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Supreme Court Power Of Judicial Review Of Administrative Tribunal

The Judiciary plays a very important role as a protector of the constitutional values that the founding fathers have given us. They try to undo the harm that is being done by the legislature and the executive and also they try to provide every citizen what has been promised by the Constitution under the Directive Principles of State Policy. All this is possible thanks to the power of judicial review. Article 32 has been described as the 'heart' and 'soul' of the Constitution.

The framers of the Indian Constitution, recognizing the need to have an effective machinery to enforce the fundamental rights contained in Part III of the Constitution and to make such rights more meaningful, gave to the people of India the right to move the Supreme Court itself a fundamental right. This project deals about the Supreme Court power of judicial review in the decisions of administrative tribunal.

Judicial Review:

"A courts authority to examine an executive or legislative act and to invalidate that act if it is contrary to constitutional principles."

Courts have supervisory jurisdiction over the actions of public tribunals, boards, officers and public decision makers. In some circumstances, parties who have been affected by decisions of tribunals, boards or other public decision makers may bring an application in court to have the administrative decision reviewed by the court. The Article 13 has expanded the scope of judicial review.

Administrative Tribunal:
An administrative tribunal is an autonomous agency that is independent of the provincial government and is responsible for settling disputes between the Province of ontario and its citizens. An administrative tribunal is also known as an agency, board or commission.

The power of the judicial review of the Supreme Court has the authority of the Constitution and cannot be taken away or abridged by any statute.
Administrative Tribunal is also bound by the same limit of judicial review as the Supreme Courts.

Research Methodology:
The research methodology used for the present research is traditional doctrinal research method. As most of the information can be sought from the available literature by referring books, articles, journals, websites etc.

Scheme of The Study:
  • The entire study is divided into ten chapters with different dimensions of problem
  • The first chapter covers the introduction of the topic and some primary introduction to judicial review.
  • The second chapter deals with the object of judicial review over decision of tribunal.
  • The third chapter explains administrative tribunal.
  • Importance of Article 136
  • Parliamentary debates on 42nd Amendment
  • Articles 323 A and 323 B Objects and reasons
  • The fourth chapter states judicial review as the basic structure of constitution.
  • The fifth chapter elucidates Supreme court power of judicial review on decision of administrative tribunal
  • The sixth chapter touches the standard of review.
  • The seventh chapter illuminates the relief available under the review.
  • The eighth chapter deals with limitations to Judicial Review.
  • The ninth chapter explains review of decisions of administrative tribunals.
  • The tenth chapter gives the conclusion of the research study and highlights the main points of research findings. In the light of research finding, this chapter also gives some suggestion for the effective functioning of the supreme court to review administrative tribunal decisions in India that may help to preserve the principles of natural justice and equity.

Chapter II
Judicial Review:

Judicial review is the doctrine under which legislative and executive action is subject to invalidation by the judiciary if and when the action is found to be violative of the provisions, of the Constitution and the laws made there under.

The Court established this doctrine in the case of Marbury v. Madison (1803).USA and the Indian Court have propounded the doctrine of judicial review in order to:
  1. Check the abuse of power
  2. To guard against discrimination
  3. To ensure equal treatment.
In India, Judicial Review is a part of the basic structure of the Constitution. As such, it is inviolable and unamenable to amendment by the Parliament under Article 368 of the Constitution. Broadly speaking, judicial review in India comprises of three aspects: judicial review of legislative action, judicial review of judicial decisions arid judicial review of administrative action. The power of judicial review is important to ensure that the balance of power envisaged by the Constitution is maintained and that the legislature and the executive do not, in the discharge of functions, transgress the constitutional limitations.

Object of The Study:
It is settled legal position is that the decisions of the administrative tribunals are subject to judicial review of the superior courts. However, such power of judicial review cannot be applied in each and every case. Some of the grounds, which may call for review by the superior courts, are as follows:
  • Authority Tribunal has acted without jurisdiction; or
  • The tribunal has failed to exercise jurisdiction vested in it; or
  • If the order passed by the tribunal is arbitrary, perverse or malafide; or
  • The tribunal has not observed the principles of natural justice; or
  • There is an error apparent on the face of the record.


The word Tribunal has not been defined. However it may be taken to mean a statutory body vested with the inherent judicial power of the state. It includes within tits ambit all adjudicating bodies provided they are constituted by the states and vested with judicial powers.
  1. Importance of Article 136:

    Article 136 makes it clear that the supreme court can grant leave to appeal from judgement, decree, etc. of any tribunal except military tribunals. The word "tribunal' has not been drfined. However, it may be taken to mean a statutory body vested with the inherent judicial power of the state.

