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Administrative law

Submitted to Mrs. Kayvalya

By: P.Lavanya
1282057 (BBA.LLB)
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Administrative Law and Procedure
Administrative law is the body of law that allows for the creation of public regulatory agencies
and contains all of the statutes, judicial decisions, and regulations that govern them. It is created
by administrative agencies to implement their powers and duties in the form of rules, regulations,
orders, and decisions. Administrative procedure constitutes the methods and processes before
administrative agencies, as distinguished from judicial procedure, which applies to courts


1) Constitutionality of the delegation of legislative power

2) Ultra Vires (Substitutive and procedural)

3) Retrospective Operation

4) Sub delegation

5) Publication

6) Henry viii clause

7) Delegation of taxing power

This write up would deal with the Henry VIII clause.

Legal dictionary
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Henry VIII was born at Greenwich on 28 June 1491, the second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth
of York. He became heir to the throne on the death of his elder brother, Prince Arthur, in 1502
and succeeded in 1509. He was a despot. To some, Henry VIII was a strong and ruthless ruler,
forcing through changes to the Church-State relationship which excluded the papacy and brought
the clergy under control, thus strengthening the Crown's position and acquiring the monasteries


It was called the Henry VIII clause because that King was regarded popularly as the
impersonation of executive autocracy and the clause reflected, in popular eyes, the famous
Statute of Proclamations, 1539, which gave him the power to legislate by proclamation. The
Committee said: The purpose of Henry VIII was to enlarge his powers to make proclamations
having the force of law. The sole purpose of Parliament was to enable minor adjustments of its
own handiwork to be made for the purpose of fitting its principles into the fabric of existing
legislation and of meeting cases of hardship. It was repealed on Henrys death in 1547

BBC world history
Cd. 4060; pages 36 and 61
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What is done?
- Ammendment of primary legislation by using delegated (secondary) legislation.

Instances of exceptional delegation

- Powers to legislate on matters of principle

- Power to amend acts of principle

- Power conferring such a wide discretion that it goes limitless

- Power to make rules without being challenged in the court

Power conferred on the government to improvise the provision so as to remove the

Generally there are two types of removal of difficulties

The narrow approach which empowers the act to remove the difficulties, provided it
is in consonance of the parent act

The wider approach, in the name of removal of difficulties can even modify the
parent act.

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Article 372(2) in The Constitution Of India 1949 lays:
For the purpose of bringing the provisions of any law in force in the territory of India into
accord with the provisions of this Constitution, the President may by order make such
adaptations and modifications of such law, whether by way of repeal or amendment, as may be
necessary or expedient, and provide that the law shall, as from such date as may be specified in
the order, have effect subject to the adaptations and modifications so made, and any such
adaptation or modification shall not be questioned in any court of law.


This is consider to be the most drastic form of delegation. In the power of inclusion or exclusion
also, the power of modification is involved. Another instance is the declaration contained in
many statutes that the rules made under the act would be operative even if inconsistent with
some other enactment. In some cases, the power to modify a statute is conffered on the executive
for making necessary adjustments while extending it to new areas.
The most widely criticized form of delegating amending power is called
the Henry viii clause In this type of delegation, the legislature gives power to the executive to
make modification in the act to meet any difficulties. The committee on ministers powers has
poited out that such broad delegation is inconsistent with the principles of parliamentary
government. It was suggested that the Henry viii clause should be used only for the purpose of
bringing an act into operation and that too only when demonstably essential and only for a
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period of one year fromthe passing of the act
The henry viii clause can be found in many statutes
, the general formula that is used to
empower the government to modify the provisions of the statute for removal of difficulties
should not be used by the executive to introduce any change opposed to the basic policy of the
act itself

The classic illustration of such a provision is found on the constitution itself. Usually, such a
provision is for a limited period. This provision has been vehemently criticized by Lord Hewart
and other jurists. It is nicknamed as the Henery VIII clause to indicate executive autocracy.

