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Administrative tribunals

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Administrative Tribunals- an inescapable necessity in a modem complex society and is a by-product of Welfare state.

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Administrative tribunals

  1. 1. Administrative Tribunals Background In the late 18th and 19th centuries when 'laissez faire' theory held sway, the law courts emerged as the custodians of the rights and liberties of the individual citizens. Sometimes they protected the rights of all citizens at the cost of state authority. Here individual rights are given precedence over the social interest. How it evolved? • Is a by-product of Welfare state With the emergence of welfare state, social interest began to be given precedence over the individual rights. There has arisen the need!!! For a technique of adjudication better fitted to respond to the social requirements of the time than the elaborate and costly system of decision making provided by the courts of law. • Phenomenal increase in the functions of the government This has lent enormous powers to the executive and also led to increase in the legislative output. This has led to more litigation, restrictions on the freedom of the individuals and constant frictions between them and the authority. Administrative tribunals have emerged with the objective of providing a new type of justice - public good oriented justice*.
  2. 2. What necessitate its growth? In view of the rapid growth and expansion of industry, trade and commerce, ordinary law courts are not in a position to cope up with the work-load. Ordinary judges, brought up in the traditions of law and jurisprudence, are not capable enough to understand technical problems, which crop up in the wake of modern complex economic and social processes. A good number of situations are such that they require quick and firm action. Otherwise the interests of-the people may be jeopardized. According to Servai, 'the development of administrative law in a welfare state has made administrative tribunals a necessity'. Therefore, a number of administrative tribunals have been established in the country, which can do the work more rapidly, more cheaply and more efficiently than the ordinary courts. What is Administrative Tribunal? Are administrative agencies • With the power to adjudicate the disputes arising out of administrative action or inaction • Which are capable of looking into the matters of administrative exigencies Characteristics • They are not a court nor are they an executive body. Rather they are a mixture of both. o Judicial in the sense that the tribunals have to decide facts and apply them impartially, without considering executive policy. o Administrative because the reasons for preferring them to the ordinary courts of law are administrative reasons. • They are required to act judicially and perform quasi-judicial functions. • They are not bound by the elaborate rules of evidence or procedures governing the ordinary courts. • Only required to follow the procedure prescribed by the relevant law and observe the principles of 'Natural Justice'*.
  3. 3. What is involved is basically the relative position of two values, that is, the protection of the individual and his legitimate interests and the effective attainment of public purpose. So The involvement of experts in administration in regulating administrative actions is necessary to provide justice to the citizens, without sacrificing the institutional needs. Advantage • Flexibility: o not restrained by rigid rules of procedure and canons of evidence o Remain in tune with the varying phases of social and economic life • Adequate Justice: adequate assess of the needs of the modem welfare society. Courts were more involved in the laws and their aspects. • Less Expensive: procedures are simple and can be easily understood by a layman. • Relief to Courts: overburdened courts • Experimentation: practical experience can be more easily utilised by amendments of laws, rules and regulations(courts’-arduous) Disadvantage • A negation of Rule of Law: With their separate laws and procedures often made by themselves, put a serious limitation upon the celebrated principles of Rule of Law. • Violation of principle of natural justice Administrative tribunals, have in most cases, no set procedures and sometimes they violate even the principles of natural justice. • A uniform code of procedure in administrative adjudication is not there. • Often hold summary trials: It is not possible to predict the course of future decisions. • ‘Independent outlook of a judge’ may be in? :
  4. 4. Manned by administrators and technical heads who may not have the background of law or training of judicial work. But, it is an inescapable necessity in a modem complex society. What are the safeguards that should be available against weaknesses and excesses of administrative tribunals? • A uniform code of judicial procedure for administrative tribunals should be devised and enforced. • The appointment of members should be made in consultation with the Supreme Court and should be manned by persons possessing legal training and experience • Reasons should invariably accompany decisions by the tribunals. • The right to judicial review on points of law must remain unimpaired. According to M.C. Setalvad, former Attorney General of India, the need for judicial review is greater in a nascent democracy like India. Question-Jeremy Bentham, "Good laws are such laws for which good reasons can be given". Comment Answer-Decisions should be accompanied by reasons. A reasoned decision goes towards convincing those, who are affected by it, about its innate fairness and is a check against misuse of power. Tribunals in India Constitutional Tribunal: CAT • It owes its origin to Article 323 A of the Constitution • Under Administrative Tribunals Act in '1985’ • For adjudication of disputes and complaints with respective recruitment and conditions of service. • The Act provides for the establishment of Central Administrative Tribunal and State Administrative Tribunals. • The appeal against the decisions of the CAT lies with the Supreme Court of India.
  5. 5. Question: Write short note on Effectiveness and utility of Central and State Administrative Tribunal? Effective: The Tribunals enjoy the powers of the High Court in respect of service matters of the employees covered by the Act. They are not bound by the technicalities of the Code of Civil Procedure, but have to abide by the Principles of Natural Justice. Utility: They are free from the shackles of the ordinary courts which enable them to provide speedy and inexpensive justice.

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