    Today, over and above ministerial functions, the executive performs many quasi- legislative and quasi-judicial functions also. The government functions have increased and even though according to the traditional theory, the function of adjudication of disputes is the exclusive jurisdiction of the ordinary courts of law, many judicial functions have come to be performed by the executive. This is explicit in the field of service law.

    The adjudication of issues and disputes in the field of service law like termination of employment, initiation of departmental proceeding issuing orders of punishment, disposal of appeals etc. requires technical knowledge and in view of paucity of time with the courts, establishment of specialized mechanism of dispute settlement through departmental inquiries and Administrative Tribunals was deemed expedient.
  2. Parliamentary debates on 42nd Amendment

    The parliamentary debates reveal detailed information on 42nd amendment relating to tribunals. Under 44th Amendment Bill clause 46 related to establishment of tribunals. The Bill did not touch the appellate jurisdiction under article 136.The members doubted whether the Supreme Court would have jurisdiction under article 32 to adjudicate service disputes in which fundamental rights were involved.

    Members suggested that employee should be allowed to appeal before the High Courts even on points of facts. It is true that tribunals manned by experienced administrators can expeditiously dispose of service matters. But there was one difficulty. Jurisdiction of all courts including High Courts was sought to be excluded in matters fell within the jurisdiction of the tribunal. In the result an aggrieved employee had to rush to the Supreme Court located in New Delhi.

    The exorbitant and prohibitive litigation expenditure was a hurdle. So an appeal on a question of law to High Court was desirable. Disputes, complaints, conditions of service etc, i.e. everything could be referred to tribunal. The tribunal gets an all pervasive jurisdiction in service matters. Hence it was generally felt that the supervisory redressal mechanism of article 136 appeal was deficient. Shri. K. R. Narayan.Rao suggested that there should be an administrative appellate tribunal. If the suggestion had been accepted Chandrakumar could have avoided.
  3. Articles 323 A and 323 B Objects and reasons:

    Statement of objects and reasons appended to the Constitution (44th amendment) Bill, 1976 read thus:
    To reduce the mounting arrears in High Courts and to secure the speedy disposal of service matters, revenue matters, and certain other matters of special importance in the context of the socio economic development and progress, it is considered expedient to provide for administrative and other tribunals for dealing such matters while preserving the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in regard to such matters under article 136 of the Constitution. It is also necessary to make certain modifications in the writ jurisdiction of the High Courts under article 226.

The development of the law relating to administrative tribunals had been furthered by the 42nd Constitution Amendment Act, 1976. It inserted articles 323A21 and 323B22 in the Constitution. These articles provide for tribunal system in the country. There are some common features applicable to both the articles. They empower the legislature to set up administrative tribunals for adjudication of disputes between state and individual, relating to certain specified matters.

Their powers include power to punish for their contempt. But article 323A is confined to matters relating to the public services. Article 323A provides that Parliament may by law establish tribunals for adjudication of disputes concerning recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public service under Central, State or any Local or other authority or a corporation owned or controlled by the Government of India.

The law made by Parliament for the purpose may specify the jurisdiction and procedure of the tribunals. Under clause 2(d), the law may exclude the jurisdiction of all courts except that of the Supreme Court under article 136 with respect to the service matters falling within the purview of the tribunals.

The Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act did not impose any condition as to how the administrative tribunals will arrive at their decisions. The article is not self-executory. It enables the legislature to make law to set up such tribunals and ancillary provisions. They drastically change the character of the Indian judicial system. The underlying idea is to lighten the load of work on the courts. For example, a large number of service cases come before the High Courts through writ petitions.

Judicial review-Basic feature of Constitution:

The Supreme Court on many occasions examined the constitutional validity of various provisions of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985. In S.P. Sampath Kumar v. Union of India48 the constitutional validity of Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 was challenged on the ground of exclusion of power of judicial review both of Supreme Court under article 32 and High Courts under articles 226 and 227.

The Court did not care to distinguish judicial review or the power to redecide on merits. The Court assumed that it was the power of judicial review that was excluded. Judicial review was a basic feature of the Constitution. It is the law that power of judicial review cannot be taken away.

To get over the difficulty the Court relied on an observation by Justice Bhagawati in Minerva Mills v. Union of India that judicial review could be taken away if effective alternative institutional mechanism was provided. Later the Act was amended51 and the jurisdiction of the apex Court under article 32 was restored.

