KEY TAKE AWAYS
- Administrative law refers to the many systems of procedures, guidelines, and legal frameworks that regulate how government agencies carry out legislative mandates and oversee programme administration.
- The first tribunal in India, the Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal, was established in 1941–1942
- The primary reason for creating tribunals is that numerous pieces of legislation have established domestic tribunals and other tribunals to handle situations resulting from cases that were pending in numerous courts and were consequently referred to the tribunals.
- Is a useful tool for maintaining a balance between administration and law enforcement.
- In India, administrative law plays a significant role in regulating delegated legislation, and one means to regulate administrative acts through judicial review of administrative discretionary judgments.
Administrative law refers to the many systems of procedures, guidelines, and legal frameworks that regulate how government agencies carry out legislative mandates and oversee programme administration. Administrative law thus encompasses crucial political and social goals including democracy, fairness, and efficiency.
As the legal system has always been regarded as a means of holding administrators accountable to democratic regulatory decisions, it also places a great deal of emphasis on a factual investigation of the impact of courts on administrations.
In the dictionary, "Tribunal" is defined as "Judge's Seat." According to I.P. Massey, the term "Tribunal" is used in Administrative Law with a specific meaning that relates to adjudicatory bodies outside the purview of Conventional Courts of Land.
The term "administrative tribunal" refer to the following facts; each tribunal is established by an act of the parliament, not the government, that its decisions are judicial, not administrative, that it occasionally hears disputes between private parties, and that it is independent and free from administrative interference.
The establishment of administrative tribunals is required by law; a statute must do this. They share some characteristics with regular courts, but not all of them. They carry out judicial and quasi-judicial duties and are required to always behave responsibly.
They are not held to stringent standards of proof and procedure. However, they operate under the tenet of natural justice. Because of their independence, the Administrative Tribunals are not subject to administrative intervention when carrying out their judicial and quasi-judicial duties. An administrative tribunal has the same legal authority as a court to call witnesses, administer oaths, and require the production of documents, among other things. The rulings of the administrative tribunals are subject to the prerogative writs of certiorari and prohibition.
The first tribunal in India, the Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal, was established in 1941–1942; this is when the beginning of the origination of tribunals can be found.
The Tribunals, were established to reduce the load on the courts, to expedite decisions, and to offer a forum run by lawyers and other experts in the fields covered by the Tribunal's jurisdiction. Conflict resolution in the nation underwent a substantial transformation with the passing of the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act of 1976.
Tribunals were not included in the original constitution, rather they were added only by the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 to the Indian Constitution.
India uses quasi-judicial tribunals to resolve a variety of administrative and tax-related problems. Among others, there are food safety appellate tribunals which were established to hear appeals against decisions made by food safety adjudicating officers (additional deputy commissioners), the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT), a military tribunal, and the National Company Law Tribunal, an Indian quasi-judicial body that decides disputes involving Indian corporations and other entities.
The primary reason for creating tribunals is that numerous pieces of legislation have established domestic tribunals and other tribunals to handle situations resulting from cases that were pending in numerous courts and were consequently referred to the tribunals.
A "tribunal" is different from a domestic tribunal in legal terms. Domestic tribunals are administrative organisations with the authority to conduct investigations and make decisions in order to regulate members' conduct and enforce rules of conduct.
The purpose of tribunals, on the other hand, is to settle disputes pertaining to particular subjects. Tribunals operate in line with the statute that established them. The Ombudsman similarly looks into citizen complaints about issues they have with government workers.
THE CURRENT SCENARIO
The legal system of India is divided into three levels. Except in situations where it is explicitly or implicitly prohibited, all cases fall under the original jurisdiction of the subordinate courts.
In general, high courts have the ability to issue prerogative writs, as well as appellate and revisional authority in their respective states. Several High Courts exercise original jurisdictions. The High Courts also hear appeals and writs challenging the rulings of a number of the Tribunals.
