This case exemplifies the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the principle of separation of powers.

Judges must refrain from exceeding their authority in the name of judicial activism and usurping the functions of other branches of government. The Constitution delineates distinct roles for the Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary. Any encroachment upon these domains risks upsetting the delicate constitutional balance, provoking consequences.

Read the case analysis to grasp the noteworthy ruling of the Supreme Court.

Case Title: Divisional Manager, Aravali Golf Club & v. Chander Hass & Anr

Court: Supreme Court of India

Citation: Appeal (civil) 5732 of 2007

Petitioner: Divisional Manager, Aravali Golf Club & Anr.

Respondent: Chander Hass & Anr.

Judges: Justice A. K. Mathur & Justice Markandey Katju

Date of Judgment: 06/12/2007


Individuals whose rights have been violated or infringed upon may seek proper remedies from the Court. Article 32 of the Indian Constitution grants the Supreme Court writ jurisdiction to enforce or preserve an individual's fundamental rights. This provision permits all Indian citizens to file a petition with the Supreme Court if their basic rights have been violated. Article 32 refers to five forms of writs: habeas corpus, prohibition, mandamus, certiorari, and quo warranto.

A writ is a legal instrument or order issued by a court that directs an individual, official, or authority to perform a certain activity or desist from doing so.

An appeal is a formal request that a higher court examine and reconsider a lower court judgment. It acts as a method for correcting mistakes and clarifying or interpreting the law. Only a party engaged in the initial matter before the lower court has the right to submit an appeal and request a formal change to the judgement or order. The appellant is the person who files the appeal, and the appellate court is the court that reviews the lower court's judgement. An appeal can only be undertaken if it is authorised by law, and it must follow precise procedural standards when filed.

Facts of the Case

  • The appellants, who represented a golf club maintained by the Haryana Tourism Corporation between 1988 and 1989, first recruited the respondents as gardeners (Mali).
  • The respondents began working as gardeners (Mali) daily before being promoted to tractor driver, even though the club did not have an official tractor driver post available. Despite this, the responders were paid at the Mali salary rate. They then demanded that their salary be modified to reflect the job they were doing as tractor drivers.
  • Following a request from the Head Office, the appellants began paying the respondents the daily remuneration of a tractor driver, as prescribed by the Deputy Commissioner. Despite having worked as tractor drivers for around a decade, their services were regularised against the Mali position in 1999, rather than being recognised as such.
  • After their issues went unanswered despite representations, the respondents decided to file a civil lawsuit to regularise their employment as tractor drivers.
  • Initially, the Trial Court denied their suit, citing that the business did not formally recognise the role of the tractor driver. Given the large size of the golf course and the requirement for mechanical upkeep, the court determined that driving a tractor constituted an essential part of a gardener's (Mali's) duties at a golf club.
  • The respondents appealed the trial court decision to the Additional District Judge in Faridabad. The court acknowledged that the defendants had provided tractor driver services to the plaintiffs from August 13, 1999. As a consequence, the court ordered the defendants to establish the position of tractor driver and regularise the plaintiffs in that capacity.
  • Further, One of the key managerial personnel of Aravali Golf Club filed a second appeal with the Punjab and Haryana High Court. In this appeal, the learned Single Judge acknowledged the need to establish the post of tractor driver, particularly given the availability of tractors and the demand for their use. The Judge stressed that state authorities should not be permitted to unilaterally deny people their legal rights on technical grounds. The second appeal was dismissed, upholding the ruling of the First Appellate Court.
  • Not pleased with the result, the appellants filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, contesting the aforementioned decision.


  • Whether regularization of services can be undertaken for a position that has been approved for creation?
  • Whether courts possess the jurisdiction to establish a position that isn’t formally outlined by the corporation?


The court’s ruling centred on the absence of an authorised position for tractor drivers, which prevented the respondent from being regularised in such roles. The decision by the first appellate court and the learned Single Judge to create new posts of tractor drivers and regularise the respondents’ services was deemed beyond their jurisdiction. The court emphasised that the establishment of new positions falls under the purview of the executive or legislative branches and not the judiciary.

Consequently, the appeal was granted, leading to the overturning of the judgment and order of the High Court and First Appellate Court. However, the verdict of the Trial Court was upheld.

The judges stressed the importance of judicial restraint, citing precedents residences such as Indian Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd. v. The Workman of Indian Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd., (2007) 1 SCC 408 and S.C. Chandra and Ors. v. State of Jharkhand and Ors., JT 2007 (10) 4 SC 272. They emphasised the need to refrain from encroaching on the domains of the executive or legislative branches.

Referring to Tata Cellular v. Union of India, AIR 1996 SC 11, the court observed a growing tendency towards judicial restraint in administrative matters. Despite this, some courts continue to assume legislative or executive functions, which should be avoided. The court acknowledged its lack of administrative expertise compared to administrative authorities.

Similarly, in the case of Ram Jawaya v. State of Punjab, AIR 1955 SC 549, the court underscored the constitutional principle of separation of powers and the need for each branch of government to function within its designated boundaries. Similarly, in Asif Hameed v. State of Jammu and Kashmir, the court emphasised the delineated functions of the legislative, executive and judicial branches as specified in the Constitution.

The Hon'ble Supreme Court emphasized the importance of avoiding judicial activism that encroaches upon the functions of other branches of the state.


Judges regularly face circumstances in which they risk overstepping their authority by seeking to wield executive or legislative powers, which is a blatant breach of constitutional norms. Judicial activism should not be used as an excuse to interfere with the tasks assigned to other branches of the state. All branches must recognise their limitations and avoid taking on duties that are the responsibility of other branches. They must act with humility and avoid abusing their power.

The separation of powers between the legislative, judicial, and executive departments of government must be maintained without intervention. Judges cannot extend their jurisdiction or undermine the authority of other branches, as this would be illegal. To preserve a delicate equilibrium, each branch should avoid infringing on the territory of another.

The notion of judicial restraint provides parity between the branches while protecting their independence. The overriding goal is to avoid misuse of authority or duties by any branch of government.

Deepa Bajaj

Deepa Bajaj

A third-year student pursuing BBA LLB (Hons.) College: SVKM'S Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies. Having a strong passion for writing along with a deep understanding of legal concepts

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