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Central Administrative Tribunals: An Overview

-Mithelesh DK


Welfare nature of government is the evolutionary goal of probably every kind of government
these days in this contemporary world. There has been a phenomenal increase in the functions of
the government, which has lent enormous powers to the executive and also led to increase in the
legislative output. This has led to more litigation, restrictions on the freedom of the
individuals and constant frictions between them and the authority. The development of
welfares led to an increase in governmental functions and the executive saw in this a need to
perform a number of quasi- legislative and quasi- judicial functions, thus blurring the traditional
positions of the various wings of the government under the doctrine of separation of powers,
under which the powers of the government were divided between the legislature, executive and
the judiciary which were to be entrusted with the power of making law, executing it and
interpreting the law respectively.

But now these welfare states changed radically and involve itself in the hosting of wide socio-
economic activities; for example: providing health services, education, industrial regulation and
other allied welfare measures. Now where there is these kind of activities; disputes are certain
and obvious. The issues which arose from disputes on such matters raised not only legal matters
but also matters which affect the society at large. The constitution and function of our court
system is very traditional as well as inefficient. The inherent procedural limitations made it
difficult for the courts to dispose these cases promptly thus leading to a huge backlog of cases in
all levels of the judiciary. Courts therefore became deluged with litigations arising directly and
incidentally from such increased governmental interventions. It was also felt in many quarters
that the members of the judiciary were neither adequately trained nor equipped to deal with the
complex socio-economic and technical matters at hand. Thus it was felt specialised adjudicatory
bodies such as tribunals needed to be created to resolve such disputes fairly and effectively.1

Power of adjudication must be derived from a statute or statutory rule.

It must possess the trappings of a court and thereby be vested with the power to summon
witnesses, administer oath, compel production of evidence, etc.
Tribunals are not bound by strict rules of evidence.
They are to exercise their functions objectively and judicially and to apply the law and
resolve disputes independently of executive policy.
Tribunals are supposed to be independent and immune from any administrative
interference in the discharge of their judicial functions.

Research Plans

Aims and Objective:

The researcher aims to study the evolution of administrative tribunal system in India taking into
account its types, features, advantages, disadvantages and also its status and working in India. It
also aims to study its Judicial Interpretation.

Scope and Limitation:

Administrative law determines the organization, powers and duties of administrative authorities.
The emphasis of Administrative Law is on procedures for formal adjudication based on the
principles of Natural Justice and for rule making.

The researcher uses both analytical and descriptive methods in presenting the project.

Only secondary sources of data are used.

1 Serwai ,HM, Constitutionsl law of India

Administrative Tribunals gives the rights and liabilities of private individuals in their dealings
with public officials and also specifies the procedures by which those rights and liabilities can be
enforced by those private individuals. It provides accountability and responsibility in the
administrative functioning

Research Questions:

Whether the powers of ordinary courts circumvents the powers of CAT?

Whether the CAT has effectiveness in bring justice to people?


Books Referred
Chakraverti, S., Administrative Law and Tribunals, 2nd edition, The Law Book Co. Ltd.:
Joshi, K. C., Legal Status of Tribunals, IBR, Vol. 25 (2), 1998
Jain,M.P., Principles of Administrative Law, Wadhwa & Company : Nagpur, 1996

Websites referred,as,as