Purpose

An administrative agency, while investigating, should not act arbitrarily, oppressively or unreasonably.  In Donald H. Markwardt Et Al. V. State Of Minnesota, Water Resources Board, 254 N.W.2d 371, it was observed that courts will not interfere with the conclusions of an administrative agency unless it is proved that the agency has violated a constitutional provision, has exceeded its authority or jurisdiction, has not followed the legal procedure, has proceeded on a wrong theory of law, has taken an action without sufficient evidence, or has acted arbitrarily or capriciously.  A decision is said to be arbitrary or capricious, when it reflects the will and not the judgment of the deciding authority.[i]

When an action of the administrative agency comes for judicial review, the burden of proving arbitrariness and unreasonableness shall lie on the party challenging the investigation.  On a scrutiny of various court decisions, it is understood that the reasonableness cannot be reduced to formula; but the same depends on the nature, scope and purpose of the enquiry.

In certain cases, even on the ground of suspicion, the agency can conduct investigations.  But such suspicion should be to analyze whether the law is violated or not.  The gravity of the suspicion depends on each individual case.  The legislation has given such a wide discretion to the investigating agency because the administrative agencies and the administrative process are relatively newcomers in the legal field and are trying trial and error process to fit into the judicial system.  The main duty of these administrative agencies is to get the best information and is given considerable discretion in seeking information relevant to legitimate law enforcement investigations

[i] Donald H. Markwardt Et Al. V. State Of Minnesota, Water Resources Board, 254 N.W.2d 371.


Inside Purpose