Tribunals in India UPSC NOTE


  • In India, tribunals are quasi-judicial bodies set up by the government to handle specific disputes and matters outside the regular court system. 

  • They aim to provide faster, cheaper, and more specialized dispute resolution compared to traditional courts. 

  • Tribunals handle a wide range of disputes.

  • Administrative matters: Service disputes with the government, pensions, taxation issues.

  • Taxation: Income tax, customs, excise, and service tax disputes.

  • Labor issues: Industrial disputes, employee-employer disagreements.

  • Consumer protection: Consumer complaints against companies or services.

  • Environmental issues: Environmental protection and pollution control.

  • Company matters: Company formation, mergers, and winding up.

  • Intellectual property, competition, securities, and more.

  • Faster resolution: Tribunals typically have simpler procedures and fewer formalities compared to courts, leading to quicker dispute resolution.

  • Expertise: Members of tribunals are often experts in their respective fields, leading to better-informed decisions.

  • Cost-effective: Tribunal proceedings are generally cheaper than court cases due to lower fees and simpler procedures.

  • Decentralization: Tribunals are often located across the country, making them more accessible to people in different regions.

Whether Tribunals can direct the government to make policy

  • The Supreme Court has clarified that tribunals functioning under the strict parameters of their governing legislation cannot direct the government to make policy.

  • The Bench was dealing with a question of whether the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) could have directed the government to make a policy to fill up the post of the Judge Advocate General (Air).

  • It has been observed time and again that a court cannot direct the government for legislation or a policy to be made.

  • Justice Karol, who authored the judgment, noted that the AFT was vested with the powers of a civil court. 

  • The Tribunal did not have the powers of the Supreme Court or the High Courts.

  • Even the High Courts cannot, in the exercise of the powers under Article 226 of the Constitution, direct the government or a department to formulate a particular policy.

  • The judgment said the creation or sanction of a scheme or policy regarding the service of defence personnel or their regularisation was the “sole prerogative of the government”.

  • Even a court with writ jurisdiction is often faced with situations that allegedly fly in the face of fundamental rights, and yet, has not been entrusted with the power to direct such formation of policy.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Tribunals in India UPSC NOTE
Tribunals in India UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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