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TRIBUNALS

  Nov 30, 2020

TRIBUNALS

Q. What is the significance of tribunal?

Q. What are its functions?

Q. What are constitutional provisions for it?

Under Article 323 B, the Parliament and the state legislatures are authorised to provide for the establishment of tribunals for the adjudication of disputes relating to the following matters:

Articles 323 A and 323 B differ in the following three aspects:

Q. What are Administrative Tribunals?

The Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 provides for three types of tribunals:

Q. What are issues in it? 

  1. Against the separation of powers: It is seen as encroachment of judicial branch by the government.
  2. They operate under parent administrative ministries remaining at their mercy for facilities, infrastructure and also rule-making.
  3. Appeal:  Administrative tribunals were originally set up to provide specialized justice delivery and to reduce the burden of caseloads on regular courts. However, appeals from tribunals have inevitably managed to enter the mainstream judicial system also held In the Chandra Kumar case (1997), by the Supreme Court had held that appeals against the orders of a tribunal could be made in the High Court. 
  4. High Pendency: Many tribunals also do not have adequate infrastructure to work smoothly and perform the functions originally envisioned leading to high pendency rates thus proving unfruitful to deliver quick justice.
  5. Appointments: Appointments to tribunals are usually under the control of the executive. Thus there is clear conflict of interest.
  6. The secretary of the said Ministry is on the panel for selecting and reappointing the adjudicating members of Tribunal and also has a role to play in disciplinary committees. For instance, the defence secretary is a part of the committee for selection and re-appointment of members of the Armed Forces Tribunal.
  7. There is a lack of information available on the functioning of tribunals. Websites are routinely non-existent, unresponsive or not updated.
  8. There is a lack of autonomy in the appointment and funding of tribunals.
  9. Accessibility is low due to scant geographic availability and lack of infrastructure for the tribunals to function efficiently.