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Relationship Between Constitutional Law and Administrative Law

Relationship Between Constitutional Law and Administrative Law

Edited By Team Careers360 | Updated on Sep 12, 2023 03:05 PM IST | #CLAT

What is constitutional law?

The body of laws known as constitutional law controls how a nation's constitution is read and used. It outlines the fundamental tenets and framework of government, outlining the authority and bounds of each branch as well as the rights and liberties of people. Constitutions, both written and unwritten, statutory laws, court rulings, and historical traditions are all included in the field of constitutional law.

Important Constitutional Law Elements:

1. Constitution: The form, authority, and bounds of a government are outlined in the Constitution, which is a fundamental legal instrument. It acts as the supreme law of the land, laying forth citizens' rights and liberties as well as the foundation for governing. A constitution may be unwritten, as in the case of the United Kingdom, or it may be written, as in the case of the United States Constitution.

2. Separation of authorities: Under constitutional law, the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government are each given distinct authorities to carry out their respective duties. A system of checks and balances is ensured by this division, preventing any one branch from acquiring total authority.

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3. Judicial Review: The principles of judicial review, which are part of constitutional law, give the courts the authority to examine and interpret laws, executive orders, and government policies to make sure they are consistent with the Constitution. Judicial review enables the judiciary to invalidate laws or actions that go against the Constitution or go beyond the scope of the executive branch.

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4. Individual Rights and Liberties: The Constitutional law shields peoples' rights and liberties against infringement by the government. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, equality before the law, the right to due process, the right to privacy, and other rights may be included in this list. A person's ability to exercise their rights and seek remedy if those rights are violated by the state is guaranteed under constitutional law.

5. Constitutional Amendments: To reflect shifting social, political, or legal conditions, constitutions may be altered or amended. To maintain the stability and integrity of the constitution, amendments often ask for a specific process, such as a supermajority vote by the legislature or a popular referendum.

6. Constitutional Interpretation: Constitutional law entails the development of constitutional clauses and their interpretation. To resolve legal disputes and constitutional problems, courts, including the highest court in a nation, are essential in interpreting and applying constitutional requirements. Constitutional interpretation takes into account the framers' original intentions, the Constitution's wording, the historical setting, and changing societal norms.

7. Federalism: In nations with federal systems, the allocation of powers between the national government and local or state governments is likewise governed by constitutional legislation. It outlines the relationship and power distribution between various entities, establishing a shared authority framework.

Also check - Top Constitutional and Administrative Law Colleges in India

History of Constitutional Law:

Constitutional law refers to the body of law that determines the basic structure and powers of government, as well as individual rights and liberties. The history of constitutional law can be traced back to ancient civilizations, but for this response, we will focus on the Western tradition.

1. Ancient Greece and Rome: Ancient Greece and Rome laid the foundation for constitutional law through their experiments with democracy and republicanism. In Athens, the notion of democracy emerged, with citizens participating in direct decision-making. In Rome, the concept of the rule of law developed, where laws applied equally to all citizens, including the powerful.

2. Magna Carta (1215): The Magna Carta, a historic agreement signed by King John of England, established the idea of the monarch's authority constraints and granted the nobility fundamental rights. It became one of the earliest symbols of constitutional law.

3. Enlightenment: The Enlightenment period, with philosophers such as John Locke and Montesquieu, influenced constitutional thinking in the 17th and 18th centuries. Locke's concept of natural rights and the social contract theory, whereby individuals willingly give up some liberties in exchange for protection by the state, heavily influenced constitutional development.

4. American Constitution (1787): The drafting of the United States Constitution is a significant milestone in the history of constitutional law. It created a federal system with a separation of powers, checks and balances, and a Bill of Rights that protected individual freedoms.

5. French Revolution (1789): The French Revolution led to the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which affirmed the natural rights of individuals and laid the groundwork for modern constitutional law.

