Ad Hoc – Legal Maxim

Literal Meaning

For this purpose of


Ad Hoc means for the sole purpose of. Thus ad hoc committees are formed for some specific propose to conduct certain specific functions. These are created when the principle committee is unable to conduct those functions due to lack of time or any other reason. These are however temporary in nature and are dissolved when their operation are over. They are created to analyze a specialised area or to conduct operations that require certain specialised skills.


Ad hoc is a Latin term which translates to for this or to this point. This can find its use in various forms. For conducting certain special functions all the three branches of the government requires external help. Thus ad hoc committees or other groups are created.   


Minors cannot represent themselves in any suit but they have the right to sue and to be sued. Thus the court appoints ad hoc guardians who represent the minors in the court. Their function is to act on behalf of the minors and take steps in minor’s favour.

Also Ad hoc judges can be appointed in the Supreme Court by Chief Justice of India with the prior permission of the President. They are appointed when there is no quorum of judges available for the session of the court. Only the persons who are qualified as to be appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court are appointed as ad hoc judges.

Case Reference

In the case of Gyan Bharati Vidyapith and others v State of West Bengal and others[1] the dispute was regarding the Power to suspend teacher. The Adhoc Committee unanimously resolved to disapprove proposal of appellants to suspend 4 Assistant Teachers. Thus the court created an Ad Hoc committee to discus about the power of the board to suspend teachers. After the appeal was dismissed the ad hoc committee was also dissolved.

In the case of Shailesh Bandu Swami and another v Dipak and others[2] the Supreme Court the question of law was regarding Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act, 1949 (Sections 20, 21, 31A and35A) It was the view of the High Court ruled that Standing Committee as was in existence before 2-5-2018 shall be the one which must take all steps and decisions. It was observed that on date of notice of meeting for appointing 8 new members, Standing Committee consisting of 16 members had not come into existence. Mandatory requirements of S. 20 of Act were violated and an attempt was made to appoint Chairman of Standing Committee by Corporation. Standing committee is formed by the parliament. However it is a permanent committee but is constituted from time to time according to the provisions of an Act of parliament to assist the parliament.

In Kalpana Mehta and others v Union of India[3] and others the Supreme Court of India observed that it is necessary to understand the role of the parliamentary standing Committees or ad hoc committees. They are constituted with certain purposes. The formation of committee has history. Committees have been described as a primary organizational device whereby legislatures can accommodate an increase in the number of bills being introduced, while continuing to scrutinize legislation; handle the greater complexity and technical nature of bills under review without an exponential growth in size; develop “division of labours” among members for considering legislation.

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje


[1] Gyan Bharati Vidyapith and others v. State of West Bengal and others, WP 482 of 2017; 2018 Indlaw CAL 441

[2] Shailesh Bandu Swami and another v. Dipak and others, Civil Appeal No. 9970 of 2018;2018 Indlaw SC 869

[3] Kalpana Mehta and others v. Union of India, Writ Petition (Civil) No. 921 of 2013, 2018 Indlaw SC 295


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I am Kousini Gupta, final year BBA.LLB. student from Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad. The topics in Constitutional, Intellectual Property, Entertainment and Media Law excite me in particular and bring out the best in me. I have interned at District Court, High Court and several reputed law firms. The experience of these internships was highly valuable and enriching. My research and publications have been accepted in reputed national journals. Besides, I also enjoy mooting and have several participation certificates to my credit. In my free time, I like to be creative with paintings and dance to my favourite tunes.