Over a period of time grounds have been evolved on which judicial review of administrative action is permissible. The administrative decision can be interfered with if it lacks in fairness or is mala fide, it is ultravires, or abuse of power or colourable exercise of power and passed for improper purpose or it is based on irrelevant considerations or relevant material is not taken into consideration. Once the court is satisfied that a particular decision taken was within the power of the authority and it is not an abuse of such power and has not been taken with improper motive and is based on relevant material, it is not within the purview of a Court to substitute its own decision over the decision of the appropriate authority as if sitting in appeal. Way back in the year 1964 this is what the Supreme Court had observed on this point in the case of S. Pratap Singh Vs. The State of Punjab, in the following words:
“The Court is not an appellate forum where the correctness of the order of the Government can be canvassed and, indeed, it has no jurisdiction to substitutions own view…for the entirety of the power, jurisdiction and discretion…is vested by law in the Government”.
Similarly, in Asif Hameed and others Vs. State of Jammu and Kashmir and Others, , the Supreme Court enumerated the power of judicial review of administrative action in the following words (at page 1906):
“While exercising power of judicial review of administrative action, the Court is not an appellate authority. The Constitution does not permit the Court to direct or advise the executive in matters of policy or to sermonize qua any matter which under the Constitution lies within the sphere of legislature or executive, provided these authorities do not transgress their constitutional limits or statutory powers”.
Thus judicial review is not an appeal from a decision but a review of the manner in which decision was made. The purpose of judicial review is to ensure that an individual receives fair treatment and not to ensure that the authority after according fair treatment, reaches on a matter which it is authorised or enjoined by law to decide for itself a conclusion which is correct in the eyes of the Court.
Categories: Power of Review