6. 19th and 20th-century developments: In the 19th and 20th centuries, constitutional law evolved through various amendments, court decisions, and social movements. Examples include the abolition of slavery through the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the recognition of women's suffrage rights with the 19th Amendment.

Also check - Top Law Colleges in India

Case Study: Marbury v. Madison (1803):

The U.S. Supreme Court's famous Marbury v. Madison decision established the judicial review principle. William Marbury, a justice of the peace appointed by outgoing President John Adams, filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State James Madison for neglecting to deliver his commission in this instance.

In the majority decision, Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that the Judiciary Act of 1789 clause that gave the Supreme Court the authority to issue writs of mandamus in situations like Marbury's was unconstitutional. Marshall argued that the Constitution was the supreme law of the land and that it was the duty of the judiciary to interpret and enforce it.

The notion of judicial review, which provides courts with the authority to deem legislation or executive actions unconstitutional, was established by Marbury v. Madison. This case solidified the role of the U.S. The Supreme Court was the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution and set a precedent for constitutional law around the world.

Administrative Law in India

In India, the term "Administrative Law" refers to the corpus of laws that control the operations and duties of administrative departments, courts, and agencies as well as the interactions these organisations have with their constituents. To exercise their authority and make decisions, administrative authorities must abide by the rules and procedures outlined in this document.

The Constitution, legislation, rules, regulations, and rulings of the courts of India serve as the primary sources of administrative law in that nation. Administrative law is governed by the fundamental values of the rule of law, fairness, rationality, and equality before the law, all of which are outlined in the Indian Constitution. India's administrative law focuses on several issues, including the authority and duties of administrative bodies, the decision-making process, procedural fairness, accountability, and the remedies available to parties who have been wronged.

Natural justice is one of the fundamental tenets of administrative law in India. Administrative entities must follow the natural justice concepts of Audi alteram partem and nemo judex in causa sua, which state that everyone should be given the chance to be heard and that no one should be a judge in their case. As a result, decisions are made fairly and less arbitrarily and favourably.

The idea of discretionary power is covered by administrative law as well. Discretionary powers are frequently available to administrative authorities for making judgments. However, these authorities must be used sensibly, in good faith, and for the lawful intent for which it was issued. A key component of administrative law is judicial review, which allows courts to examine how discretionary powers are used to make sure they are by the law and fundamental constitutional values.

Additionally, administrative law emphasises the values of openness, responsibility, and public involvement in decision-making. Administrative authorities are required to give justifications for their choices, keep track of their actions, and make pertinent data available to the public.

People may seek remedies from the judiciary in cases of administrative law violations or unlawful, capricious, or unreasonable decisions by administrative authorities. Judicial review is essential for ensuring the legitimacy and correctness of administrative activities and for upholding the rule of law throughout the administrative procedures.

In general, administrative law in India attempts to offer a framework for government that is consistent with the values of the constitution and fair, transparent, and accountable. It ensures that administrative acts are carried out within the constraints of the law and statutory authority and that citizens' rights are maintained.

Also check - Law Specializations in India

The Relationship Between Constitutional Law and Administrative Law:

The relationship between administrative law and constitutional law is intricate and interconnected. Administrative law is often considered to be a branch of constitutional law as it deals with the legal principles and rules governing the exercise of administrative power by the government.

The Indian Constitution provides the foundation for administrative law in India and sets out the basic principles and framework within which administrative bodies operate. Constitutional law establishes the structure, powers, and functions of various organs of the government, including administrative authorities. It defines the limits of their powers and ensures that they adhere to the fundamental rights and principles enshrined in the Constitution.

Administrative law, on the other hand, refers to the specific laws, rules, regulations, and procedures that govern the exercise of administrative power and decision-making processes. It operates within the constitutional framework and provides detailed guidance on how administrative authorities should carry out their functions.

The Constitution of India includes provisions that have a direct impact on administrative law. For instance, Article 14 guarantees the right to equality before the law and prohibits arbitrary and discriminatory actions by the government. Administrative law ensures that administrative authorities exercise their powers and make decisions in a fair, non-discriminatory, and reasonable manner.

