The power to punish a delinquent conferred on the disciplinary authority and the appellate authority is a discretionary power and the question what is adequate punishment is a question of discretion. According to Black's Law Dictionary (5th Edition) discretionary power means "one which is not imperative or, if imperative, the time, manner or extent of execution of which is left to donee's discretion." Discretion, when applied to public or statutory functionaries, means a power or right conferred upon them by law of acting officially in certain circumstances, according to the dictates of their own judgment and conscience, uncontrolled by the judgment or conscience of others. Chief Justice Coke said :
"Discretion is a science or understanding to discern between falsity and truth, between right and wrong, between shadows and substance, between equity and colourable glosses and pretences, and not to do according to their wills and private affections and opinions." Lord Halsbury says :
"Discretion means when it is said that something is to be done Within the discretion of the authorities that something is to be done according to the rules of reason and justice, not according to private opinion according to law and not humour. It is to be, not arbitrary, vague, and fanciful, but legal and regular and it must be exercised within the limit, to which a honest man competent to the discharge of his office ought to confine himself -" Discretion implies power to make a choice between alternative courses of action. The need of discretion arises because of the necessity and expediency to individualise the exercise of power by the administration i.e., the administration has to apply a vague or indefinite provision from case to case. The sphere of judicial discretion includes all questions, as to what is right, just, equitable, or reasonable so far as not determined by authoritative rules of law but committed to the liberum arbitrium of the donees of...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document