I n J alan Trading company v. Mill Majdur Sabha
the supreme court was called upon to decide
the legality of such a clause. Section 37 (1) of the payment of Bonus Act 1965 empowered the
central government to make such orders, not inconsistent with the purpose of the act, is might be
necessary or expedient for the removal of any doubts or difficulties. Section 37 (2) made the
order passed by the central government under sub section (1) final. The court by a majority of
3:2 held section 37 ultra vires on the ground of excessive delegation in as much as the
government was made the sole judge of whether any difficulty or doubt had arisen, whether it
was necessary to remove such doubt or difficulties and whether the order made was consistent
with the provisions of the act. Again, the order passed by the central government was 'final'.
Thus, in substance, legislative power was delegated to executive authority, which was not
The minority, however, took a liberal view and held that the functions to be exercised by the
central government was not legislative functions at all but were intended to advance the purpose
which the legislature had in mind. In the words of Hidautllah, J. (as he then was): "parliament

Orient weaving mills v. union of india, AIR 1963 SC 98.
E.g: secs 120 and 128 of the states recognition act, 1956; secs43 of the insurance corporation ltd.Act, 1956 and
secs. 376(1) of the payment of bonus act, 1956 (which was stuck down in jalan trading co. v. mill mazdoor union,
air 1967 sc 691.
Administrative law by N.K. jaykumar pg. 18
Jalan Trading Company v. Mill Majdur Sabha, AIR 1967 SC691
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has not attempted to set up legislation. I have stated all that it wished n the subject of bonus in
the act. Apprehending, however, that in the application of the new act doubts and difficulty
might arrive and not leaving there solutions to the court with the attendant delays and expense,
parliament have chosen to give power to the central government to remove doubt and difference
by a suitable order." It is submitted that the minority view is correct and after Jalan trading
company, the Supreme Court adopted the liberal approach. In Gammon India Ltd. V. union of
I ndia
a similar provision was held constitutional by the court. Distinguishing Jalan Trading
Company, the court observed: "in the present case, neither finality nor alteration is contemplated
in any order under section 34 of the act. Section 34 is for giving effect to the provisions of the
act. This provision is an application of the internal functioning of the administrative machinery."
It, therefore, becomes clear that after Jalan Trading Company, the court changed its view and
virtually overruled the majority judgment. I n Patna University v. Amita Tiwari
, the relevant
statute enabled the chancellor to issue the directions to universities "in the administrative and
academic interest."
In exercise of that power, the chancellor directed the university to regularize services of an
ineligible teacher "on compassionate grounds." When the action was challenged, it was sought to
be supported on the basis of "removal difficulties" clause. Holding that the "removal of
difficulties" clause had only limited application, the Supreme Court quashed the order. It is
submitted that by using a 'removal of difficulties' clause, the government "may slightly tinker
with the act to round off angularities and smoothen the joint or remove minor obscurities o make
it workable, but it cannot change or disfigure the basic structure of the act. In no case can it
under the guise of removing a difficulty, change the scheme and essential provision of the act"
the committee on ministers' powers rightly opined that it would be dangerous in practice to
permit the executive to change an act of parliament and made the following recommendations:
"the use of the so called Henery VIII clause conferring power on a minister to modify the power
of on a minister to modify the provision of acts of parliament should be abounded in all but most
exceptional cases and should not be permitted by parliament except upon special grounds stated
in a ministerial memorandum to the bill. Henery VIII clause should never be used except for the
sole purpose of bringing the act into operation but subject to the limitation of one year."

Gammon India Ltd. V. Union of India, (1974) 1 SCC 598
Patna University v. Amita Tiwari, (1997) 7 SCC 198.
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Conclusion:- Delegated legislation permits the body beneath parliament to pass their own
legislature. Delegated legislation is the legislation made by person or bodies other than
parliament. That person or body must be permitted by the parliament by an Act passed by the
parliament. An Act of Parliament creates the framework of a particular law and tends only to
contain an outline of the purpose of the Act. By Parliament giving authority for legislation to be
delegated it enables other persons or bodies to provide more detail to an Act of Parliament.
Further, delegated legislation can be used to make technical changes to the law, such as altering
sanctions under a given statute. Also, by way of an example, a Local Authority have power given
to them under certain statutes to allow them to make delegated legislation and to make law which
suits their area. Delegated legislation provides a very important role in the making of law as
there is more delegated legislation enacted each year than there are Acts of Parliament.

In addition, delegated legislation has the same legal standing as the Act of Parliament from
which it was created. There are several reasons why delegated legislation is important. Firstly, it
avoids overloading the limited Parliamentary timetable as delegated legislation can be amended
and/or made without having to pass an Act through Parliament, which can be time consuming.
Delegated legislation, also referred to as secondary legislation. Delegation of powers means
those powers, which are given by the higher authorities to the lower authorities to make certain
laws, In order to delegate its powers to any person or body, parliament has its own limitations.
Parliament cannot delegate all its powers to any Administrative authority. There are some
powers which cannot be delegated. Those powers which can be delegated can come into the
preview of the Doctrine of permissible limits.

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Delegated legislation is valid as long it:
Does not contravene the constitutional provision
Does not violate the provisions of the parent act
Does not put any unreasonable restrictions.