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G.S. PAPER II – CONSTITUTION & POLITY QUASI – JUDICIAL BODIES IN INDIA Copyright © by Vision IAS All rights are reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of Vision IAS 1 www.visionias.in ©Vision IAS
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   1 www.visionias.in ©Vision IAS G.S. PAPER II – CONSTITUTION & POLITY QUASI – JUDICIAL BODIES IN INDIA Copyright © by Vision IAS  All rights are reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of Vision IAS      2 www.visionias.in ©Vision IAS Quasi – Judicial Bodies i Idia 1. Meaning A quasi judicial body  is an organization or individual on which powers resembling to that of court of law of  judge have been conferred in order to adjudicate and decided upon a situation and impose penalty upon the guilty or regulate the conduct of individual or entity. A quasi-judicial agency has also been defined as “an organ of government, other than a court or legislature, which affects the rights of private parties through either adjudication or rule-making. Essentially, a quasi-judicial agency is one which exercises a discretion that is essentially judicial in character but is not a tribunal within the judicial branch of government and is not a court exercising judicial power in the constitutional sense.  2. Emergence of Quasi-Judicial Bodies ã   As the welfare state has grown up in the size and functions, the more and litigations are pending in the  judiciary making it over-burdened. It requires to have alternative justice system. ã   Ordinary judiciary is has become very costly. ã   With the scientific and economic development the laws have become more complex,  which demand more technical knowledge of the specific sectors.   ã   The conventional judiciary is suffering with procedural rigidity,  which delays the justice. 3. Categories of Tribunals in India There are four categories  of tribunals in India: 1.   Administrative bodies exercising quasi-judicial functions, whether as part and parcel of the Department  or otherwise. 2.   Administrative adjudicatory bodies which are outside the control of the Department involved in the dispute and hence decide disputes like a judge free from judicial bias Example: The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal  is under the Ministry of Law and not under Ministry of Finance.   3 www.visionias.in ©Vision IAS 3.   Tribunals under Article 136  in which the authority exercises inherent judicial powers of the State. Because the functions of the body are considered important over the control, composition and procedure, even Departmental bodies also can be classified as Tribunals 4.   Tribunals constituted under Article 323A and 323B  and having constitutional srcin and enjoy the powers and status of a High Court 4. Advantages of Tribunals 1.   Low Cost 2.   Accessibility 3.   Simplicity 4.   Expert knowledge and qualified staff 5.   Reasoned judgments 6.   Reduce the workload of the judiciary and government departments 7.   Responsibility for sensitive decisions 8.   Flexibility, since there is little use made of precedent. 5. Disadvantages of Tribunals 1. There is an unfair imbalance  between represented and unrepresented parties. It is unfair to people who are not represented and cannot get legal aid to come up against a rich corporation. Since richer parties are allowed to employ skilled representation they are consequently more likely to win. 2. The no-costs rule and lack of legal aid penalize  poor litigants, although they do keep costs down. 3. The lack of fees encourages poor applicants, although it may also result in ill-founded claims.  4. Tribunals can become complex over time - as did the courts - rules of procedure grow up caused by the use of representatives who as a result make representation desirable in future. 5. They may lack some of the perceived independence of the judiciary  6. It can still be difficult for the people who go to tribunals to represent themselves because of the inherent difficulty in presenting a case in any environment. 7. It undermines the celebrated principle of separation of powers  and natural justice.   4 www.visionias.in ©Vision IAS 6. Criticism of quasi - judicial bodies Ordinary judiciary is still overburden. It is because that the party who lost the case in the tribunal, more often than not, approach the higher judiciary. It not cheap as more technical issues always pave the way for lawyer. Many members of these bodies are ex-bureaucrates with out any training of the law. Its independence is compromised.  7. Suggestions to improve tribunals ã   It should be manned by plural members  rather than single individual   ã   They should be appointed by  judicious process. ã   Members should be from both the technical background and legal one . 8. Specific recommendations by SC to improve Administrative Tribunals ã   The chairman should be appointed by President from sitting or retired judge of a High Court in consultation with CJI or committee headed by CJI. ã   Vice-chairman should be a judge of district court or an advocate who is eligible to become a judge of HC. ã   Removal should be more stringent. 9. Evolutionary aspects of Administrative Tribunals The Constitution ( Forty-second Amendment ) Act, 1976 inserted new Part XIVA on ‘Tribunals’ in the Constitution. Article 323A empowers Parliament to provide, by law, for the adjudication or trial by administrative tribunals of disputes and complaints with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of any State. The law may provide for the establishment of an administrative tribunal for the Union and a separate administrative tribunal for each State or for two or more States. The law may take out adjudication of disputes relating to service matters from the hands of the civil courts and the High Courts. Pursuant to the provisions of article 323A, Parliament enacted the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 (Act) to establish an Administrative Tribunal for the Union, viz., the Central Administrative Tribunal and a separate Administrative Tribunal for a State or a Joint Administrative Tribunal for two or more States. The establishment of Administrative Tribunals became necessary since a large number of cases relating to service matters were pending before various courts. It was expected that the setting up of the
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