In State of Punjab v. Gurdial Singh (1980) 2 SCC 471 : –
`The question, then, is what is malafides in the jurisprudence of power? Legal malice is gibberish unless juristic clarity keeps it separate from the popular concept of personal vice. Pithily put, bad faith which invalidates the exercise of power – sometimes called colourable exercise or fraud on power and oftentimes overlaps motives, passions and satisfactions – is the attainment of ends beyond the sanctioned purposes of power by simulation or pretension of gaining a legitimate goal. If the use of the power is for the fulfilment of a legitimate object the actuation or catalysation by malice is not legicidal. The action is bad where the true object is to reach an end different from the one for which the power is entrusted, goaded by extraneous considerations, good or bad, but irrelevant to the entrustment. When the custodian of power is influenced in its exercise by considerations outside those for promotion of which the power is vested the court calls it a colourable exercise and is undeceived by illusion. In a broad, blurred sense, Benjamin Disraeli was not off the mark even in law when he stated: “I repeat . . . that all power is a trust – that we are accountable for its exercise – that, from the people, and for the people, all springs, and all must exist”. Fraud on power voids the order if it is not exercised bona fide for the end designed. Fraud in this context is not equal to moral turpitude and embraces all cases in which the action impugned is to effect some object which is beyond the purpose and intent of the power, whether this be malice-laden or even benign. If the purpose is corrupt the resultant act is bad. If considerations, foreign to the scope of the power or extraneous to the statute, enter the verdict or impel the action, mala fides or fraud on power vitiates the acquisition or other official act.'
In Collector (District Magistrate), Allahabad and another v. Raja Ram Jaiswal (1985) 3 SCC 1, it was held:
`Where power is conferred to achieve a purpose, it has been repeatedly reiterated that the power must be exercised reasonably and in good faith to effectuate the purpose. And in this context “in good faith” means “for legitimate reasons”. Where power is exercised for extraneous or irrelevant considerations or reasons, it is unquestionably a colourable exercise of power or fraud on power and the exercise of power is vitiated.'
In Ravi Yashwant Bhoir v. Collector (2012) 4 SCC 407, it was held :
`Malafide exercise of power does not imply any moral turpitude. It means exercise of statutory power for “purposes foreign to those for which it is in law intended”. It means conscious violation of the law to the prejudice of another, a depraved inclination on the part of the authority to disregard the rights of others, where intent is manifested by its injurious acts. Passing an order for unauthorized purpose constitutes malice in law.'