The Supreme Court in L. Chandrakumar v. Union of India held that tribunals were not equal to High Courts. It further held that decisions of tribunal should be appealable before a bench of two judges in High Courts under whose jurisdiction the tribunal falls. The theory that the tribunals could be a substitute for a High Court was overruled in L.Chandrakumar v. Union of India. The Supreme Court overruled S. P. Sampath Kumar where it was held that a tribunal could be a substitute of High Court.

In L. Chandra Kumar the Supreme Court recognized the need for tribunals as distinct from courts, but reiterated that no tribunal could really be a substitute of a High Court. L. Chandrakumar has led to some undesirable consequences. A bill have been introduced in Rajya Sabha on 18th March 2006 for the abolition of administrative tribunals dealing with service related matters since they had become subject to the jurisdiction of High Courts.

The Bill sought to amend the Act of 1985, which envisaged setting up of administrative tribunals. This bill is to bring in line with the judgment of Supreme Court in the case of L. Chandra Kumar. Since tribunals became subject to the jurisdiction of High Courts it is no longer necessary to retain power to punish for contempt with them.

Role of the Central Administrative Tribunal: Whether Confined to Judicial Review?
In exercise of the power conferred by clause (i) of Article 323-A of the Constitution as inserted by the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976, Parliament enacted the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985.

The Act was enacted, with the salutary object of providing for the adjudication or trial by Administrative Tribunals of disputes and complaints with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts. one of the prominent features of the administrative tribunals is that they have statutory origin.

As an administrative tribunal is a creation of a statute, no appeal, revision or reference lies against the decision rendered by an administrative tribunal unless such a right has been conferred by the relevant statute. Provisions can also be made for ouster of jurisdiction of civil courts; and in all these cases the decisions rendered by the tribunal will be treated as 'final'.

This statutory finality, however, is not capable of affecting the power of the judicial review of the Supreme Court and that of the High Courts, for the power of the judicial review has the authority of the Constitution and cannot be taken away or abridged by any statute.

It is the law that while exercising judicial review court is concerned with the decision making process than the merit of the decision. The court is not competent to redecide the matter. That jurisdiction belongs to the administrative authority. It is the legislature which determines the question regarding jurisdiction to decide particular matters.

If legislature provides an appellate authority, it becomes competent to substitute the decision of the primary authority. Article 136 confers such a general jurisdiction in the Supreme Court. Thus appellate jurisdiction is broader than writ jurisdiction. While hearing an appeal the appellate court may reexamine both questions of fact as well as law. It can appreciate evidence and substitute findings of the primary authority.

An appellate court examines the matter on merits and may modify the decision. Right of appeal is created by a statute and not inherent in a court. It is a vested right from the time the matter is filed before the primary authority. If the right to appeal is taken, it would not affect the vested right if the appellate forum existed. An appeal is a continuation of the original proceeding rather than a new action.

The Supreme Court has explained in S. R. Bommai v. Union of India that in judicial review a court is not concerned with the merits of the decision under review, but with the manner in which the decision had been taken or the order made. In review, court does not probe the merits of the dispute. It is no part of the duty or power of the court to substitute its decision for that of the tribunal or the authority deciding the matter under the court's review.

Supreme Court Power of Judicial Review:

The exercise of jurisdiction conferred on the supreme court by article 136 consists of two steps:
granting special leave to appeal and hearing the appeal.

The celebrated case of Keshavanda Bharathi v. State of Kerala, the Supreme Court of India the propounded the basic structure doctrine according to which it said the legislature can amend the Constitution, but it should not change the basic structure of the Constitution.

The Judges made no attempt to define the basic structure of the Constitution in clear terms. S.M. Sikri, C.J mentioned five basic features:
  1. Supremacy of the Constitution.
  2. Republican and democratic form of Government.
  3. Secular character of the Constitution.
  4. Separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.
  5. Federal character of the Constitution.

He observed that these basic features are easily discernible not only from the Preamble but also from the whole scheme of the Constitution. He added that the structure was built on the basic foundation of dignity and freedom of the individual which could not by any form of amendment be destroyed. It was also observed in that case that the above are only illustrative and not exhaustive of all the limitations on the power of amendment of the Constitution.

