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Chandra Kumar vs. UOI - Manav Puri@LexCliq

 Chandra Kumar vs. Union of India - Manav Puri@LexCliq


There was much controversy as to the constitutionality of Sections 323A and 323B, as the exclusion of the High Court's jurisdiction over official matters was considered to be contrary to the spirit of the Constitution. Numerous cases have been dealt with on the question of basic structure. The powers and position of administrative courts, the scope of judicial review, but instead of solving those problems, these cases have raised those problems. 

Facts of Case; 

Pursuant to Articles 323A and 323B of the Indian Constitution, the five-chamber Central Administrative Court was established on November 1, 1985, as well as the Supreme Court, which questions the constitutional validity of Article 323A as contrary to the spirit of the Constitution as it gives jurisdiction of the Supreme Court pursuant to Article 32 of the Constitution and the Supreme Court pursuant to Article 226 of the Constitution. the Constitution.

The Court also agreed that while the power of judicial review under Article 32 of the Constitution, which has been described as the heart and soul of the Constitution, can additionally be conferred on another court, there is no reason why it should not should be the case in the case of the powers conferred on the Supreme Court under Article 226 of the Constitution to do so. However, it is necessary that the jurisdiction of the High Court under Articles 226/227 and the Supreme Court under Article 32 be maintained and that the courts act as a supplementary body.

Although the tribunals have not lived up to expectations, it would be unsatisfactory to attribute these problems to the fundamental principles of their institution and to regard them as unsound. The reasons for the establishment of the tribunals still stand and have recently become clearer.

However, it ruled that the jurisdiction of the courts would be subject to review by the High Court under Articles 226/227.This would serve two purposes; First, it will ensure that unfounded claims are filtered through the court's decision-making process, and second, the Supreme Court will not lose its judicial review powers. Therefore, the Supreme Court ruled that the courts constituted under Article 323A Article 323B of the Constitution have the power to examine the constitutional validity of any statutory provision or rule subject to Supreme Court review.

Given the unprecedented increase in litigation, there is a need to give courts additional powers of judicial review. In this situation the judgement in Sampat Kumar’s case was right as it adopted the theory of alternative institutional mechanism in the cases before the High Court.

Throughout the judgment the Court pointed out that the courts do not replace the High Court but complement it. In addition, they suggested the following changes;

  • They will function as a supplementary body and all decisions of the courts will be subject to scrutiny by a divisional chamber of the respective high courts. 

  • The requirement that the appointment of administrative members to administrative courts should cease is not acceptable as a reasonable combination of judicial members and persons with background experience would be better suited to achieve fast and efficient enforcement. 

  • In order to eliminate the inefficiency of the courts, the courts should be subject to the oversight authority of the High Court. 

  • The ministry can appoint an independent supervisory body to oversee the operation of the courts. 


Ratio Decidendi of the Case; 

  • The power of judicial review of legislative acts, conferred on the High Courts and the Supreme Court under Articles 226 and 32 respectively, is the basic structure of the Constitution. 

  • The power of judicial supervision over the decisions of all courts within its jurisdiction is the basic structure of the constitution. 

  • Judicial scrutiny of the legislative process in the exercise of power by the lower judiciary or courts established by common law cannot exclude the Superior Courts and the Supreme Court. However, they can play a complementary rather than a substitute role in this regard.

  • Courts constituted under Sections 323A and 323B have the power to hear matters of subsidiary legislation, except for matters of their original statute. All of their decisions would be reviewed under Articles 226/227 before the Trial Chambers of their respective High Courts. Under Article 136, no appeal would go directly to the Supreme Court. This directorate would work prospectively. 

  • There is no need to stop appointing directors. 

  • Until the establishment of an independent body for the object of looking over the regulation of the Tribunals is pending, all such Tribunals will be under single ministry or body whose members would significantly be the Ministry of Law.

Author Name – Manav Puri@LexCliq


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