Tribunals and its informatics
by Yazhini, 4th year BBA.LLB, School of Law, Sastra.
The tribunal body is a quasi-judicial institution formed to resolve various tax and administrative problems. The Administrative Tribunals Act was enacted in the year 1985.
The power to adjudication is vested in the administrative body called the tribunals. They do not come under ordinary courts. Tribunals are the court of law, but when it is studied with the administrative aspect, it is the adjudicating authorities besides the ordinary court of law. It is an authority that adjudicates and the power of adjudication must be received from a statute and not from the agreement of parties. The numerous functions of tribunals include establishing the rights between the existing parties by adjudicating the submitted dispute, arriving at an administrative decision by the nature of law, and reviewing the made administrative decision.
Originally tribunals were not a part of the Indian Constitution. It was incorporated in the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 to the Constitution.
Article 323-A of the Constitution pacts with administrative matters, i.e., Taxation, industries, labour, food, rent, and foreign exchange. And Article 323-B deals with the tribunals for other subject matters.
Correspondingly, Article 136 of Constitution recognizes the status of tribunals which gives the power to the Supreme Court to give a special leave to appeal from any judgment of decree, determination, sentence or order by any tribunal in India.
Similarly, Article 227 which gives power to every High Court to be superior over every tribunal in the area they have jurisdiction over.
Article 227 provides the following authorities are held to be tribunal:
- Election tribunal
- Statutory Arbitrator
- Income Tax Tribunal
- Industrial Tribunal
- Revenue Tribunal
- Payment of Wages Authority
- Railways Rates Tribunal
- Panchayat Courts
- Rent Control Authority
Reasons for the evolvement of Tribunals:
The evolution of tribunals is due to the incapacity of the ordinary Courts of Law to handle the situations and complex issues in the changing socio-economic world. The ordinary Courts are overburdened and they have to undergo strict rules of procedures. Here, the tribunals are informal, fast, and easy. They reduce the overburden of courts by undertaking tax, armed forces, environment, and administrative related cases.
Characteristics of Tribunal:
- It is originated from a statute and it has to follow the significance and principles of natural justice.
- It should have some elements of a court.
- Judicial power limiting to judicial and quasi-judicial functions must be undertaken.
- The tribunal has the character of the ordinary court when it is concerned with procedural matters. But it is not held under the firm rules of procedures. The tribunals are Independent body and they are not expected to interfere with other administrative bodies in the matter of their judicial and quasi-judicial activities.
- The general rules and procedures of a civil procedure court are not applied to the administrative tribunal and it is expected to operate openly and impartially.
Disadvantages of tribunals:
- The basic motto of the justice system is the Rule of Law. The Rule of Law suggests that the system of acquiring justice should not be taken by the hands of individuals or institutions. But the working of tribunals is against the said subject matter.
- The uniform civil code is a general guide followed by all the civil courts whereas the administrative tribunals do not need to follow the rules. And sometimes the handler of the subject matter may not have adequate experience which leads to disruptive decisions.
The distinction between tribunals and courts:
|Sl. no||COURT OF LAW||TRIBUNALS|
|The powers are derived from the state. I.e. traditional judicial system.||The powers are invested with judicial powers and it is an agency derived from a statute.|
|The deciding authority is a trained individual in law.||The deciding authority may or may not be trained in law.|
|Follows the Rule of Law and bound by the rules of civil court.||Does not follow uniform civil code and bound by the natural justice.|
|Deals with generalized cases of civil and criminal subject matter.||Deals with more specialized cases and formalities of the court of law is not followed.|
|It is always headed by a judge or a panel of judges.||It is headed by chair person or judicial members.|
Types of tribunals:
There are some of the major tribunals dealing with certain specified subject matters,
Central Administrative Tribunal – Deals with the disputes arising in the process of recruitment and service of the selected persons in the public services.
Income Tax Appellate Tribunal – This is a setup to deal with the appeals that come under direct taxes. In this type of tribunal, if there is a material question in the decision made then the appeal can be taken into the High Court.
Industrial Tribunals – Any matter falls under industrial disputes is solved in this type of tribunal.
Motor Accidents Claim Tribunals – the disputes are related to the motor accident claim which comes under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
There are other tribunals other than the administrative ones,
- Armed Forces Tribunal
- National Green Tribunal
- Water Disputes Tribunal
- Railway Claims Tribunal
As of all, both the court of law and the tribunals deal with the dispute resolution arises between the parties but with a few differences in the working and the cases being dealt with.
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