The Constitutional bench in Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narain held that Judicial Review in election disputes was not a compulsion as it is not a part of basic structure. In S.P. Sampath Kumar v. Union of India, P.N. Bhagwati, C.J., relying on Minerva Mills Ltd. declared that it was well settled that judicial review was a basic and essential feature of the Constitution. If the power of judicial review was absolutely taken away, the Constitution would cease to be what it was.

In Sampath Kumar the Court further declared that if a law made under Article 323-A(1) were to exclude the jurisdiction of the High Court under Articles 226 and 227 without setting up an effective alternative institutional mechanism or arrangement for judicial review, it would be violative of the basic structure and hence outside the constituent power of Parliament.

Standard of Review

The "standard of review" refers to the level to which the courts will defer to the decision of an administrative decision maker, rather than overturning that decision. Courts generally approach the review of administrative action with some deference in order to respect the notion that the administrative tribunal being reviewed is best able to determine the issues in question given its specific mandate and its expertise.

The jurisprudence has traditionally identified a spectrum of standards of review containing three points which include patent unreasonableness, reasonableness simplicities, and correctness. The Supreme Court of Canada, however, has very recently held that it is appropriate to simplify these different standards, replacing them entirely with two standards: reasonableness and correctness.

The least deferential standard is the standard of correctness. Under this standard, the court will not tolerate error and will generally intervene unless the impugned decision is correct.

In determining which of the three standards to apply, courts use what is known as the "pragmatic and functional"� approach. This approach involves weighing four different factors, none of which, on its own, is determinative.

The four factors are:
  1. Privative Clauses or Statutory Rights of Appeal:

    A tribunal's enabling statute may include a privative clause that limits or excludes judicial review and renders the tribunal's decision final and binding. Courts may exercise their supervisory jurisdiction in such circumstances notwithstanding the existence of a privitive clause. The fact that such a clause exists is, however, suggestive that a high level of deference should be given by the courts.

    Conversely, the existence of a statutory right of appeal indicates that the tribunal's decision was not intended to be final. As such, a high level of deference may not be appropriate. However, as previously discussed, a court may refuse to judicially review an administrative decision until statutory rights of appeal have been exhausted.
  2. Expertise:

    The courts will also consider the relative expertise of the tribunal, with respect to both questions of law and of fact, as well as the composition of the tribunal and its mandate. If the tribunal is perceived to have specialised knowledge or expertise over the particular subject matter, more deference will be shown. Conversely, if the courts are equally competent and experienced in the particular field, a less deferential standard may be appropriate.
  3. The Purpose of the Statute as a Whole and the Provision in Particular:

    Where the purpose of the statutory scheme, the tribunal's mandate, and the questions at issue relate primarily to the rights of the specific parties, the courts will generally be more deferential. Where the interests at stake are broad and affect more people than the interested parties, courts will show less deference.
  4. The Nature of the Issue:

    The general rule is that questions of fact are approached more deferentially, while questions of law are subject to a more searching (or less deferential) standard of review.

All of these principles must now be revisited in light of the Supreme Court of Canada's recent indication that it wishes to simplify the analysis of standard of review, and replace it with two standards, being reasonableness and correctness. As with most such revolutions in judicial thinking, it is too early to tell how in practice these two standards will be applied.

Relief Available Under Judicial Review

The court's remedial jurisdiction on judicial review is limited to the powers outlined in the applicable statute. The powers of the ontario Divisional Court, for instance, are set out in s. 2 of the Judicial Review Procedures Act and, in the case of the Federal Courts, in s. 18.1(3) of the Federal Court Act.

With the exception of costs, the courts can only grant relief against the tribunal under review. For example, a court may, as a result of an application for judicial review, order a tribunal to reconsider a matter. However, the court cannot require an applicant to do or refrain from doing any act on an application for judicial review. Neither the Federal Court nor the Divisional Court may award damages to a party on judicial review. They are, however, able to award costs of the application for judicial review as between the parties.

Interim Relief:
Both the Federal Courts and the provincial Divisional Court have the power to make interim orders, including staying (or suspending) an administrative proceeding pending judicial review. This power is significant for two reasons. First, an administrative decision is not automatically stayed pending judicial review.

Thus, if the court was unable to order a stay, an administrative proceeding could continue while an application for judicial review is underway. Second, many administrative tribunals do not have the power to stay their own decision pending review.

In such circumstances, even if an administrative tribunal thought it appropriate to suspend their own proceeding while an application for judicial review proceeded, that tribunal would not have the power to do so.