Similarly, Article 21 of the Constitution protects the right to life and personal liberty, and administrative law governs various aspects related to personal liberty, such as detention, arrest, and procedural safeguards.

Furthermore, the Constitution establishes the framework for the separation of powers among the executive, legislature, and judiciary. Administrative law functions in the context of this separation of powers, providing safeguards to ensure that the executive does not encroach upon the functions of the legislature or judiciary and operates within its designated sphere.

Administrative law also plays a critical role in constitutional interpretation and judicial review. When disputes arise regarding the legality or constitutionality of administrative actions, courts apply principles of constitutional law to assess the actions in question. Judicial review, a feature of constitutional law, allows the courts to examine the validity and propriety of administrative actions, ensuring that they comply with the Constitution and the principles of administrative law.

In summary, administrative law operates within the broader framework of constitutional law, providing detailed rules and procedures for the exercise of administrative power in compliance with constitutional principles. It ensures that government bodies function within their constitutional limits and safeguard the rights and interests of the citizens.

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Similarities between the administrative and constitutional Law:

There are many parallels between constitutional law and administrative law, some of which include:

1. Legal Framework: A country's constitution establishes the overall legal framework, which governs both administrative law and constitutional law. They fall under the larger category of public law, which regulates the use of governmental authority.

2. Principles of Government: Both legal disciplines are concerned with how the state is run and how its representatives exercise their authority. They specify the roles, responsibilities, and restraints of these bodies, ensuring that they operate within the constitutionally mandated legal parameters.

3. Protection of Rights: Individual rights and interests are protected by both administrative law and constitutional law. The fundamental liberties and rights of citizens are guaranteed by constitutional law, while administrative law upholds these rights by policing the activities of administrative entities and establishing procedural safeguards.

4. Judicial Review: Judicial review is a component of both legal disciplines. The judiciary's authority to examine laws, rules, and other governmental activities to determine their constitutionality is part of constitutional law. In a similar vein, administrative law gives courts the authority to examine administrative judgments and actions to determine if they are just, reasonable, and legitimate.

5. Separation of Powers: The idea of separation of powers is addressed by both administrative law and constitutional law. The division of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial parts of government is established and defined by constitutional law, and administrative law operates within this framework to control the duties and operations of the executive branch.

6. Substantive and Procedural Standards: Administrative law and constitutional law both specify substantive and procedural requirements for the activities that administrative bodies may perform. While constitutional law establishes substantive criteria, such as equality, reasonableness, fairness, and non-arbitrariness, administrative law specifies procedural requirements and safeguards.

7. Application: Both legal disciplines have a wide range of potential applications. While administrative law relates especially to administrative organisations and their functions, constitutional law applies to all levels and branches of government.

In general, administrative law and constitutional law are interwoven and function as a unit to uphold the rule of law, safeguard individual rights, and guarantee that governmental activities are morally righteous and impartial.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. What is the difference between administrative law and constitutional law?

Administrative law is the body of law that governs the powers and procedures of administrative agencies, while constitutional law is the body of law that sets out the basic structure and principles of government. Administrative law is subordinate to constitutional law, meaning that administrative agencies must always act in accordance with the constitution.

2. What are the sources of administrative law?

The sources of administrative law are statutes, regulations, case law, and agency practice. Statutes are laws passed by the legislature that create administrative agencies and grant them powers. Regulations are rules made by administrative agencies that interpret and implement statutes. Case law is the body of law that has been developed by the courts in interpreting statutes and regulations. Agency practice is the way that administrative agencies have interpreted and applied statutes and regulations in the past.

3. What is the purpose of administrative law?

The purpose of administrative law is to control the exercise of power by administrative agencies. Administrative agencies have a lot of power, and it is important to ensure that they use that power in a fair and impartial way. Administrative law helps to ensure that administrative agencies follow the law, that they provide notice and opportunity for comment before making decisions, and that they give reasons for their decisions.

