Balco Employee’s Union V. Union of India

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BALCO Employee’s Union v. Union of India – Significance in Administrative Law.

BALCO Employee’s Union v. Union of India – Significance in Administrative Law I. INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................02 II. A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FACTS ………………...................................03 III. A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE DECISION……………................................05 IV. IMPLICATIONS THAT FOLLOWED THE JUDGMENT ……………................08 V. CONCLUSION.................................................................................................09

I.INTRODUCTION

Administrative decision making has been a subject of great discussion since long. The application of a mind, which is in not a strict sense judicial, the presence of arbitral preferences coupled with the fact of discretion allowed to the executive in decision making, more often than not, carries the impression of whims and caprices being involved while such decision has been taken. The question of why at all this is so, is to be answered not from a legal but from a humanitarian standpoint. Each human differs from other and when subjective satisfaction of a group of individuals is concerned, the executive wing of the state in the present case; it is bound to happen that one there will be a number of groups who do not agree with the decision so taken for they have their own criteria’s and yardsticks to measure the same.

Possibly, the same is the case with administrative decision making. When the Government is satisfied, based upon the material considered and issues involved, that a given decision is appropriate for a circumstances, it may equivocally be true that it may not satisfy each and every individual concerned with the similar set of issues and therefore there may arise a conflict. History is full of examples and is enriching day by day of the instances in which executive decisions have been challenged on grounds of they being arbitrary, suffering from mala fide, based on non-satisfactory grounds, irrational, to name a few of them.

The study of one such instance forms the essence of this paper. The decision of the Government of India to disinvest M/s Bharat Aluminum Company Limited, popularly known as BALCO was challenged by the employees of BALCO , State of Chattisgarh and by some public spirited individuals before various High Court and finally before the Supreme Court . It was challenged that the decision to disinvest BALCO was contrary to the legal and social interests of the employees as well as certain other legal issues were raised by different parties .

The present study is to analyse the judgment of the Supreme Court in the instant case with a critical angle and also trace its legal impact with a special focus on the impact it has made upon Administrative law. To introduce the case, it would be advisable to dwell in the broad frame the case dealt with rather than to deal with the precise facts and issues. To categorize, the case dealt with a challenge to the administrative power of the Government on the matter of disinvestment of its stake in a government company as regards the procedure followed while so deciding and also the provisions that needs to be examined while deciding the issue. On a broader level, an administrative policy was under a challenge before the Court.

The precise impact that this decision, therefore, had was on the level of administrative discretion that the executive enjoyed in the selection of and following of a policy which had a vital impact on the economic position of the country . Nevertheless, the answer of the Supreme Court has been affirmative and it was categorical in mentioning that unless the policy adopted by the government suffered from the vires of illegality or malafide . Not stopping at this, the Court also gave a substantive reflection on the aspect of natural rights and their applicability as regards the choice of administrative...
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