A Court Will Generally Grant A Stay If The Applicant Can Establish:
  1. That There Is A Serious Issue To Be Tried;
  2. That Irreparable Harm Will Result If The Matter Is Not Stayed; And
  3. That The Balance Of Convenience And The Public Interest Favour Granting A Stay.
The circumstances in which judicial review will be available as a potential remedy will vary depending on the statute governing the administrative body that first made the impugned decision. Counsel can provide advice about whether judicial review is appropriate, and whether it is likely to succeed in a particular case.

Limitation on Judicial Review:

The three conspicuous examples where no judicial review lies been provided are:
  • The Authority for determining claims arising out of the payment of less than the minimum rates of wages;
  • The Railway Rates Tribunal; and labour tribunals.

In the case of all the three tribunals the statutes have ouster clauses either expressly ousting the jurisdiction of the courts (in cases of the Authority under the Minimum Wages Act and labour tribunals) or making their decisions final (in the case of the Railway Rates Tribunal).

The reason for exclusion of judicial review in the case of the Authority under the Minimum Wages Act and the Railway Rates Tribunal appears to be that the cases coming before them primarily involve questions of fact and further in the case of the Authority under the Minimum Wages Act the questions may be too simple involving modest amounts to justify creation of a second forum, and in the case of the Railway Rates Tribunal the questions may be such as require expert or specialised knowledge which competence the court may not be having. However, it is difficult to justify the exclusion of judicial review in the case of labour tribunals.

The reason for the omission appears to be historical as from 1950 to 1956 a Central Labour Appellate Tribunal functioned and when it was abolished an alternative hierarchical body was not created, perhaps in view of the constitutional remedies available to an individual under articles 226 and 136. It has been stated that abolition of the Labour Appellate Tribunal did create a vacuum which was filled by the liberality of the Supreme Court in granting special leave petitions under article 136, thus taking a great deal of its time in labour matters.

It is true that the amendment leaves article 136 untouched and that a decision by the tribunal could be taken to the Supreme Court with its special leave.

But a few difficulties here may not be lost sight of:
  1. Firstly, the appeal under article 136 is not as a matter of right but at the sufferance of the court.
  2. Secondly, it will place an immense burden, both economical and physical, for persons located away from the seat of the court, and this problem is an acute one for a country of long distances, to come to Delhi for taking recourse to the discretionary jurisdiction of the court.
  3. Thirdly, especially as 'there would be no judicial forum between tribunals and the Supreme Court, the latter may be flooded by the special leave petitions against the orders and decisions of tribunals, congesting the calendar of the court.
  4. Finally, a few words may be said about the High Court's power of superintendence over courts under article 227. Before the amendment of the article by the Forty-second Amendment, the article gave power of superintendence to every High Court "over all courts and tribunals throughout the territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction".

The amendment changed this position and has provided that every High Court "shall have superintendence over all courts subject to its appellate jurisdiction". Thus the power of superintendence over tribunals has been taken away. The power of superintendence of the High Court was further curtailed by limiting it only to a judgment of an inferior court which is subject to appeal or revision.

Review of Decision of The Administrative Tribunal:

The factual situation giving rise to pronouncement of the Supreme Court in Parma Nanda was like this: Parma Nanda was a government servant who was in charge of preparing the pay bills and other bills of the work charged employees in Beas-Sutlej Link Project.

It was alleged that he prepared the false pay roll, issued fictitious identity card and masterminded the plan of withdrawal of the pay for the month of May 1969 in the name of one Ashok Kumar though the said person was not working in the division. Departmental inquiry was conducted against Parma Nanda and two others.

After a detailed inquiry Parma Nanda was dismissed, while the other two persons were allowed to remain in service with minor penalties of withholding 2 or 3 increments imposed on them. Parma Nanda moved the Himachal Pradesh High Court through a writ petition. This petition was transferred to Chandigarh Bench of the Tribunal after passing of the Administrative Tribunals Act.

In a special leave to appeal the Supreme Court decided upon the question:
Whether the Tribunal could interfere with the penalty awarded by the competent authority on the ground that it is excessive or disproportionate to the misconduct proved? While answering this question Judges pointed out that this question could not be answered without reference to the scope of judicial review in pre-Tribunal period; and after referring to somecases on limits of judicial review, held that the Tribunal cannot re appreciate evidence; and act as an appellate forum.

