A civil servant on being visited with a major penalty can take recourse to a
departmental appeal, against the order imposing the punishment of dismissal,
removal or reduction in rank. Thereafter, if he still remains aggrieved at the
order of the appellate authority, he can seek recourse to a review of the same
Even after having exhausted all the departmental remedies, he continues
to be aggrieved by penal action of the department; he can seek legal redressal
before a court of law. But if an aggrieved civil servant happens to be a member
of any central government department, or any other department within the
jurisdiction of the Central Administrative Tribunal, he has to seek legal
redress before the Tribunal.
For a proper analysis of the working of the Central Administrative Tribunal it
is considered essential to look into the functioning of Administrative Tribunals
Administrative tribunals being creatures of law, exercise jurisdiction, powers
and authority of law and acts according to procedures duly prescribed by law.
Such tribunals adjudicate, upon or holds trial of disputes, complaints or
offences through adversary proceedings. The chief characteristics of
administrative tribunals are speedy disposal of cases with cheapness, occasioned
by informality and flexibility of procedure. The tribunals avoid procedural
technicalities and take a functional, rather than a legalistic approach.
The administrative tribunals, necessitated by socioeconomic developments have
come to occupy a key position in the administrative process. They have become an
inevitable concomitant of a welfare state. Administrative tribunals are indeed
an answer to the need for expeditious disposal of cases through minimum
formality and technicality, at minimum cost.
At times, the administrative tribunals are required to act judicially and not
merely judiciously. This is so when it exercises powers of a civil court for
certain procedural matters. Such determination of facts through exercise of
judicial process is indeed a power of enormous consequence.
The system of administrative adjudication through administrative tribunals or
quasi-judicial bodies is very much to be found in India. It is a striking
characteristic of the Indian legal system that tribunals have been set up under
specific statutes to adjudicate upon various matters as provided for. The hall
mark of tribunals has been its cheapness, efficiency and informality as is
compatible with genuine justice.
The social philosophy of the Constitution, as reflected in the Preamble as well
as Part IV, signifies the essence of the administrative process. Yet,
administrative law did not receive any separate recognition in our country,
prior to the forty second constitutional amendment, 1976. This was in spite of
the fact that the first law commission setup way back in 1955 felt the necessity
of setting up of tribunal.
The Commission had recommended that appeals
from quasi-judicial bodies on facts should lie to an independent Tribunal. It
observed that such tribunals ought to be presided over by a person qualified to
be a judge of the High Court and be assisted by a person or persons having
administrative and technical knowledge.
However, the Law Commission did not
favor the system of administrative courts as it wanted review of administrative
action to remain unimpaired with the High Courts.
The Commission further
recommended that :
- judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative decisions should be clearly
- In the case of judicial and quasi-judicial decisions, appeal or revision
should lie on a question of Law;
- An administrative division of the High Court may be established, if
- Administrative decisions should be accompanied by reasons in writing;
- A tribunal delivering administrative judgment should conform to the
principles of natural justice and should act with openness, fairness and
- Legislation providing for simple procedure embodying the principles of
natural justice for the functioning of all tribunals may be passed.
The First Law Commission did not suggest the setting up of Administrative
Tribunals as it thought that the time was not ripe for disturbing the then
existing position, since a sizable portion of cases pending litigation pertained
to the civil services, the government felt the need for effective, expeditious,
and satisfactory disposal of such cases.
A committee under the Chairmanship of
Justice Shah, 290 appointed in 1969 addressed itself to the issue of pending
service cases. It came up with a recommendation, advising the Government to set
up an independent Tribunal to handle service cases, pending before the Supreme
At this point of time, the Administrative Reforms Commission under the
Chairmanship of Morarji Desai also addressed itself to the issue. The
Administrative Reforms Commission too recommended the setting of Civil
Services Tribunals to deal with appeals of government servants, against
In spite of the above recommendation, the Central Government addressed the
matter further as a major chunk of service litigations related to matters other
than disciplinary action. A few years later, the matter came to be considered by
the Swaran Singh Committee in the year, 1976. This committee too came up with
the recommendation for setting up of separate administrative tribunals for
certain matters, The very same year the matter also came to be considered by
a conference of chief secretaries of the States.
The Government finally introduced the constitution forty second amendment in
Parliament in the year 1976. Clause 46 of the aforesaid amendment came to be
introduced 291 providing for Articles 323A and 323B by way of an innovation
under Part XIV A to the Constitution. The constitutional amendment thus provided
for a new chapter relating to tribunals. In view of the importance of Article 3
2 3 A, providing for the setting up of administrative tribunals, the same is
quoted in extension:
- To enable parliament to make an enactment for the constitution of
Administrative Tribunals for adjudication of disputes in regard to service
- To make the enactment in conformity with the guideline set out in
clauses (a) to (g) of sub-section (2) of the Article.
- to exclude the jurisdiction of all courts except the Supreme Court
especially the High Courts to entertain writ petitions as well as appeals
from the decisions o) Administrative Tribunal and lower courts as the
Administrative Tribunals are now being given the sole authority to decide
the fact in all matters concerning his service conditions.
