What are the characteristics of administrative tribunals?

What are the characteristics of administrative tribunals?
What are the characteristics of administrative tribunals?

Following are the main characteristics of administrative tribunals –

  • Administrative Tribunals is the creation of a statute.
  • An Administrative Tribunals is vested in the judicial power of the State and thereby performance quasi-judicial functions as distinguished form pure administrative functions.
  • Administrative Tribunals is bound to act judicially and follow the principles of natural justice.
  • It has some of the trapping of a court and are required to act openly, fairly and impartially.
  • An administrative Tribunal is not bound by the strict rules of procedure and evidence prescribed by the civil procedure court.

Let us now study the evolution of the Administrative Tribunals with special reference to Central Administrative Tribunal, State and Joint Administrative Tribunals, their jurisdiction, powers and authority. The composition of the Tribunal and its functioning will also be dealt with.

Where are the benches of Central Administrative Tribunals located?

Where are the benches of Central Administrative Tribunals located?
Where are the benches of Central Administrative Tribunals located?

There are 17 Benches of the Tribunal, located throughout the country wherever the seat of a High Court is located, with 33 Division Benches. In addition, circuit sittings are held at Nagpur, Goa, Aurangabad, Jammu, Shimla, Indore, Gwalior, Bilaspur, Ranchi, Pondicherry, Gangtok, Port Blair, Shillong, Agartala, Kohima, Imphal, !tanager, Aizwal and Nainital.

The Central Administrative Tribunal has been established for adjudication of disputes with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or other local authorities within the territory of India or under the control of Government of India and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

This was done in pursuance of the amendment of Constitution of India by Articles 323A. In the statement of objects and reasons on the introduction of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, it was mentioned that the setting up of such Administrative Tribunals exclusively would go a long way in reducing the burden on the various courts and reduce pendency and would also provide to the persons covered by the Administrative Tribunals a speedy and relatively cheap and effective remedy.

In addition to Central Government employees, the Government of India has notified 45 other organizations to bring them within the jurisdiction of the Central Administrative Tribunal. The provisions of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 do not, however, apply to members of paramilitary forces, armed forces of the Union, officers or employees of the Supreme Court, or to persons appointed to the Secretariat Staff of either House of Parliament or the Secretariat staff of State/Union Territory Legislatures.

What are the qualifications for appointment as Chairman and other Members of the Tribunal?

What are the qualifications for appointment as Chairman and other Members of the Tribunal?
What are the qualifications for appointment as Chairman and other Members of the Tribunal?

(1) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as the Chairman unless he is, or has been, a Judge of a High Court: Provided that a person appointed as Vice-Chairman before the commencement of this Act shall be qualified for appointment as Chairman if such person has held the office of the Vice-Chairman at least for a period of two years.

(2) A person shall not be qualified for appointment,-

(a) as an Administrative Member, unless he has held for at least two years the post of Secretary to the Government of India or any other post under the Central or State government and carrying the scale of pay which is not less than that of a Secretary to the Government of India for at least two years or held a post of Additional Secretary to the Government of India for at least five years or any other po’st under the Central or State Government carrying the scale of pay which is not less than that of Additional Secretary to the Government of India at least for a period of five years:

Provided that the officers belonging to All India Services who were or are on Central deputation to a lower post shall be deemed to have held the post of Secretary or Additional Secretary, as the case may be, from the date such officers were granted proforma promotion or actual promotion whichever is earlier to the level of Secretary or Additional Secretary, as the case may be, and the period spent on Central deputation after such date shall count for qualifying service for the purpose of this clause;

(b) as a Judicial Member, unless he is or qualified to be a Judge of a High Court or he has for at least two years held the post of a Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Legal Affairs or the Legislative Department including Member-Secretary, Law Commission of India or held a post of Additional secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Legal Affairs and Legislative Department at least for a period of five years.

What are the jurisdiction of a Central Administrative Tribunal?

What are the jurisdiction of a Central Administrative Tribunal?
What are the jurisdiction of a Central Administrative Tribunal?

CAT adjudicates disputes with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or other local authorities within the territory of India or under the control of Government of India and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The Central Administrative Tribunal has been established for adjudication of disputes with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or other local authorities within the territory of India or under the control of Government of India and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

This was done in pursuance of the amendment of Constitution of India by Articles 323A. In the statement of objects and reasons on the introduction of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, it was mentioned that the setting up of such Administrative Tribunals exclusively would go a long way in reducing the burden on the various courts and reduce pendency and would also provide to the persons covered by the Administrative Tribunals a speedy and relatively cheap and effective remedy.