For proceeding on the above restrictive premise, Shetty, J. referred to:
  1. The Purpose Of Establishment Of The Tribunal;
  2. The Fact That Before Coming Up Of The Tribunal Courts Were Dealing With Disputes In Service Matters Through Judicial Review;
  3. The Decision Of The Supreme Court In Sampath Kumar Was That The Tribunal Is A Substitute Of High Courts.
  4. Purpose or role or function of the Tribunal has been clearly stated in Article 323-A of the Constitution;
  5. In the Preamble and Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Administrative Tribunals Act.
In view of the above arguments it may be said that the term judicial review, to describe the role or function of the Tribunal is a misnomer; and by using this term restriction should not be imposed on the role of the Tribunal which is an expert adjudicatory (quasi-judicial) body specially created under the Constitution.

Judicial Review in Service Matters

In 1985, the Supreme Court had observed in Karampal's case that there was a phenomenal rise in the service disputes between the government and its employees. Matters of Service were originally falling within the jurisdiction of the High Courts under Article 226 of the Constitution. Later on, with the insertion of Articles 323A and 323B in the Constitution and with the enactment of the Administrative Tribunals Act, those matters were transferred and brought within the jurisdiction of the Administrative tribunals.

In Sampath Kumar's case (1987), wherein the Supreme Court was called upon to examine the constitutional validity of the Administrative Tribunals Act, the Supreme Court observed that Administrative tribunal is an Alternative Institutional Mechanism and the Supreme Court will continue to exercise the power of judicial review over the administrative tribunals.

The avenue of appeal under article 136 to the Supreme Court against the decisions of the Tribunals was also kept intact. As far as the question of jurisdiction of the High Courts was concerned, the Supreme Court took a narrow view and held that the High Courts did not have power of judicial review in such matters. The correctness of the decision of Sampath Kumar in 1987 was called in question in the case of L. Chandra Kumar (1997).

The Apex court overruled the decision of Sampath Kumar by holding and recognizing the judicial supremacy of the High Courts over tribunals. Therefore, now the settled legal position is that the Central Administrative Tribunal exercises original jurisdiction under the Act. A party aggrieved by a decision of the tribunal can invoke the jurisdiction of the High Court under articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution. only thereafter a person aggrieved by the decision of the High Court may approach the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution.

Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal:

The Centre told Supreme Court that it cannot be directed to set up the CWMB and urge it to reviews its order. In its petition, the Centre argued that the Cauvery issue falls under the domain of the state legislature. The Centre, through Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, had raised a preliminary objection claiming that the CWDT award amounted to a final decree in the dispute and the apex court had no jurisdiction to hear appeals against the award of the tribunal.

Argument by centre:
The Centre had argued that the parliamentary law of Inter-State Water Disputes Act of 1956 coupled with Article 262 (2) of the Indian Constitution excluded the Supreme Court from hearing or deciding any appeals against the Cauvery Tribunal's decision. The Centre claimed the tribunal award was final. The Centre said it was left to the government to frame a scheme for implementation of the tribunal award, and the scheme, once prepared, would be placed before both Houses of the Parliament for approval.

All three states have opposed the Centre's stand, contending that a parliamentary law cannot stop the Supreme Court from exercising its constitutional power to hear appeals. Under Article 136 of the Constitution the Supreme Court had the jurisdiction to adjudicate the appeals filed by the states against the award of tribunal and that no statute can take away the appellate powers of the apex court.

A three-judge Bench headed by Supreme Court Justice Dipak Misra rejected the Centre's stand that the apex court had no jurisdiction to hear the Cauvery river dispute.

The general rule appears to be this that the administrative tribunal cannot review its decision unless the power to review its decision has been conferred on it by the relevant provision. It is settled legal position is that the decisions of the administrative tribunals are subject to judicial review of the superior courts. It is not by attributing qualities as "exercise of sovereign judicial power" and "power to give binding and final decisions" that tribunals may be distinguished from courts.

For the proper, speedy and effective functioning of the Tribunal, there must be excellent:
  1. Court Management; and
  2. Case management - case flow & load management.
In order to have proper Court Management, Training programmed refresher courses for members may be conducted by the National Judicial Academy State Judicial Academies as continuing education helps quicker disposal, proper management and uniform procedure adopted for dealing with a matter.

  • Dr.Kailash Rai- Adminstrative law.(Haryana,Allahabad law agency,9 th edition,224)
  • C.K.Takwani and M.C.Thakker "Lectures on Administrative Law" (Lucknow, Eastern Book Company,6 th edition,369)
  • M PJAIN & S N JAIN-Principle of Administrative Law

Statutory Materials:
  • Civil Procedure Code, 1908.
  • Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985
  • Constitution of India ,1950

  • Times of India.

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