As said by Justice PN Bhagwati, "Government alone will never be able to do
it. It is only the people themselves who must utilize law for the purpose of
bringing justice at the doorstep of the large masses of the people of the
country." The backbone of any improvement of governance, its development and
protection from any form of wastage, is a technique to place laws under
microscope of revision and to modernize it until it resonates in a tune with
development and administrative technologies. The Constitutional law and
Administrative law are connected with the functions of the government and are
part of the public law in the modern state.
For relationship between Constitutional law and administrative law, it can be
stated that- "It is logically impossible to distinguish administrative from
constitutional law and all attempts to do so are artificial.The
constitutional law describes the various organs of government at rest, while
administrative law describes them in motion."
Constitutional law and the Administrative law both are related with each other.
The relationship between both of them is very complicated to understand as the
Constitution is the core law, which gives very life and blood to the
administrative law. Constitution law gives birth to the administrative law.
The court in Suk Das v. Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh (1986)
that in the relationship between Constitutional Law and Administrative Law,
there lies a rational nexus between both the laws as Administrative Law
functions to preserve the sanctity of principles, duties, rights, obligations
etc. laid down by Constitutional Law. But thereafter, there is pressing need to
draw distinction between the both laws to cater the idea of jurisdiction
But in the present era, administrative branch is recognized as different as that
of the constitutional ones, but some parts of the administrative law overlap the
It is the body of law which defines the powers, rules and regulations and
structure of the different entities namely the Legislature, Executive, and the
Judiciary as well as the basic rights of the citizens and in the federal
countries like Canada, USA and even India it consists of the relationship
between the central government and the State Government (Not an executive
According to Holland, the constitutional law describes the various organs of the
government at rest while administrative law describes them in motion. Therefore
according to this view, the structure of the legislative and executive comes
within the preview of the constitutional law but their functioning comes within
the sphere of administrative law.
It is of the utmost importance that all the activities are to be performed in
accordance with the rules and regulations established in the Constitution as the
Constitution is the supreme body, all other agencies derive its authorities from
Administrative law deals regarding the administration of the
agencies of the government such as police areas, environment etc.
It is the body of law that governs the activities of administrative agencies of
government. Government agency action can include rule making, adjudication, or
the enforcement of a specific regulatory agenda.
According to Mait Land, constitutional law deals with structure and the broader
rules which regulate the function while administrative law deals with the
details of those functions. The dividing line between the constitutional law and
administrative law is a matter of convenience because every researcher of
administrative law has to study some constitutional law.
Doctrine Of Watershed
This doctrine defines the relationship between the Constitution and the
administrative law as defined by the dicey and Holland. This doctrine
establishes a proper demarcation between both these laws.
With regard to this doctrine when one draws two circles marking one as
Constitutional law and other as the administrative law, they may overlap at some
areas and these overlapping areas are known as watersheds.
Administrative law traces back its relation to the time of independence the
history of the Administrative law can be traced back to the time of the Mauryas
and Guptas whose administration was based on the rule of dharma, as the rule of
dharma was the basis of the administration the same is accepted and followed by
For the better understanding of the working, functions etc. of the
administration law it is important to understand the source its source of
Different Countries had different source of origin of the Administrative law
like in America it is originated from the statutes, common laws etc whereas in
England the source is common laws, significant cases etc.
But in India, Constitutional law is the mother of the administrative law. It is
the origin and soul of the administrative lawwhich is ordinary law of the Land.
So, without a constitution, administrative law cannot perform its functions and
work properly because it totally depends on the soul of our country's
It is well recognized that the administrative law came into existence after
fulfilling the needs, demands and aspirations of the people. Both the
Constitutional and Administrative law are separate from each other, but in some
parts, it still overlaps but cannot be completely separated from each other
because it is considered that the origin of Administrative law takes place from
But there is a need for this law as a separate legal discipline to control the
arbitrary action of administration and to protect the rights of both an
individual and the public at large. Its essence is found in every branch of law
that we cannot be ignored in any way.