In addition to Central Government employees, the Government of India has notified 45 other organizations to bring them within the jurisdiction of the Central Administrative Tribunal. The provisions of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 do not, however, apply to members of paramilitary forces, armed forces of the Union, officers or employees of the Supreme Court, or to persons appointed to the Secretariat Staff of either House of Parliament or the Secretariat staff of State/Union Territory Legislatures.

What Is the objective behind setting up of Central Administrative Tribunal?

What Is the objective behind setting up of Central Administrative Tribunal?
What Is the objective behind setting up of Central Administrative Tribunal?

To provide in-expensive and speedy relief to Central Government Employees in respect of their grievances related to service matters.

Administrative Law is the law related with the administrative functions of the Administrative Agencies (the Government and its Departments). The Law involves the study of the following broad topics:

  • Check abuse or detournment of administrative power
  • Ensuring citizens an impartial determination of their disputes by officials
  • Protect citizens from unauthorized encroachment on their rights and interests
  • Make those who exercise public power be accountable to people.

The Central Administrative Tribunal has been established for adjudication of disputes with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or other local authorities within the territory of India or under the control of Government of India and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. This was done in pursuance of the amendment of Constitution of India by Articles 323A.

In the statement of objects and reasons on the introduction of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, it was mentioned that the setting up of such Administrative Tribunals exclusively would go a long way in reducing the burden on the various courts and reduce pendency and would also provide to the persons covered by the Administrative Tribunals a speedy and relatively cheap and effective remedy.

In addition to Central Government employees, the Government of India has notified 45 other organizations to bring them within the jurisdiction of the Central Administrative Tribunal.

The provisions of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 do not, however, apply to members of paramilitary forces, armed forces of the Union, officers or employees of the Supreme Court, or to persons appointed to the Secretariat Staff of either House of Parliament or the Secretariat staff of State/Union Territory Legislatures.

What is ministerial action in administrative action?

What is ministerial action in administrative action?
What is ministerial action in administrative action?

A further distillate of administrative action is ministerial action. Ministerial action is that action of the administrative agency, which is taken as matter of duty imposed upon it by the law devoid of any discretion or judgment. Therefore, a ministerial action involves the performance of a definitive duty in respect of which there is no choice.

Collection of revenue may be one such ministerial action.

1. Notes and administrative instruction issued in the absence of any

2. If administrative instructions are not referable to any statutory authority they cannot have the effect of taking away rights vested in the person governed by the Act.

Administrative Law is the law related with the administrative functions of the Administrative Agencies (the Government and its Departments). The Law involves the study of the following broad topics:

  • Check abuse or detournment of administrative power
  • Ensuring citizens an impartial determination of their disputes by officials
  • Protect citizens from unauthorized encroachment on their rights and interests
  • Make those who exercise public power be accountable to people

 

What is rule-application action or administrative action in administrative action?

What is rule-application action or administrative action in administrative action?
What is rule-application action or administrative action in administrative action?

Though the distinction between quasi-judicial and administrative action has become blurred, yet it does not mean that there is no distinction between the two. If two persons are wearing a similar coat, it does not mean that there is no difference between them.

The difference between quasi-judicial and administrative action may not be of much practical consequence today but it may still be relevant in determining the measure of natural justice applicable in a given situation. In A.K. Kraipak v. Union of India, the Court was of the view that in order to determine whether the action of the administrative authority is quasi-judicial or administrative, one has to see the nature of power conferred, to whom power is given, the framework within which power is conferred and the consequences. Therefore, administrative action is the residuary action which is neither legislative nor judicial. It is concerned with the treatment of a particular situation and is devoid of generality. It has no procedural obligations of collecting evidence and weighing argument. It is based on subjective satisfaction where decision is based on policy and expediency. It does not decide a right though it may affect a right.

However, it does not mean that the principles of natural justice can be ignored completely when the authority is exercising “administrative powers”. Unless the statute provides otherwise, a minimum of the principles of natural justice must always be observed depending on the fact situation of each case. No exhaustive list of such actions may be drawn; however, a few may be noted for the sake of clarity: 1) Making a reference to a tribunal for adjudication under the Industrial Disputes Act. 2) Functions of a selection committee. Administrative action may be statutory, having the force of law, or non statutory, devoid of such legal force.

The bulk of the administrative action is statutory because a statute or the Constitution gives it a legal force but in some cases it may be non-statutory, such as issuing directions to subordinates not having the force of law, but its violation may be visited with disciplinary action. Though by and large administrative action is discretionary and is based on subjective satisfaction, however, the administrative authority must act fairly, impartially and reasonable.

