Hon’ble SC expounds the concept of “Judicial Review”.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court today, i.e. on 29.10.2018, in the matter of Lt. Gen. Manomoy Ganguly, VSM v. Union of India & others, while commenting on the concept of judicial review observed:

The court, in exercise of judicial review, is not concerned with the correctness of the findings of fact on the basis of which the orders are made so long as those findings are reasonable and supported by evidence. (Para 29)

The court does not substitute its judgment for that of the legislature or executive or their agents as to matters within the province of either. (Para 29)

The court does not supplant “the feel of the expert” by its own review. (Para 29)

Scope of judicial review certainly extends to examining the decision making process and to see as to whether appropriate process, legally permissible, has been undertaken while taking the decision. While undertaking this examination, the court can deliberate and ensure that all relevant factors are taken into consideration and, correspondingly, no irrelevant considerations have crept in in the decision making process. These are, among others, the accepted norms of judicial review.  (Para 29)

Discretionary powers conferred on the administration cannot be unguided. All powers have legal limits. There is distinction between decision making process and the merit of the decision. Whereas in the former, the court applies the standard of judicial review, in the latter, it enters into the merits of the matter. (Para 29)

In the said judgement the Hon’ble Apex Court referred to the decision in Chief Constable of the North Wales Police v. Evans (Evans) ((1982) 3 All ER 141 (HL)) in which Lord Hailsham had stated:

“The purpose of judicial review is to ensure that the individual receives fair treatment, and not to ensure that the authority, after according fair treatment, reaches, on a matter which it is authorised by law to decide for itself a conclusion which is correct in the eyes of the court.“

Copy of judgement: Judgement 29-Oct-2018

-Tushar Kaushik

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