Tribunals: Types & Importance of Tribunals in India

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Tribunals are partially constitutional bodies endowed with special powers to settle disputes and issues on specific topics. The Tribunals are not part of the original Indian Constitution, which means when the Constitution was formed, the provisions of the tribunal were not included in it. Instead, the provisions of Tribunals were included in the Constitution with an amendment later on.

In the article below, you will get a detailed explanation of the Tribunals, the workings of a tribunal, the introduction of Tribunals in the constitution, types, etc.

What are Tribunals?

As explained above, a tribunal is a partly constitutional body, also referred to as a quasi-constitutional body, constituted to look after a specific issue.

  • Part XIV-A (14-A) of the Indian Constitution consists of provisions for the Tribunals. This part was added to the Constitution with the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976.
  • The Tribunals were added after the recommendations made by the Swarn Singh Committee.
  • Tribunals consist of only two articles: Article 323-A and Article 323-B. Article 323-A consists of the provisions dealing with the administrative tribunals, whereas Article 323-B consists of the provisions dealing with the tribunals formed for other matters.

Importance of Tribunals

The need for the formation of a dedicated institution has always been felt regarding dispute resolution. Hence, the introduction of tribunals was a significant decision, and the significance of the tribunals is listed below.

  • The increasing number of cases in the courts raised the demand for a dedicated institution that would solve disputes on specific matters so that it would assist the courts with the burden of the cases.
  • Tribunals are an important part of the Indian judicial system as they aid the courts in delivering judgments on time by reducing the workload.
  • The Tribunals are helpful as they are dedicated to the dispute-solving of a specific matter. This reduces the expenses of both the system as well as the parties involved.

Types of Tribunals

According to Part XIV-A of the Constitution, two types of Tribunals are formed.

  • Administrative Tribunals
  • Tribunals for Other Matters

Administrative Tribunals

The following are the features of an administrative tribunal:

  1. The provisions for the formation of an administrative tribunal are contained in Article 323-A of Part XIV-A of the constitution.
  2. Parliament passed the Administrative Tribunals Act in 1985, which empowers the central government to create one central administrative tribunal and several state administrative tribunals.
  3. Established in 1985, the Central Administrative Tribunal is principally benched in Delhi, with additional benches in the states. Presently, the number of regular benches operating at the principal seats of the high courts, including two separate seats at Jaipur and Lucknow, is 17.
  4. The Central Administrative Tribunal enjoys jurisdictions that include recruitment and all service-related matters of public servants.
  5. The State Administrative Tribunals are the other tribunals established under the Administrative Tribunals Act 1985.
  6. The state administrative tribunals have been formed in 9 states until now (as per data up to 2019). Those are Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh; Maharashtra; Tamil Nadu; West Bengal; and Kerala. Although the tribunals formed in MP, Himachal Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu have been discontinued now.
  7. Like central administrative tribunals, the state administrative tribunals enjoy jurisdiction over public servants’ recruitment and all service-related matters in the concerned states.

Tribunal for Other Matters

The features of the tribunals for other matters are mentioned below.

  1. The provisions for the Tribunals for Other Matters are found in Part XIV-A of the Indian Constitution.
  2. Along with the central government, Article 323-B also empowers the state government to establish Tribunals.
  3. The Tribunals, for other matters broadly enjoy jurisdiction in the matters of taxation, foreign exchange, land reforms, import and export, industrial and labour, state legislatures and elections to Parliament, the ceiling on urban property, foodstuffs, and rent and tenancy rights.

Difference between a Court and a Tribunal

The differences between a traditional court and a tribunal are explained below.

  • A court is an element of the conventional judicial system, whereas a tribunal is a quasi-judicial body formed to solve disputes related to a specific issue.
  • The judicial system of the traditional courts is independent of the interference of the executive, while the system of tribunals, including the appointment of the members, their service tenure, etc., is controlled by the executive.

Tribunals UPSC

Polity books are the best way to get the desired knowledge on these polity and governance issues that hold great significance for aspirants preparing for the UPSC Exam. The UPSC Previous Year Question Papers for Prelims must be solved as and when possible to whatever extent to gain confidence and get the knowledge of questions that you might get in the paper. Both objectives, as well as subjective questions, must be practised as the students can get them in any form.

Tribunal UPSC Prelims Sample Question

Question: Which of the following regarding the Tribunals is/are not correct?

  1. ‘The tribunals’ were included in the Constitution with the 44th amendment Act of 1978.
  2. The tribunals are added in Part-XIV- A of the Constitution.
  3. Article 323-B related the Part-XIV-A of the Constitution consists of the provisions for the Central Administrative Tribunal.

Select the correct answer/s from the codes given below-

  1. A) 1 only
  2. B) 2 only
  3. C) 3 only
  4. D) 1 and 3 only

Answer: D) 1 and 3 only

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