Article 323A of the Constitution being an enabling provision(provided for the
setting up of Administrative p.9? Tribunals by parliamentary law for determining
disputes pertaining to conditions of service of Government servants it also
brought within its ambit, employees of any local or other authorities within the
territory of India (or under the control of the Government of India or a
corporation owned or controlled by the Government. Besides, it also provided tor
setting up of separate Administrative Tribunal for each State or a Joint
Administrative Tribunal for two or more states.
In bringing forth the amendment, Parliament has given express recognition of the
growing need for separate service tribunals as a necessary concomitant of a
welfare state. It has displayed due appreciation of the need for imparting
speedy and substantive justice to public servants, who are the cornerstone of
the administration of this vast country.
The amendment provides for exclusion of jurisdiction, powers and authority of
all courts, except the Supreme Court under Article 136, in matters falling
within the jurisdiction of the Tribunals. This has been provided for in
order to reduce the mounting arrear of cases in the High Courts and Supreme
Court numbering about 63,800 and to secure speed/ disposal of service
matters. In fact, justification for Article 323A lies in the massive case law
generated in 2 9 3 service matters/which the ordinary law courts were finding it
difficult to cope with.
The need for setting up of service -tribunal for rendering efficacious relief to
the public servants has also been stressed by the Supreme Court in K.K. Dutta Vs
Union of India in the following words.
"Public servants ought not to be driven or required to dissipate their time and
energy in court room battles.... The constitution of service Tribunals by the
State Governments with an apex Tribunal at the Centre which in the generality of
cases should be the final arbiter of controversies relating to condition of
service, including the vexed question of seniority, may save the courts from the
avalanche of writ petitions and appeal in service matters. The proceedings of
such Tribunals can have the merit of informality and if they will not be tied
down to strict rules of evidence, they might be able to produce solutions which
will satisfy many."
The Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985
The constitution framers of India as pervaded the Supreme court and the High (Thakker
and Thakker 2017) court and with the authority of the Judicial review which is
definitely enacting the Articles 32,136,226 and 227 of the constitution of
India. With the enactment of the Articles 12, 14,16,309 and 311 of the
constitution where there are large number of the service matters International
Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics Special Issue 1926 which is calling for
the disputes for the recruitment and the condition of the service of the
The benefaction by the High Courts coupled with the Extension with the number of
the workers and all the problems will be multiple it will be the surface in the
surroundings of the newcomer and the conditions of their services and which will
unstated their faith and belief in the High Courts and it will be reliable
protector of the members rights and honor will be led to moderate increase in
the organization or the pendency of service matters in the courts.
The statement of objects and the reasons are:
To reduce the mounting arrears in
the High courts and to secure the Speedy disposal of the service matters.
The enactment of the administrative tribunals act,1985 opened a new chapter in
the sphere of administering justice to be aggrieved Government Servants in
Service matters. The Initial getting up of Tribunals is formed on the premise
that special body comprising both Qualified administrators and those of the
The administrative tribunal are different from the ordinary Courts with regard
to their jurisdiction and process, they are also free from shackles of many of
the technicalities of the ordinary courts and the procedural Simplicity of the
can be appreciated from the fact that may be aggrieved person can also appear
before it personally.
- The traditional judicial system of high courts and local courts proved
inadequate to decide and settle all the disputes. It was slow, high in
costs, very complex and more formal and it has already been overburdened and
it was not possible to spread up important matters. Therefore industrial
tribunals and labour courts were formed, which had the expertise to handle complex Issues.
International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics Special Issue 1927.
- The administrative tribunal authorities can avoid technicalities and
they take functional and practical approval countries and it will be
theoretical and legalistic approach because of the theoretical and
legalistic approach, it is not possible for courts to decide on the court.
- Administrative tribunals can take preventive measures and for example
licensing, rate fixing etc., unlike regulate courts of law, they don't need
to wait for union or groups to come before them with disputes. In most cases
these preventive actions have become more effective.
- Administrative authorities can take effective steps for enforcing
preventive measures (e.g.) suspension, revocation or cancellation of
license, destruction of contaminated articles, etc., which are not generally
available through the court of law.
- In Normal courts, the decisions are made after hearing evidence this
practice is not appropriate in deciding matters by the administrative
authorities. Where wide the discretion is conferred as them and the
decisions may be given on the basis of the departmental policy and other
- The problems of the technical issues can be heard to solve by the
traditional judiciary and may take longer. But administrative authorities
are usually made by the experts who can deal with it and solve those
problems examples like the problems relating to automotive or the electrical
- Overall, administrative tribunals do their work more rapidly, more
cheaply and more effectively, than the normal courts.
Constitutional Validity Of The Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985
This new section was added to the constitution by the constitution 42nd
amendment act 1976.It comprises of two articles - articles 323-A and 323- B.
Article 323-A accommodates the foundation of administrative tribunals by a
parliamentary law for deciding debate identifying with enrollment and state of
administration of governments under the union government and state government.
