Administrative Tribunals are quasi judicial authorities established with the
duty to discharge adjudicatory functions. Dicey's Concept of Rule of Law is
opposed to establishment of Administrative Tribunals. The Administrative
Tribunal was established by the 42nd Amendment which recommended all the matters
related to the services shall be subject to these tribunals but excluded the
right to challenge under article 32 and article 226 of the constitution. It has
its origin by the 323A and 323B of the constitution which empowers Central
Government to set up by and act of parliament, Administrative Tribunals which
will foresee all the matters relating to service matters.
The 42nd Amendment introduced article 323A and 323B to enable parliament to make
law to constitute Administrative Tribunals to deal with certain disputes.
Article 323A governs everyone employed under union government, state government,
local and other authorities and corporation controlled or owned by the
Article 323B states that not only Parliament but State legislature may also make
Section 2 excludes the operation of the Act in respect of certain categories of
persons specified therein. As such, no Tribunal can exercise any jurisdiction,
powers and authority over these persons. The exceptions, thus, embodied in this
section cover the three broad categories of Government servants discussed below.
Members of Armed Forces of the UnionUnder Clause (a) of section 2 excludes the members of the naval, military and
air forces, and of any other armed forces of the Union, from the operation of
the Act and thereby debars the Tribunal from exercising any jurisdiction in
respect of these persons.
Members and Staff of the JudiciaryArticle 146 of the Constitution authorises the Chief Justice of India to make
appointments of the officers and servants of Supreme Court and also to prescribe
by rules their conditions of service. Likewise, under Article 229 the Chief
Justice of a High Court is vested with the power to make appointments of
officers and servants of the High Court and to make rules regulating their
conditions of service.
The executive has no control in respect of these matters
except that such rules, in so far as they relate to salaries, allowances, leave
or pension require the approval of the President (in the case of the staff of
the Supreme Court) and of the Governor (in the case of the staff of the High
Members of the Secretarial Staff of the LegislaturesArticle 98 of the Constitution provides for a separate secretarial staff of the
each House of Parliament. The Article empowers the Parliament to regulate the
recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to the secretarial
staff of either House of Parliament and until a law is made by the Parliament,
the President may, after consultation with the Speaker of the House of People or
the Chairman of the Council of States, as the case may be, make rules regulating
Likewise under Article 187, each House of the Legislature of a State
shall have a separate secretarial staff. Until provision is made by the
Legislature of the State in this behalf, the rules regulating the recruitment
and conditions of service of persons appointed to the said secretarial staff may
be made by the Governor after consultation with the Speaker of the Legislative
Assembly or the Legislative Council, as the case may be.
Exercising this power, the parliament enacted the Administrative Tribunals Act
1985, in which the section 28 excluded the jurisdiction of the High Courts over
the Tribunals. This was challenged before the Supreme Court in:
SP Sampath Kumar v/s UOI
In this case it was held that:-
5-judge Bench and all of them held that the act is totally valid as judicial
review is only shifted from one authority to another.
The tribunal is the real substitute of the High Court and should be entitled to
the powers of the High Court. Which implies that the tribunals is de Jure and de
Should have jurisdiction to decide the validity of any statute, rule, regulation
and notification as High Court.
If the tribunal falls short it would be denial of judicial review which is the
basic structure. In fact the tribunal is as effective as the High Court in
exercise of judicial review.
In UOI v/s Deep Chand Pandey
it was held that the High Court doesn't have the
power to deal with the cases of services and has no longer jurisdiction over it
when there is an administrative tribunal and the jurisdiction is with central
In L Chandra Kumar v/s UOI
the clause 2(d) of article 323A, clause 3(d) of article
323B and the section 28 of the Administrative act were challenged. It was held
that the provision which took away the power of judicial review were nullified.
The purpose of the Administrative Tribunal was to supplement the existing court
system and was never done to create another system of court and High Court and
Supreme Court can never be curtailed by an legislative act.
power suspended the legislative power as High Court and Supreme Court were given
the power under article 226, 32 and 136. Although all the decisions of
administrative tribunal can be scrutinised by the High Court but can only be
done by a divisional bench.
It was also held that tribunals can question the validity of rules but can't
question the validity of act. Parent act is created by legislature and rules are
created by executive hence Administrative Tribunal can't question the Parent
Act. After this case Tribunal lost their status being equivalent to High Court
but didn't lose jurisdiction on service matter.
Cases Affected By L Chandra Kumar
In UOI v/s SL Abbas
the Supreme Court held that the jurisdiction of High Court is
equivalent to that of Administrative Tribunal when it comes to any kind of
service matter and the power of central tribunal will be equal to that of High
Court under 226.
In JB Chopra v/s UOI
, it was held that the administrative tribunal has
jurisdiction, power an authority to decide even the constitutional validity of
any statue, statutory regulation, rules or notification.
In Prabhat Ranjan Dev v/s UOI
it was held that when it comes to service matter,
the High Court lacks original jurisdiction but have appellate jurisdiction.
In Shreedharan Kalla v/s UOI
the Supreme Court held that the jurisdiction of High
Court is wider than Administrative Tribunal and the judicial matter of High
Court is more than Administrative Tribunal and hence it will e applicable to
Administrative Tribunal.Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Shifa Khan
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