4. What is the relationship between administrative law and constitutional law?

As mentioned above, administrative law is subordinate to constitutional law. This means that administrative agencies must always act in accordance with the constitution. If an administrative agency violates the constitution, its actions can be challenged in court.

5. What are some examples of administrative law?

Some examples of administrative law include:

* The Federal Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which sets out the basic rules for how administrative agencies must operate.

* The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is responsible for protecting consumers from dangerous products.

* The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is responsible for protecting the environment.

* The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is responsible for regulating the securities industry.


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Questions related to CLAT

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Hello Yashita,

Since you're in Class 11 and aiming for CLAT UG 2026, you have a good amount of time to develop a strong foundation for the exam. Here are some tips to help you prepare for CLAT UG 2026 alongside your Class 11 studies:

Develop a Study Plan:

  • Balance: Create a balanced study plan that allocates time for both CLAT preparation and Class 11 subjects. Start with smaller chunks of dedicated CLAT study time and gradually increase as you get closer to the exam.

  • Consistency: Consistency is key.  Even 30-45 minutes of focused CLAT preparation daily can be more effective than sporadic cramming sessions.

Focus on Building Core Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension: Make reading a habit. Read newspapers, magazines, and articles from reliable sources. Practice comprehending complex passages and identifying key information.

  • Analytical & Logical Reasoning: Solve puzzles, play logic games (Sudoku, chess), and attempt practice questions to sharpen your analytical and logical thinking skills.

  • Vocabulary Building: Actively improve your vocabulary by learning new words daily. Use flashcards, mnemonics, or online resources to aid memorization.
  • Legal Awareness: Start familiarizing yourself with basic legal concepts and legal terminology. You can find introductory legal resources online or in libraries.

Utilize Resources:

  • NCERT Textbooks: While not specifically designed for CLAT, NCERT textbooks, particularly for English and Social Sciences, can strengthen your foundational knowledge in these areas.

  • CLAT Preparation Books: Purchase well-regarded CLAT preparation books to access practice questions, mock tests, and explanations for different CLAT sections.
  • Online Resources: Utilize free and paid online resources like practice tests, video lectures, and study materials for focused preparation.

    I hope this answer helps you. If you have more queries then feel free to share your questions with us we will be happy to assist you.

    Thank you and wishing you all the best for your CLAT preparation.

Hy aspirant,

Yes, you can definitely prepare for the CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) exams through self-study.

Here are some book recommendations and tips that may help you :-

  • Legal Aptitude for the CLAT and LLB Examinations by AP Bhardwaj.
  • Objective General Knowledge" by Lucent Publication.
  • Wren & Martin High School English Grammar and Composition.

Stay updated with current events, especially those related to legal and constitutional matters.

Read newspapers like The Hindu, The Indian Express, and magazines like Pratiyogita Darpan for current affairs.

Participate in online forums and discussion groups for CLAT aspirants to clarify doubts and exchange study tips.

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Your question is incomplete and it doesn't have proper information as you haven't mentioned name of the exam you are looking for and due to the lack of this information it is difficult to answer your question. So I will request you to share your queries with all the proper and specific detail so that we can help you with your questions.

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Hello aspirant,

On July 7, 2024, the Consortium of National Law Universities (NLUs) will publish the CLAT 2025 announcement in a variety of print and digital media. The CLAT 2025 exam date was previously announced by the consortium on May 6. The notice states that the offline CLAT exam 2025 will take place on December 1. Candidates who meet the requirements and would like to participate in CLAT 2025 can register online and submit their applications at, the official website.

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If you remember registering for CLAT 2024, you should have received a confirmation email or message containing your application number. It might also be available on your account dashboard if you created one on the CLAT website

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Option: 1


Option: 2


Option: 3


Option: 4


125 toffees cost Rs. 75, Find the cost of one million toffees if there is a discount of 40% on the selling price for this quantity.


