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Doctrine of Ultra Vires

Introduction
In India, the doctrine of Ultra Vires is a legal principle that governs the actions of various entities such as companies, government bodies, and constitutional authorities. The doctrine prohibits any entity from acting beyond its prescribed powers and authority. This article
discusses the Doctrine of Ultra Vires in the Indian context, covering its application in Company Law, Constitutional Law, and Administrative Law.

Doctrine of Ultra Vires under Company law
Under Company Law, the Doctrine of Ultra Vires refers to the powers and limitations of a company’s Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association. The Memorandum of Association defines the company’s objectives, and the Articles of Association govern its
internal management and operations. Any action a company takes beyond the scope of its Memorandum of Association or Articles of Association is deemed Ultra Vires and, therefore, void.

The principle of Ultra Vires applies to both the company’s shareholders and the company’s directors. Shareholders are prohibited from passing any resolution that is beyond the scope of the company’s Memorandum of Association, while the directors are prohibited from taking any action that is beyond the company’s Articles of Association. 2iiIn case a company engages in any Ultra Vires activity, any member of the company or the company itself can file a suit to prevent such activity or seek remedies for any harm caused by such activity.

 

Ultra Vires Acts: Types
The following three types of ultra vires acts are listed:

• Actions carried out by the corporation that are outside the scope of the authority conferred in the memo are considered to be ultra vires.

• Both the corporate and ultra-legal requirements must be met. These are actions taken outside of the authority assigned to the corporation by its articles of association, but they fall under the memo’s authority nonetheless. Although these actions violate the
Articles, the corporation is not affected. Administrators are violating the law, but the business policy is not. These administrative actions taken by the corporation are beyond the scope of its jurisdiction but within the bounds of the company as a whole.

• Acts that are ultra vires cannot be approved. This suggests that an act that is committed Associate in Nursing supra vires cannot be made legal in the past. It is definitely invalid and outside the parameters of the actor’s authority as stated in the business memo.

 

Doctrine of Ultra Vires under Constitutional law
Under Constitutional Law, the Doctrine of Ultra Vires relates to the powers of the constitutional authorities, including the Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary. The Constitution of India confers powers on these authorities, and they are required to exercise their powers within the limits of the Constitution. Any action taken by these authorities beyond the scope of their powers is deemed Ultra Vires and therefore, unconstitutional.

In case any constitutional authority engages in any Ultra Vires activity, the citizens of India have the right to approach the courts to seek appropriate remedies. The courts in India have the power of judicial review, and they can declare any action taken by the constitutional authorities Ultra Vires and unconstitutional.

 

Doctrine of Ultra Vires under Administrative law
Under Administrative Law, the Doctrine of Ultra Vires relates to the powers and limitations of the administrative authorities, including the various departments, agencies, and tribunals of the government. These authorities are required to act within the scope of their powers and authority conferred upon them by law. Any action taken by an administrative authority beyond the scope of its powers is deemed Ultra Vires and, therefore, void.

In case any administrative authority engages in any Ultra Vires activity, the citizens of India have the right to approach the courts to seek appropriate remedies. The courts can declare any action taken by the administrative authorities Ultra Vires and strike it down as void.6vi

 

Conclusion –

The Doctrine of Ultra Vires is a fundamental principle of law that governs the powers and limitations of various entities in India. Under Company Law, it applies to the powers and limitations of companies, while under Constitutional Law, it applies to the powers
and limitations of the constitutional authorities. Under Administrative Law, it applies to the powers.

 

Written by – Stuti Nayak.

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