ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS IN INDIA
BY NUPUR GARG
In Administrative law, the term tribunal is used in a significant sense and refers to only the adjudicatory bodies which are outside the sphere of the ordinary court of law. Technically in India, the judicial powers are vested in the Courts which aim to safeguard the rights of the individuals and promote 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 traditional theory of laissez faire has been given up and the old police state has now become a welfare state. This radical change in the philosophy of the role of the state expanded the functions of the state. Now the state is over burdened with sovereign functions, social security, social welfare, socio-economic activities and so on. It is not possible for the ordinary courts of law to entertain all socio-economic problems which are not related to purely legal issues.
CHARACTERISTICS OF ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS
The following are the few attributes of the administrative tribunals which make them quite disparate from the ordinary courts:
Administrative tribunals must have statutory origin i.e. they must be created by any statute.
They must have some features of the ordinary courts but not all.
An administrative tribunal performs the quasi-judicial and judicial functions and is bound to act judicially in every circumstance.
They are not adhered by strict rules of evidence and procedure.
Administrative tribunals are independent and not subject to any administrative interference in the discharge of judicial or quasi-judicial functions.
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.
These tribunals are bound to abide by the principle of natural justice.
A fair, open and impartial act is the indispensable requisite of the administrative tribunals.
The prerogative writs of certiorari and prohibition are available against the decisions of administrative tribunals.
NEED OF TRIBUNAL
To overcome the situation that arose due to the pendency of cases in various Courts, domestic tribunals and other Tribunals have been established under different Statutes, hereinafter referred to as the Tribunals.
The Tribunals were set up to reduce the workload of courts, to expedite decisions and to provide a forum which would be manned by lawyers and experts in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.
The tribunals perform an important and specialized role in justice mechanism. They take a load off the already overburdened courts. They hear disputes related to the environment, armed forces, tax and administrative issues.
It can be concluded that in the present scenario, the administration has become an important part of the government as well as the citizen’s life. Due to this increasing role, it is important to establish a competent authority for the redressal of people’s grievances and adjudication of the disputes. Therefore, the concept of administrative tribunals was emerged and is dynamically flourishing in India holding certain flaws and strengths.