp
thecitizensperformtheirfundamentaldutiesassetoutinArticle51Aof
the Constitution. A fully informed citizen will certainly be better
equipped for the performance of these duties. Thus, access to
informationwouldassistcitizensinfulfillingtheseobligations.

MAIN POINTS OF RESOLUTION


TheRighttoInformationshouldalsobeextendedin
respectofcompanies,NGOsandinternationalagencies
whoseactivitiesareofapublicnatureandhaveadirect
bearingonpublicinterest.
Thelawshouldcontainanappealmechanismofan
independentnaturetoprovidereliableredresstoany
citizendissatisfiedwithanydecisionofapublic
authorityunderthislaw.InthepresentdraftBill,all
appealsaretootherGovernmentauthorities.

Similarly the restriction on confidential


communications between the State and Centre
and their agencies have no justification, unless
theyharmpublicinterest.
The restriction on disclosure of the record of
discussions of Secretaries and other public
servantsalsoneedstoberemoved.

JUDICIAL REVIEW
Judicial reviewisthedoctrineunderwhichlegislativeandexecutive
actions are subject to review (and possible invalidation) by the
judiciary.Aspecificcourtwithjudicialreviewpowermayannulthe
acts of the state when it finds them incompatible with a higher
authority(suchasthetermsofawrittenconstitution).Judicialreview
is an example ofcheckandbalancesin a modern governmental
system (where the judiciary checks the other branches of
government). This principle is interpreted differently in different
jurisdictions, which also have differing views on the different
hierarchy of governmental norms. As a result, the procedure and
scopeofjudicialreviewmaydifferfromcountrytocountryandstate
tostate.

JUDICIAL REVIEW AS A PART OF BASIC


STRUCTURE
Case of Keshavanda Bharathi v. State of
Kerela, the Supreme Court of India the
propoundedthebasicstructuredoctrineaccording
to which it said the legislature can amend the
Constitution, but it should not change the basic
structureoftheConstitution.

TheConstitutionalbenchinIndira Nehru Gandhi


v. Raj Narain (1975 Supp SCC 1.) held that
Judicial Review in election disputes was not a
compulsion as it is not a part of basic structure.
InS.P. Sampath Kumar v. Union of India (1987)
1 SCC 124 at 128.), P.N. Bhagwati, C.J., relying
onMinervaMillsLtd.((1980)3SCC625.)declared
that it was well settled that judicial review was a
basicandessentialfeatureoftheConstitution.

CONCLUSION
Accountabilityisoneofthosegoldenconceptsthatnoonecanbe
against. It is increasingly used in political discourse and policy
documents because it conveys an image of transparency and
trustworthiness.However,itsevocativepowersmakeitalsoavery
elusive concept because it can mean many different things to
different people, as anyone studying accountability will soon
discover. This paper nevertheless tries to develop an analytical
framework for the empirical study of accountability arrangements
inthepublicdomain.Itstartsfromanarrow,relationaldefinitionof
accountabilityanddistinguishesanumberofindicatorsthatcanbe
used to identify and classify accountability arrangements.
Furthermore, it develops three perspectives to assess and evaluate
accountabilityarrangementsinthepublicdomain.

TO,
ASST PROF PRIYA UMBARKAR

FROM,
AMAN DAS
B.A. LL.B (4TH SEM)