Know about |Administration Direction and Fundamental Rights


Administrative Directions are instructions or rules given by higher authorities to subordinate authorities in the lack of a rule or statute related to a specific subject, or to compensate for or cover gaps in existing laws, therefore establishing better standards or platforms to address difficulties. Administrative directions are also known as ‘Administrative quasi-law’ or ‘Administrative quasi-legislations.’ These instructions might be precise, in that they are developed and applied to a specific purpose or instance, or they can be broad in character, laying forth general principles, policies, practices, or processes to be followed in comparable cases.

Furthermore, these directives are given in the form of letters, circulars, orders, public notifications, pamphlets, press releases, and so on, and they are even published in the Government Gazette. In modern India, the government has unlimited or limitless administrative powers, therefore the domains for giving administrative directives are extremely broad.

Administrative directives have their origins in Articles 73 and 162 of the constitution, which serves as the foundation. These Articles deal with the administrative authorities of the government, and such directives are typically given per them. According to Article 73, the Union’s executive power extends to areas over which Parliament has legislative authority.

Similarly, according to Article 162, the State’s executive jurisdiction extends to subjects over which the State Legislative has authority. These provisions only deal with the executive branch of government and do not bestow any legislative authority. Statutory authority to give directives is sometimes provided. An instruction issued with legislative authority takes precedence over a direction made under ordinary administrative authority. 

The Fundamental Rights in India entrenched in Part III of the Indian Constitution provide civil rights so that all Indians can live peacefully and harmoniously as citizens of India. Individual rights common to most liberal democracies include equality before the law, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly, freedom to practice religion, and the right to constitutional remedies for civil rights protection through writs such as habeas corpus.

Violations of these rights result in sanctions outlined in the Indian Penal Code, which are subject to the discretion of the judge. The Fundamental Rights have been described as essential human freedoms that every Indian citizen has the right to enjoy to develop their individuality properly and harmoniously. These rights pertain to all citizens, regardless of race, location of birth, religion, caste, creed, color, or gender. They are enforceable in court, subject to specific limitations.

The Rights derive from a variety of sources, including England’s Bill of Rights, the United States Bill of Rights, and France’s Declaration of Human Rights. The six fundamental rights are, Right to Equality, Freedom, Freedom of Religion, Constitutional Remedies, Right against Exploitation and Cultural and Educational Rights. 

Why are Administrative Direction and Fundamental Rights Required?

Administrative Direction

Administrative directives, albeit not particularly thorough or authoritative, have become an essential element of the Indian administrative structure. These directives are frequently the most effective methods of informing the public about the government’s changing policy decisions. Directions are given to cover gaps in the administrative arena and to satisfy the demands of the situation.

In Union of India v Rakesh Sharma, the Supreme Court stated that if the rules are silent on any issue, the government can fill in the gaps and supplement the regulations by giving directions that are not contradictory with the rules. It is frequently used to establish procedures for various purposes that must be followed by the Administration or the general public.

Directions are part of the internal administrative procedure of a government department. When several authorities are involved in carrying out law and making judgments under it, directives may serve the aim of giving certain criteria that these officials may follow in carrying out their responsibilities so that there is the consistency of approach in dealing with comparable instances.

Fundamental Rights

The Fundamental Rights were incorporated into the constitution because they were deemed necessary for the development of each individual’s personality as well as the preservation of human dignity. The authors of the constitution saw democracy as meaningless unless civil freedoms, such as freedom of expression and religion, were acknowledged and safeguarded by the state.

According to them, “democracy” is essentially a system of governance based on public opinion, and so the tools of forming public opinion should be made available to the people of a democratic nation. In this regard, the constitution of India, in the form of the Fundamental Rights, granted all people of India the freedom of speech and expression, as well as a variety of other liberties. Everyone, regardless of race, religion, caste, or gender, has the right to petition the Supreme Court and the High Courts for the implementation of their Fundamental Rights.

It is not required that the offended party be the one to do so. Poverty-stricken persons may not have the resources to do so, therefore in the public interest, anybody can file a lawsuit on their behalf. Fundamental rights aid not only in the preservation of human rights but also in the avoidance of grave breaches of human rights. They stress India’s inherent oneness by ensuring that all individuals, regardless of background, have equal access to and usage of the same amenities. Some Fundamental Rights extend to people of any nationality, while others are solely available to Indian nationals.