Option: 1


Option: 2

Rs. 3,20,000

Option: 3


Option: 4


14. Find the present value (in Rs.) of Rs.3000 due after 5 years at 10% p.a. simple interest.

Option: 1


Option: 2


Option: 3


Option: 4


24. Raju took a loan at 8% per annum simple interest for a period of 5 years. At the end of five years he paid Rs.10640 to clear his loan. How much loan did he take?

Option: 1


Option: 2


Option: 3


Option: 4


'A' carelessly left an iron pole across a public road 300 m from that spot was a traffic signal indicating speed limit to be 20 kmph. B, riding a scooter at 80 kmph, noticed the protrusion from a distance, but still could not avoid it, collided with the pole and was injured. In an action by B against A.

Option: 1

B will lose as he was driving very fast

Option: 2

B will lose for some other reasons

Option: 3

B will succeed, because A was careless

Option: 4

B will succeed, because A could have avoided the mishap by putting up a warning

'A' was having a get together with his old friends and on his friend's suggestions, he consumed some alcohol. On his way back to home at night, 'A' heard some footsteps and turning back, he imagined he saw a figure moving towards him with a spear. In fact, it was only a man, 'B' with an umbrella, who was telling 'A' to walk carefully since 'A' appeared to be unsteady. However, 'A' proceeded to attack 'B' with an iron rod leading to grave injuries to 'B'. Is 'A' guilty of causing grievous hurt to 'B'?

Option: 1

No, 'A' is not guilty because in his intoxicated state, the umbrella appeared a spear to him and he exercised his right of private defence.

Option: 2

No, 'A' is not guilty because 'B' could have attacked 'A' with his umbrella

Option: 3

No, 'A' is not guilty because he was intoxicated on the suggestions of his friends and was incapable of knowing that he was savagely attacking a man, who was carrying only an umbrella

Option: 4

Yes, 'A' is guilty because he got intoxicated voluntarily and under the effect of this voluntary intoxication, he attacked and caused grievous injuries to 'B' who posed no threat to him in fart

'A"s cattle was being regularly stolen and 'A' was unable to apprehend the thief. One night, 'A' finally manages to catch 'B' untying his cow from the cowshed under the cover of darkness. 'A' slowly crept up to 'B' and slashed his neck with a sickle leading to the death of 'B' Is 'A' guilty of the offence of culpable homicide?

Option: 1

No, 'A' was only exercising his right of private defence of property

Option: 2

No, 'B' continued stealing of his cattle would have rendered his business inoperable

Option: 3

Yes, 'A' had no reasonable apprehension that 'A' could suffer any grievous hurt if he did not kill 'B'

Option: 4

Yes, 'A' should have first challenged 'B' to surrender before taking any steps to cause 'B's death

A, a 15 year old girl, having been rebuked by her mother leaves her house. At railway station she met the accused who takes her to his house. He provides her clothes, money and ornaments at his house and has sexual intercourse with the girl with her consent. What offence has been committed?

Option: 1

The mother is accused of maltreatment.

Option: 2

The accused is guilty of rape.  

Option: 3

The accused is not guilty.

Option: 4

None of the above.

A, a 15 year old girl, left her mother’s house and joined the accused because her mother has turned down the proposal of her marriage with the accused on the ground that she was too young. While she was with the accused he had sexual intercourse with her against her will. What offence has been committed?

Option: 1 None

Option: 2 None

Option: 3 None

Option: 4 None

A, a chain snatcher, forcibly pulled the ear rings from the ears of an old lady. Both the ear lobes were torn and the old lady suffered pain and suffering for over three weeks. For what offence can A be prosecuted? What offence have been committed?

Option: 1

He is guilty of theft.

Option: 2

A is guilty of voluntarily causing ‘grievous hurt’.

Option: 3

He is guilty of rash and negligent.

Option: 4

None of the above.

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