The Genus Spieces Relationship
According to Prof. Sathe
"Administrative law is a part of Constitutional
Law that id why all the concerns of Administrative law are also the concerns of
Under this relationship Constitutional law is the genus and the Administrative
law is the species. In other words, Constitutional law is of wider jurisdiction
than the administrative law which in its jurisdiction includes the
Administrative law. In more simple words Administrative law is the law which
determines the administration of the countries in other words, this law
determines the powers, functions etc of the authorities with regard to the
matter such as public health, housing etc.
In Bank Nationalization Case
, Supreme Court held that:
"If the ordinance is constructed on collateral grounds then it can be challenged
before the Apex Court". Further in S.R. Bommai v. Union of India
court clarified that "proclamation of emergency under Article 356 on ground of
failure of constitutional machinery is subjected to judicial review". So, it can
be said that the Constitutional law embodies the Administrative law.
Relationship Between The Constitutional Law And The Administrative Law
India exists in the mode of Constitutional mechanisms for governing the
administrative authorities and keeping them in check under the various articles
of Indian Constitution 32,136,226,227,300 and 311. The relation between the
Constitutional and Administrative law is indisputable, both are a part of public
law, it is logically impossible to distinguish between both these laws. But many
efforts have been made by the renowned jurists, scholars etc.
Some Definitions are as follows:
Ivor Jennings, says that:
Administrative law deals with the organization, functions, powers, and duties of
administrative authorities while general principles dealing with organization,
powers of various organs and their mutual relationship is dealt with by
Another view which can be taken into the consideration is of the Holland,
according to Holland, "Constitution law describes various organs of the
Government and the Administrative law describes them in motion". The executive
and the legislature structure come in the purview of the Constitutional law and
their working is governed by other".
Mait land was not the supporter of the view of Holland, He Said:
Constitutional Law deals with the structure and regulates the function and
Administrative Law deals with the details of the function.
Administrative law regulates institutions whose powers are delegated that are
'administrative institutions'. Constitutional law regulates those that do the
delegating, i.e. institutions whose powers are not delegated but are, as it is
sometimes put, inherent or original that is 'constitutional institutions'.
It can be said that the Indian has written Constitution, which is the supreme
law of the land. Administrative law is the subordinate to the Constitution.
There is an additional ground on which administrative action can be challenged
in special cases where legislative act if comes under purview of administrative
order made in itself is unconstitutional as held in State of Mysore v. H.
The court also in Ram Narayan Singh v State of Delhi
 held that, when
the orders are made in cases of quasi-judicial questions it can be challenged to
be unconstitutional and legislative provision to be against constitution.
Administrative law is recognized as separate independent though they both may
overlap and are part of pubic law which shows that the Constitutional law is the
mother of the administrative law.
It is a necessity of time to draw a line of between these two laws in order to
define the territory of the functioning of the jurisdiction of both the laws as
with the passage of time and the changing needs the separate development of the
Administrative law is important for the protection of public rights and duties
A.R. Antulay v. R.S. Nayak 
It was held that any aspect of administrative law does not differentiate between
both the laws. the aspects are so broad to include various substantive aspects
like public health, education etc. since, the Constitutional Law reflects such
ideas for public welfare at large and hence, administrative law deals with them
to further help in implementation. Constitutional Law has power to monitor the
three branches of the government and set a benchmark to the extent in which
policies, rules and regulations can be formulated as substantiated in Sunil
Batra II v. Delhi Administration.
State of Bombay v Bombay Education Society
It was held that Executive action established in India is protected through
various ways. Considering example of subordinate legislation which is considered
within the meaning of Article 13 which includes bye-laws regulations etc. but if
it is ultra vires of Constitution then it can be struck down as held in
Chandrakant Krishnarao Pradhan v Jasjit Singh.
Rashid Ahmed v Municipal Board, Kairana
It was held that any administrative action with no statutory basis can be held
void and therefore, court has power to declare it void if any administrative
policy or action violates Constitution.
- A.R. Antulay v. R.S. Nayak, (1988) 2 SCC 602
- Sunil Batra (II) v. Delhi Admn., (1980) 3 SCC 488.