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Notes on Administrative Law

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  These are the topics for the End Semester Examination of Administrative Law, reliable sources have been referred to prepare the notes and hopefully it will serve the purpose. I wish you all the best.. OM NAMAH SHIVAYA 1-Meaning of Estoppel in India Estoppel in simple words is a bar which prevents a party from asserting a fact or putting up claim inconsistent with the position he previously took. It is said to be a rule which preludes a person from saying one thing at one time and another thing, totally inconsistent with the earlier one, at another stage. In Blacks New Dictionary, “estoppel” is indicated to mean “that a party is prevented by his own acts from claiming a right to the detriment of other party who was entitled to rely on such conduct and has acted accordingly.”   According to Oxford Dictionary of Law estoppel is “a rule of evidence or a rule of   law that  prevents a person from denying the truth of a statement he has made or from denying facts that he has alleged to exist, The denial must have been acted upon (probably to his disadvantage) by the person who wishes to take advantage of the estoppel or his position must have been altered as a result. As a Rule of Evidence Estoppel, as a rule of evidence, may be read in distinction to equitable principle of promissory estoppel. While the former is more correctly described as “a principle of law.” The latter is known as a rule of equity. As a principle of law estoppel applies only to representations about  past or present facts. The basic premise of estoppel is that a person, who by some statement or representation of facts causes another act in reliance on the truth of it, is not allowed to deny it later, even though it is wrong.   The principle of estoppel embodies in Section 115 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 is commonly known as a rule of evidence. The Section reads as under: When one person has by his declaration, act or omission, intentionally caused or permitted another person to believe a thing to be true and to act on such belief, neither he nor his representatives shall be allowed in any suit or proceeding between himself and such person or his representative, to deny the truth of that thing. To invoke the principle of estoppel enshrined in the Section, the following three conditions are necessarily be satisfied: (1)there must be a declaration, act or omission on the part of a person; (ii)by the said declaration, etc., that person must have intentionally caused or permitted another  person to believe a thing to be true; and iii) he must have intentionally caused or permitted the said another person, to act upon such  belief. Section 115 explains that a party is precluded from denying the existence of some state of facts which he had previously asserted and on which the other party has relied or is entitled to rely on. That, a man should keep his words, all the more so when the promise is made with the intention that the other party should act upon it. As a rule of evidence, embodied in Section 115, estoppel may lie against the Government on a representation or statement of facts, if the statement does not operate against the statute. In Delhi University v. Ashok Kumar:- the respondent, a student after passing the Secondary School Certificate Examination of the Gujarat Board was admitted provisionally in the B.A. I year course in the Delhi University. After over a year, the University informed him that he was in eligible to join the course because the Gujarat Board Examination had been recognised by the appellate University as equivalent to Matric Examination while the qualification to join B.A. I year Course was passing the Higher Secondary Examination. However, the Statute had authorised the Academic Council of the University to grant exemption from the admission requirements. The High Court of accepted the plea of the estoppel raised by the student against the University.The Court stated that estoppel was within the meaning of Section 115 of the EvidenceAct, 1872, might arise from the silence as well as words, the Court held “inaction of the U niversity for over a year amounted to a representation by it that it had approved his admission” and therefore the University would now be estopped from doing that.   In Shri Krishna v. Kurukshetra University , the Apex Court had ruled that the University could not cancel the candidature of the appellant-student for the not complying with the attendance requirement, as the respondents failed to take the adequate care to scrutinize his examination from at the relevant time to ascertain whether the candidate fulfilled the necessary conditions Evolution of Doctrine of Promissory Estoppel Promissory estoppel is a relatively new development. In order to trace the evolution of the doctrine in England, we need to refer to some of the English decisions. The early cases did not speak of this doctrine as estoppel. They spoke of it as raising equity. Lord Cairns stated the doctrine in its earliest form in the following words in Hughes v. Metropolitan Railway Company:- “It is the first principle upon which all courts of   equity proceed, that if parties who have entered into definite and distinct terms involving certain legal results afterwards by their own act or with their won consent enter upon a course of negotiation which has the effect of leading one of the parties to suppose that the strict rights arising under the contract will not been forced, or will be kept in suspense, or held in abeyance, the person who otherwise might have enforced those rights will not be allowed to enforce them where it would be inequitable having regard to the dealings which have thus taken place between the parties.”  This principle of equity made sporadic appearances but it was only in 1947 that it was restated as a recognized doctrine by Lord Denning in Central London Properties Trust Ltd.v. High Trees House Ltd who asserted “A promise intended to be binding, intended to be acted upon, and in fact acted upon is binding.”  In the formative period the doctrine of promissory estoppel could not be invoked by the pr omisee unless he had suffere d detriment or prejudice. All that is required is that the party asserting the estoppel must have acted upon the assurance given by him. The alteration of  position by the party is the only indispensable requirement of the doctrine.  In India, there are two stages in the evolution of the application of this doctrine; pre-Anglo Afghan case and post - Anglo Afghan case. Prior to this case, the position was that promissory estoppel did not apply against the Government. But the position altered with this case. In Union of India v. Indo Anglo Afghan Agencies Ltd.:- the Government of India announced certain concessions with regard to the import of certain raw materials in order to encourage export of woollen garments to Afghanistan. Subsequently, only partial concessions and not full concessions were extended as announced. The Supreme Court held that the Government was estopped by its promise. Thereafter the courts have applied the doctrine of promissory estoppel even against the Government. Promissory Estoppel: An Outline Lord Denning in Central London Property Trust Ltd. v. High Trees House Ltd. expressing the doctrine stated: “Once a promise has been made by a person knowing that it would be acted upon by the person to whom it is made and in face it is no acted upon, then it is inequitable to allow the party making the promise to go back upon it.”  In this case, during the Second World War, people left London owing to bombardment and as a result, a number of flats remained unoccupied. A had left ou t his flat to B for 99 years at the rate of £2500 a year. He, however, due to war conditions, agreed to reduce the rent by fifty per cent. After the war was over, the tenants returned. A demanded full amount of rent to which B objected relying on As assur  ance. The Court applied the doctrine of estoppel and granted relief to B. The doctrine of Promissory Estoppel is premised to be conduct of a party making a representation to the other so as to enable him to arrange its affairs in such a manner as if the said representation is acted upon. In Sharma Transport v. Government of Andhra Pradesh, “… the principle of promissory estoppel is that where one party has by his words or   conduct made to the other a clear and unequivocal promise or representation which is intended to create legal relations or affect a legal relationship to arise in the future, knowing or intending that it would be acted upon by the other party …, the promise or representation would be binding on

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