Doctrine of Procedural Ultra Vires: A Critical Analysis

  • Divyanshi Khandelwal
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  • Divyanshi Khandelwal

    Student at United World School of Law, India

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In the contemporary welfare state, burdened by the exigencies of extensive powers, the administrative officials has started delegating its powers to the subordinate bodies. This has further underscored the necessity for the formulation of safeguards to judiciously regulate the exercise of such delegated supremacies. The question of requirement of such necessity is important here so that the executives can ensure oversight in instances of misuse or abuse of powers. One such control that the law has by far evolved is the doctrine of procedural ultra vires that has emanated from the sphere of rule of law and natural justice and is dissected into two intricate branches of publication and consultation This paper delves into exploring the crucial character played by the doctrine of procedural ultra vires as an instrument of control for delegated legislation in administrative setting. By tracing its evolution, examining its existing application, and disclosing various dimensions and viewpoints of procedural defects that needs to be cured for the efficient functioning of administration, the paper provide in-depth understanding of the doctrine. Furthermore, the paper emphasize over the utmost significance of these procedural requirements by showcasing the delicate balance between mandatory and directory procedural requirements which determines the extent up to which a law made by delegated legislation is inter vires or ultra vires. Since its emergence the executives have been aggressively using it, which even more make it important to interpret the phrase “procedure prescribed by law” in its widest sense to provide that no authority, body or person can escape the essential procedures while exercising the power granted to them. The basic aim of the paper is to understand that under what circumstances the judiciary has applied this essential doctrine of ultra vires to control the excessive delegation of powers and critically examine its applicability.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 1, Page 673 - 680


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