Article 323-B accommodates the formation of tribunals for the assurance of
disputes, complaints and offenses identifying with assess matters, exports and
imports, labour, and mechanical question, benefit matters, supply of fundamental
wares, the decision to parliament and state lawmaking bodies. (Pandey and Central
Law Agency 1986).
Administrative Tribunals For Service Matter- Article 323-A
Article 323-An accommodates the establishment of the administrative Tribunals by
a parliament law for the adjudication or trial of question and complaints
relating to the enrollment and the states of administration of government
servants under the central government and the state government including the
workers of any local or other authority inside the region of India or under the
control of the government of India or of a corporation claimed or controlled by
the government. Such law may accommodate the establishment of a tribunal for the
union and separate tribunals for each state or for at least two states.
Such law will also make arrangements for:
- Parliament may, by law, provide for the mediation or trial by
administrative tribunals of debate and objections with respect to
recruitment and states of service of persons delegated to open services and
posts regarding the affairs of the Union or of any State or of any
neighborhood or other authority inside the territory of India or under the
control of the Government of India or of any corporation claimed or
controlled by the Government.
- A law made under statement may:
- Provide for the foundation of an administrative tribunal for the Union and
a separate administrative tribunal for each State or for two or more States;
- Determine the jurisdiction, powers (counting the power to rebuff for
disdain) and authority which might be exercised by each of the said
- Provide for the procedure (counting provisions as to confinement and
rules of confirmation) to be trailed by the said tribunals;
- Avoid the jurisdiction of all courts, aside from the jurisdiction of the
Supreme Court under article 136, with respect to the debate or grievances;
- Provide for the transfer to each such administrative tribunal of any
cases pending before any court or other authority quickly before the
foundation of such tribunal as would have been inside the jurisdiction of
such tribunal if the reasons for action on which such suits or proceedings
are based had arisen after such foundation;
- Repeal or amend any order made by the President under proviso (3) of
Administrative Tribunal And Court Distinction
An Administrative Tribunal is similar to a court in certain Areas and the date
of then are constituted by the State and invested with a judicial powers and
have a permanent existence. At the same time,it must not be forgotten that an
administrative tribunal is not a court.
A tribunal has some characteristics of a court, but not all and in the below
paragraphs is discussed:
- A court is a part of the normal judicial system where powers are derived
from the state and the body deals with the king justice called ―court‖. But
the administrative tribunal is an agency created by a statute and invested
with the judicial powers.
- Ordinary civil courts have judicial power in dealing with all civil
matters, but in a tribunal they have power to try cases in special matters
of civil cases.
- Judges of the ordinary courts are independent of their tenure, terms and
conditions of service, but administrative tribunals are entirely in the hand
of government in respect of those matters.
- A judge is an important arbiter he cannot decide a matter on his own in
a court of Law. but is an Administrative Tribunal they may be party to the
dispute to the decided by it.
- A court of law follows and tied to all the evidence and procedure but an
administrative tribunal is not bound by that procedure unless the relevant
act imposes such an obligation.
- The mere lack of the general jurisdiction to try all the cases of a
civil nature does not necessarily lead to an inference that the forum is a
tribunal and not a court.
- A court of law is generally presided over by an officer trained in law,
but the president or a member of a tribunal may not be trained as well in
- A court must decide all the questions objectively on the basis of the
evidence and materials produced before it, but an administrative tribunal
may decide the questions taking into account the departmental policy or
expediency and in that sense, the decisions may be subjective rather than
- A court law can decide the vires of legislation, while an administrative
tribunal cannot do so. International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics
Special Issue 1932
- While a court of law is bound by the precedents, principles of res
judicata and estoppel, an administrative tribunal is not strictly bound by
- M. C.Jain Kagzi 1982 The Indian Administrative Law (4th ed) New Delhi:
Methodology Book Co. P. 310
- M.P.Jain 1979 Principles of Administrative Law (3rd ed) Bombay:
N.M.Tripathi pvt. ltd p.6
- supra n. Ip. 306.
- J.M.Landis. 1946 The Administrative Process (1st edition) 4th Printing
New Haven: Yale University Press p 136
- K .P .Chakarvarty 1989 Administrative Tribunal law and Procedure
Calcutta : Eastern law House p5.
- Law Commission of India Fourteenth Report pp. 694-695.
- 1968 Report of the Administrative Reforms Commission Recommendation No
- K.N.Goyal 1986 Administrative Tribunals A ct.1985(1987 reprint) Lacknow:
Eastern Book Co.p6
- S.P.Sampat Kumar Vs Union of India and ors, AIR 1987, sc 386 (395)
- Supra on 6 p.8.
- H.N.Das 1983 A critical analysis of the Law relating to the civil
service under the Constitution of India as interpreated by the honourable
Supreme Court.University of Guwahati (Ph.D.Thesis)
- Article 323 A (2) (d) of the Constitution of India .
- Statement of Mr.K.P.Singh Deo. Minister while piloting the bill in the
Lok Sabha on 29.1.1985