In the late 18th
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
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
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*.
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
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
• 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
• Only required to follow the procedure prescribed by the relevant law and observe the
principles of 'Natural Justice'*.
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
The involvement of experts in administration in regulating administrative actions is
necessary to provide justice to the citizens, without sacrificing the institutional needs.
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)
• 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? :
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
• 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
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
• The Act provides for the establishment of Central Administrative Tribunal and State
• The appeal against the decisions of the CAT lies with the Supreme Court of India.
Question: Write short note on Effectiveness and utility of Central and State Administrative
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.
They are free from the shackles of the ordinary courts which enable them to provide speedy and