Original jurisdiction (disputes between two or more States, or between the Government of India and one or more States, or disputes arising out of the voting of the President and Vice-President of India) and advisory jurisdiction (disputes arising out of the voting of the President and Vice-President of India) have been granted on the Supreme Court by Article 131, where the President of India may ask the Court for guidance on a particular factual or legal issue.
ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL Vs. EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY
- The Administrative Tribunal is not a government executive body or administrative agency.
- The authority granted to an administrative tribunal is not merely administrative but also quasi-judicial.
- Administrative tribunals are required to follow the natural justice principle and to act in a legal manner.
- They only add administrative because they are a component of a system for which a minister is answerable to parliament and because administrative considerations are what favour them above regular courts.
Technically, the Courtswho are in charge of defending individual rights and advancing justice contain the majority of the judicial powers in India. As a result, judicial powers are delegated to authorities in order to build a court system that is more effective and less complicated, emphasising administrative tribunals or administrative arbitral bodies with quasi-judicial powers.
In accordance with Article 32 of the Constitution, it has the power to review decisions made by High Courts, Tribunals, or Appellate Tribunals established under various Statutes. The Court may also take into consideration Special Leave Petition under Article 136 on Serious Legal Questions or Problems of Great Public Significance.
POWERS AND PROCEDURE
- A tribunal is never required to follow the steps outlined in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), but instead is free to follow the principles of natural justice. This includes making decisions about whether to conduct an inquiry in public or privately, as well as adhering to all other provisions of this Act and any rules made by the Central Government.
- Every application submitted to a tribunal must be evaluated as fast as possible, and the majority of petitions are decided following a review of the documents and written statements submitted, as well as after hearing any oral arguments made.
- In order to execute its duty under this Act, a Tribunal shall have the same authority to review a complaint as a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908).
According to Article 141 of the constitution, "all courts located within the territory of India shall be bound by the law declared by the Supreme Court." There is little doubt that both administrative tribunals and all conventional courts fall under the broad definition of Article 141. With regard to the law that the High Court pronounced to be the law, there is no such provision that corresponds to Article 141.
The High Court is the supreme court of the state, much as the Supreme Court is the highest court in the nation. The High Court, like the Supreme Court, has supervisory jurisdiction over all inferior courts and tribunals within the regions over which it exercises jurisdiction in addition to writ jurisdiction.
Therefore, the High court can definitely intervene in the activity of the administrative tribunal if it acts without jurisdiction, goes beyond its authority, or attempts to violate the law that was established by the High court.
SUPPORTING CASE LAWS
1. In Associated Cement Co. Ltd. v. P.N. Sharma [AIR 1965 SC 1595], the Supreme Court held that a Tribunal may have some, but not all, of the trappings of the Court.
The administrative tribunal serves as a middle ground between the judicial and administrative branches of government in terms of functionality.
2. The case of Raghuraj Singh v. Durga Shankar Mehta [AIR 1954 SC 520]Tribunal is defined as follows according to the Supreme Court:
The word "Tribunal," does not indicate "court," but rather "all adjudicating bodies," provided that they are created by states and have judicial authority rather than administrative or executive authority.
3. Bhopal sugar industries limited vs ITO [AIR 1961 SC 182]
The income tax officer refused to follow a straightforward instruction from the income tax tribunal. The Supreme Court noted that such a refusal would go against the core principle of court hierarchy and said that such a position is limited by the fundamental principle of the administration of justice.
In India, administrative law plays a significant role in regulating delegated legislation, and one means to regulate administrative acts is through judicial review of administrative discretionary judgments. Administrative law depends on the methodology and research of social science to analyse how legislation could affect governance and increase the effectiveness of public organisations.
It is a useful tool for maintaining a balance between administration and law enforcement. Administrative law is a body of laws, procedures, and organisations that govern how government agencies carry out their legal obligations and manage their activities.
The current tribunals are not being used to their full potential due to a number of restrictions. The effective operation of the tribunals and the prompt administration of justice to the wronged public employees depend on comprehensive reforms.