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Quasi Judicial Bodies India Pdf - For IAS Mains Exam Download

Meaning – A quasi judicial body is an organization or individual on which powers resembling to that of court of law of judge have been conferred in order to adjudicate and decided upon a situation and impose penalty upon the guilty or regulate the conduct of individual or entity. A quasi-judicial agency has also been defined as “an organ of government, other than a court or legislature, which affects the rights of private parties through either adjudication or rule-making. 

Essentially, a quasi-judicial agency is one which exercises a discretion that is essentially judicial in character but is not a tribunal within the judicial branch of government and is not a court exercising judicial power in the constitutional sense.

Emergence of Quasi-Judicial Bodies

  • As the welfare state has grown up in the size and functions, the more and litigations are pending in the judiciary making it over-burdened. It requires to have alternative justice system.
  • Ordinary judiciary is has become very costly.
  • With the scientific and economic development the laws have become more complex, which demand more technical knowledge of the specific sectors.
  • The conventional judiciary is suffering with procedural rigidity, which delays the justice.

Categories of Tribunals in India

There are four categories of tribunals in India:

  1. Administrative bodies exercising quasi-judicial functions, whether as part and parcel of the Department or otherwise.
  2. Administrative adjudicatory bodies which are outside the control of the Department involved in the dispute and hence decide disputes like a judge free from judicial bias Example: The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal is under the Ministry of Law and not under Ministry of Finance.
  3. Tribunals under Article 136 in which the authority exercises inherent judicial powers of the State. Because the functions of the body are considered important over the control, composition and procedure, even Departmental bodies also can be classified as Tribunals
  4. Tribunals constituted under Article 323A and 323B and having constitutional origin and enjoy the powers and status of a High Court

Quasi Judicial Bodies India Pdf – For IAS Mains Exam Download

Advantages of Tribunals

  1. Low Cost
  2. Accessibility
  3. Simplicity
  4. Expert knowledge and qualified staff
  5. Reasoned judgments
  6. Reduce the workload of the judiciary and government departments
  7. Responsibility for sensitive decisions
  8. Flexibility, since there is little use made of precedent.

Disadvantages of Tribunals

  1. There is an unfair imbalance between represented and unrepresented parties. It is unfair to people who are not represented and cannot get legal aid to come up against a rich corporation. Since richer parties are allowed to employ skilled representation they are consequently more likely to win.
  2. The no-costs rule and lack of legal aid penalize poor litigants, although they do keep costs down.
  3. The lack of fees encourages poor applicants, although it may also result in ill-founded claims.
  4. Tribunals can become complex over time – as did the courts – rules of procedure grow up caused by the use of representatives who as a result make representation desirable in future.
  5. They may lack some of the perceived independence of the judiciary
  6. It can still be difficult for the people who go to tribunals to represent themselves because of the inherent difficulty in presenting a case in any environment.
  7. It undermines the celebrated principle of separation of powers and natural justice.

Quasi Judicial Bodies India Pdf – For IAS Mains Exam Download

Criticism of quasi – judicial bodies

  • Ordinary judiciary is still overburden. It is because that the party who lost the case in the tribunal, more often than not, approach the higher judiciary. It not cheap as more technical issues always pave the way for lawyer. Many members of these bodies are ex-bureaucrates with out any training of the law. Its independence is compromised.

Suggestions to improve tribunals

  • It should be manned by plural members rather than single individual
  • They should be appointed by judicious process.
  • Members should be from both the technical background and legal one.

Specific recommendations by SC to improve Administrative Tribunals

  • The chairman should be appointed by President from sitting or retired judge of a High Court in consultation with CJI or committee headed by CJI.
  • Vice-chairman should be a judge of district court or an advocate who is eligible to become a judge of HC.
  • Removal should be more stringent.


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