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Judicial Review of Administrative Action and Administrative Discretion

Kesavan Bhaskaran v. State of Kerala, AIR 1961 Ker 23


Kesavan Bhaskaran v. State of Kerala, AIR 1961 Ker 23


  • Whether by the administrative discretion given to the Director there is a duty casted by law?
  • Whether the discretionary power under the rule can be controlled by self-created rules of Policy?


  • Rule 127E of the Travancore Education Code provided that no English School Leaving Certificate would be granted to any person unless he has been a pupil on the rolls of Form VI of a recognised English High School during the whole school year in which he had applied for a certificate. Moreover, he should have completed fifteen years of age on or before the first day of July of the year in which he had applied for the certificate.


  • The mother of Saigal had requested the Director of Public Instruction on October 8, 1959, for exemption under Rule 127E of the Travancore Education Code to be given to the son.
  • The Headmaster of the School also wrote to the Director of Text Books and Examinations recommending Saigal be given exemption.
  • In March 1957, Saigal was allowed to sit for the Public examination for III form and passed the examination obtaining a certificate. Afterwards, he joined Kottapuram High School, and by promotion, he reached the School Final Class, which is XIth standard.
  • The Director of the Text Books and Examinations refused to grant him the exemption.
  • His father thereafter filed a petition, praying at the same time for interim relief.


  • The court held that administrative direction, in this case, created a duty to be observed and which would have been enforced by the proper courts under Section 45 of the Specific Relief Act.
  • The court further stated that a Tribunal vested with the discretion is authorised to follow a policy, but that should not be used as an invariable rule and to preclude exceptional circumstances of a particular case being decided on merits.
  • The Director’s order of January 29, 1960, rejecting the request for exemption, was cancelled by the court, and he was directed to determine the request for exemption on its merits unfettered by the earlier rule of Policy.