S.R. Venkataraman v. Union of India, 1979 AIR 49

After thirty years of service with the Government of India, the appellant was elevated to the position of Director of All India Radio. She was working as the Joint Director, Family Planning, in the Directorate General of All India Radio when she was served with an order dated March 26, 1976, retiring her prematurely from service, with immediate effect, because she had already reached the age of 50 on April 11, 1972, and the President believed her retirement was in the “public interest.”

On April 6, 1976, the appellant filed a representation, but it was dismissed on July 1, 1976. She so filed a writ case in the Delhi High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution, mentioning, among other things, the antagonistic attitude of one V. D. Vyas, who took over as Chairman of the Central Board of Film Censors from her on February 11, 1972. She also mentioned the negative statements written by Vyas in her service record after she had left his employ, which she described as completely baseless, prejudiced, spiteful, and without any reason.

“Her honesty had never been questioned 28 years before or 4 years after 21 months she was under him,” she said. It was also claimed that some baseless allegations were leveled against her as a result of Vyas’ “malicious vendetta,” that the order of premature retirement was not in the public interest but was “arbitrary and capricious,” and that the retiring authority had not “applied its mind to the record” of her case.

It was decided that Rule 56 of the Fundamental Rules, and the fact that the Government was unable to defend that unjust order, required that the order be set aside since it amounted to an abuse of the authority conferred in the authority involved. The appeal was granted with costs and is being processed as such.

Ramana Shetty v. International Airport Authority, 1979 SCR (3)1014

In this case, the Supreme Court determined that if a body is a government agency or instrumentality, it can be an authority under Article 12 regardless of whether it is a statutory corporation, a government business, or a registered society. As a result, because it was formed by an Act of Parliament, the International Airport Authority of India is a State under Article 12.

The Court decided that the following principles can be used to determine whether an entity or agency is a government instrumentality in an illustrative sense. A 5-point scale was administered by Justice P.N. Bhagwati. This is a test to determine if a body is a government agency or an instrumentality, and it proceeds as follows:

  1. Because the government controls the whole share capital of the business, the government’s financial resources are the major source of funding for such an organization.
  2. The presence of a sophisticated and broad state control mechanism.
  3. The duties of such an organization or agency are of public importance and are closely related to government functions.
  4. That is, such functions should largely be governmental.
  5. A government agency was handed over to a private firm.
  6. The state bestows and protects the agency’s position, whether monopolistic or not.

The Barium Chemicals Ltd. And Anr vs The Company Law Board, 1967 AIR 295

The Central Government issued an inquiry order against the petitioner firm. The Government was entitled to issue such an order under the Companies Act of 1956 if there were circumstances indicating fraud on the part of the management. The Supreme Court ruled that it was essential for the Central Government to disclose the facts that led to the challenged conduct so that the Court may investigate them.

M.A. Rasheed v. State of Kerala, 1974 AIR 2249

There was a claim that the notice violated Article 14. The State’s line of action was that it became essential to restrict the use of machinery in the traditional sector in the districts of Trivandrum, Quilon, and Alleppey. Out of the 414 mechanized units in the State, it appears that 283 are in the Southern part of Kerala State, comprising of Trivandrum, Quilon, and Alleppey, with the remaining 131 in the remaining 8 districts.

The employment of equipment to extract fiber from husks in districts other than Trivandrum, Quilon, and Alleppey has not yet disrupted the supply and availability of husks for extraction of fiber in the traditional sector, as it did in the three districts. The situation in the eight districts does not necessitate immediate action. The classification is correct.

It is related to the objectives pursued by the contested notification. To ensure equal distribution and availability of coconut husks at reasonable pricing in the remaining 8 districts of the State for the production of fiber in the traditional sector, it is not essential to restrict the use of equipment in the remaining 8 districts under the current conditions. According to the judge, the limits were put in place to protect the general people. In the interests of the industry and the general public, the limits were justified.

And, for the reasons stated above, the High Court’s decision was affirmed. The appeals were rejected. Given that the High Court ordered the parties to carry their expenses, we order that the parties pay and bear their costs.


The authority provided to administrative entities to establish fundamental or circumstantial concepts or directives is not absolute. It is a well-channeled privilege to be used in the right way at the right time for the right purpose, which must be consistent with and following the stated limits. A directive should be in line with established principles and laws, and should be reasonable and relevant; a direction should not be the result of unjustified, ulterior discretion on the part of involved authorities; if so, such a direction would be deemed invalid.

Fundamental Rights safeguard people’s liberties and freedoms against governmental intrusion and prevent the formation of authoritarian rule in the country. They are critical for the overall development of individuals and the country.

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