Administrative law in India is often traced back to ancient historic times during the reign of the Mauryas and therefore the Gupta dynasties of Ancient India had centralised administrative system. Following this, came the Mughals who had somewhat similar administrative system.
The kings within the ancient period of history were mostly concerned majorly about three things-
• Protecting the state from external aggression
• Maintaining law and order and peace
• Collecting taxes.
The rule of "Dharma" was observed by kings and Administrators and no-one claimed any exemption from it. the essential principle of natural justice and fair play were followed by the kings and officers because the administration might be run only on those principles accepted by Dharma, which was even a wider word than "Rule of Law" or "Due process of Law". Yet, there was no law is existence within the sense during which we study it today.
With the arrival of British in India, there was the arrival of recent law. Establishment of Malay Archipelago Company increased the government’s powers manifold. Several Acts, legislatures and statutes were brought by British Parliament for regulating public safety, health, morality, transport and labour relations.
With the establishment of Malay Archipelago company (EIC) and event of British rule out India. The powers of the govt had increased. Many Acts, statutes and Legislation were gone by British government regulating public safety, health, morality transport and labour relations. Practice of granting Administrative licence began with the State Carriage Act 1861. the primary public corporation was established under the Bombay Port Trust Act 1879. Delegated legislation was accepted by the Northern India Canal and Drainage Act, 1873 and Opium Act 1878 proper and effective steps were taken to manage the trade and traffic in explosives by the Indian Explosives by the Indian Explosives Act 1884.
The exercise of granting licences began with the State Carriage Act, 1861. the primary public corporation came into existence under the Bombay Port Trust Act, 1879. Delegated legislation was accepted as legitimate power of the chief in Northern India Canal and Drainage Act, 1873 and Opium Act, 1878.
In many, statutes, provisions were made with reference to holding of permits and licences and for the settlement of disputes by the executive authorities and Tribunals.
During the Second war, the chief powers tremendously increased Defence of India Act, 1939 and therefore the rules made thereunder conferred ample powers on the property of a private with little or no judicial control over them, additionally to the present, the govt issued many orders and ordinances, covering several matters by way of Administrative instructions.
Post-Independence, India adopted a state approach, which successively increased state activities. With increase in power and activity of the govt and administrative authorities increased so did the necessity for ‘Rule of Law’ and ‘Judicial Review of State actions’.
The philosophy of a state became specifically embodied within the Constitution of India. within the Constitution itself, provisions were made to secure to all or any citizens social, economic and political justice, equality of status and opportunity. The ownership and control of fabric resources of the society should be so distributed as best to sub-serve the commonweal.
For better administration and execution of laws at the bottom level, procedures like laying and delegated legislation were borrowed from contemporary regimes and customised to cater to the Indian needs.
Also, if rules, regulations and orders gone by the executive authorities were found to be beyond their legislative powers then such orders, rules and regulations were to be declared ultra-vires, unconstitutional, illegal and void. This flexibility of law also marks a crucial feature of evolution of law in India.
Administrative law has become extremely crucial within the developed society since the connection of the executive authorities and therefore the people has become complex. So as to manage these complexities some law is important, which may help maintain regularity certainty and check misuse of powers vested within the administration.This increase within the spectrum of responsibilities ushered in an administrative age and an era of law.