Day 10 – Q 3.What advantages do administrative tribunals bring into the legal ecosystem of the country? Is there a need to rationalise the administrative tribunals in India? Critically examine.
3. What advantages do administrative tribunals bring into the legal ecosystem of the country? Is there a need to rationalise the administrative tribunals in India? Critically examine.
प्रशासनिक न्यायाधिकरण देश के कानूनी पारिस्थितिकी तंत्र में क्या लाभ लाते हैं? क्या भारत में प्रशासनिक न्यायाधिकरणों को युक्तिसंगत बनाने की आवश्यकता है? समालोचनात्मक जांच करें।
Tribunal is an administrative body established on the recommendation of The Swaran Singh Committee under Part XIV-A of the Indian Constitution for the purpose of discharging quasi-judicial duties. Tribunals relieve the burden of judiciary and provide quick and speedy justice.
Tribunals are not Courts because Courts are governed by strict procedure defined in Code of Criminal Procedure CrPC, Indian Penal Code IPC and the Indian Evidence Act whereas tribunals are driven by the principles of natural justice. The Administrative Tribunals have been established to overcome the major lacuna present in the Justice delivery system in the light of the legal maxim Lex dilationes semper exhorret which means ‘The law always abhors delays’.
Advantages of Administrative tribunals:
- Administrative adjudication is more convenient and accessible to individuals compared to ordinary courts.
- Administrative justice ensures cheap and quick justice.
- Its procedures are simple and can be easily understood by a layman.
- The process of adjudication in administrative agencies is flexible and informal compared to the rigid, stringent and much elaborated ordinary court procedures, as it follows principles of natural justice.
- administrative agencies are better than ordinary courts in disposing cases timely.
- Administrative tribunals are filled by a panel of persons vested with special skill and expertise related to the complicated dispute they adjudicate.
- Whereas ordinary court judges are generalists in law and lack such expertise knowledge on the needs of the administration in this technologically advanced world.
- Relief to Courts
- The system also gives the much-needed relief to ordinary courts of law, which are already overburdened with numerous suits
- Adequate Justice
- In the fast changing world of today, administrative tribunals are the most appropriated means of administrative action, and also the most effective means of giving fair justice to the individuals.
- Lawyers, who are more concerned about aspects of law, find it difficult to adequately assess the needs of the modern welfare society.
Need to rationalize Administrative Tribunals
- Government interference in appointing the heads and members of tribunal.
- Administrative adjudication is a negation of Rule of Law.
- Lack of power to enforce the decree.
- Lack of infrastructure and man power.
- A person can again appeal in the court against the decision of the Quasi-Judicial body. This fades away the advantage of cost and time provided by the Quasi-Judicial body.
- Most of the tribunals do not enjoy the same amount of independence of the Executive as do the Courts and the judges.
- The civil and criminal courts have a uniform pattern of administering justice. A uniform code of procedure in administrative adjudication is not there.
- At times they adopt summary procedures to deal with cases coming before them.
Way Forward and solutions
- Qualifications: In Union of India vs. R. Gandhi (2010), the Supreme Court looked said that when the existing jurisdiction of a court is transferred to a tribunal, its members should be persons of a rank, capacity and status as nearly as possible equal to the rank, status and capacity of the court. Establishing a uniform procedure to elect the heads of tribunal eg the way the chairman of NHRC is appointed by President, the same can be implemented over here.
- Independence: The administrative support for all Tribunals should be from the Ministry of Law & Justice. Neither the Tribunals nor its members shall seek or be provided with facilities from the respective sponsoring or parent Ministries or concerned Department.
- Finance: Providing administrative and financial autonomy in order to dispense justice fairly.
- Structure: Rationalizing of tribunal by merger which helps in removing structural complexities.
- Penalty for non-compliance: Establishing a uniform code of punishment, if the orders of tribunal are not implemented by any agency.
- Power-Tribunals themselves are better positioned to gauge their own administrative requirements. Therefore providing power to tribunals to create or sanction posts.
Tribunals are very important for maintaining a healthy justice delivery ecosystem in the country. Tribunals created for various fields have met with some amount of success, but in order to make them receptive to dynamic world functional & financial autonomy needed to imparted to them. This will help them dispensing justice in a timely and effective manner.