Therefore, at this stage it becomes very important for us to know what exactly is the difference between Administrative and quasi-judicial Acts.

Thus broadly speaking, acts, which are required to be done on the subjective satisfaction of the administrative authority, are called ‘administrative’ acts, while acts, which are required to be done on objective satisfaction of the administrative authority, can be termed as quasi-judicial acts. Administrative decisions, which are founded on pre-determined standards, are called objective decisions whereas decisions which involve a choice as there is no fixed standard to be applied are so called subjective decisions.

The former is quasi-judicial decision while the latter is administrative decision. In case of the administrative decision there is no legal obligation upon the person charged with the duty of reaching the decision to consider and weigh, submissions and arguments or to collate any evidence. The grounds upon which he acts and the means, which he takes to inform himself before acting, are left entirely to his discretion. The Supreme Court observed, “It is well settled that the old distinction between a judicial act and administrative act has withered away and we have been liberated from the pestilent incantation of administrative action.

What is rule-decision action or quasi-judicial action in administrative action?

What is rule-decision action or quasi-judicial action in administrative action?
What is rule-decision action or quasi-judicial action in administrative action?

Today the bulk of the decisions which affect a private individual come not from courts but from administrative agencies exercising ad judicatory powers.

The reason seems to be that since administrative decision-making is also a by-product of the intensive form of government, the traditional judicial system cannot give to the people that quantity of justice, which is required in a welfare State.

Administrative decision-making may be defined, as a power to perform acts administrative in character, but requiring incidentally some characteristics of judicial traditions. On the basis of this definition, the following functions of the administration have been held to be quasi-judicial functions-

  1. Disciplinary proceedings against students.
  2. Disciplinary proceedings against an employee for misconduct.
  3. Confiscation of goods under the sea Customs Act, 1878.
  4. Cancellation, suspension, revocation or refusal to renew license or permit by licensing authority.
  5. Determination of citizenship.
  6. Determination of statutory disputes.
  7. Power to continue the detention or seizure of goods beyond a particular period.
  8. Refusal to grant ‘no objection certificate’ under the Bombay Cinemas (Regulations) Act, 1953.
  9. Forfeiture of pensions and gratuity.
  10. Authority granting or refusing permission for retrenchment.
  11. Grant of permit by Regional Transport Authority.

What is rule-making action or quasi-legislative action in administrative action?

What is rule-making action or quasi-legislative action in administrative action?
What is rule-making action or quasi-legislative action in administrative action?

Legislature is the law-making organ of any state. In some written constitutions, like the American and Australian Constitutions, the law making power is expressly vested in the legislature.

However, in the Indian Constitution though this power is not so expressly vested in the legislature, yet the combined effect of Articles 107 to III and 196 to 201 is that the law making power can be exercised for the Union by Parliament and for the States by the respective State legislatures.

It is the intention of the Constitution-makers that those bodies alone must exercise this law-making power in which this power is vested. But in the twentieth Century today these legislative bodies cannot give that quality and quantity of laws, which are required for the efficient functioning of a modern intensive form of government.

Therefore, the delegation of law-making power to the administration is a compulsive necessity. When any administrative authority exercises the law-making power delegated to it by the legislature, it is known as the rule-making power delegated to it by the legislature, it is known as the rule-making action of the administration or quasi-legislative action and commonly known as delegated legislation.

Rule-making action of the administration partakes all the characteristics, which a normal legislative action possesses. Such characteristics may be generality, prospectivity and a behaviour that bases action on policy consideration and gives a right or a disability.

These characteristics are not without exception. In some cases, administrative rule-making action may be particularised, retroactive and based on evidence.

What are the classification of administrative action?

What are the classification of administrative action?
What are the classification of administrative action?

Administrative action is a comprehensive term and defies exact definition. In modern times the administrative process is a by-product of intensive form of government and cuts across the traditional classification of governmental powers and combines into one all the powers, which were traditionally exercised by three different organs of the State.

Therefore, there is general agreement among the writers on administrative law that any attempt of classifying administrative functions or any conceptual basis is not only impossible but also futile.

Even then a student of administrative law is compelled to delve into field of classification because the present-day law especially relating to judicial review freely employs conceptual classification of administrative action.

Thus, speaking generally, an administrative action can be classified into four categories:

i) Rule-making action or quasi-legislative action.

ii) Rule-decision action or quasi-judicial action.

iii) Rule-application action or administrative action.

iv) Ministerial action