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  • Administrative Tribunals – Law Notes – For W.B.C.S. Examination.

    In Administrative law, the term ‘tribunal’ is used in a significant sense and refers to only the adjudicatory bodies which lie outside the sphere of the ordinary judicial system.Continue Reading Administrative Tribunals – Law Notes – For W.B.C.S. Examination.

    Technically in India, the judicial powers are vested in the Courts which aims to safeguard the rights of the individuals and promotes justice. Therefore, to institute an effective system of the judiciary with fewer complexities, the judicial powers are delegated to the administrative authorities, thus, giving rise to administrative tribunals or administrative adjudicatory bodies which holds quasi-judicial features.

    The concept of tribunalisation came into existence in India with the establishment of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal before the independence of the country. After independence, a need was being felt for resolving administrative disputes with flexibility and speed. The core objective of tribunalisation was to provide specialised and speedy justice to the people.

    After the drafting of the Indian Constitution, several rights for the welfare of the individuals were guaranteed by the Constitution. People have the right to speedy trials and of specialised quality which cannot be delivered by the prevailing judicial system due to the overburden of cases and appeals, technicalities in procedure etc.

    Hence, the need for the inception of the administrative tribunals couldn’t be ignored.

    The 42nd Amendment to the Constitution introduced Part XIV-A which included Article 323A and 323B providing for constitution of tribunals dealing with administrative matters and other issues. According to these provisions of the Constitution, tribunals are to be organized and established in such a manner that they do not violate the integrity of the judicial system given in the Constitution which forms the basic structure of the Constitution.

    The introduction of Article 323A and 323B was done with the primary objective of excluding the jurisdiction of the High Courts under Article 226 and 227, except the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 136 and for originating an efficacious alternative institutional mechanism or authority for specific judicial cases.

    The purpose of establishing tribunals to the exclusion of the jurisdiction of the High Courts was done to reduce the pendency and lower the burden of cases. Therefore, tribunals are organised as a part of civil and criminal court system under the supremacy of the Supreme Court of India.

    From a functional point of view, an administrative tribunal is neither an exclusively judicial body nor an absolute administrative body but is somewhere between the two. That is why an administrative tribunal is also called ‘quasi-judicial’ body.

    The following are the few attributes of the administrative tribunals which make them quite disparate from the ordinary courts:

    1. Administrative tribunals must have statutory origin i.e. they must be created by any statute.
    2. They must have some features of the ordinary courts but not all.
    3. An administrative tribunal performs the quasi-judicial and judicial functions and is bound to act judicially in every circumstance.
    4. They are not adhered by strict rules of evidence and procedure.
    5. Administrative tribunals are independent and not subject to any administrative interference in the discharge of judicial or quasi-judicial functions.
    6. In the procedural matters, an administrative tribunal possesses the powers of a court to summon witnesses, to administer oaths and to compel the production of documents, etc.
    7. These tribunals are bound to abide by the principle of natural justice.
    8. A fair, open and impartial act is the indispensable requisite of the administrative tribunals.
    9. The prerogative writs of certiorari and prohibition are available against the decisions of administrative tribunals.

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