General Studies Paper 2 (Indian Polity): Quasi-judicial bodies

quasi judicial bodies

 

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Syllabus: General Studies Paper 2 (Indian Polity)

 

Explain quasi-judicial body with the help of  suitable examples.  Analyse advantages and disadvantages of these bodies. ( 10 Marks)

 

INTRODUCTION:

With scientific and economic development, laws have become more complex, demanding more technical knowledge about specific sectors. The conventional judiciary is suffering from procedural rigidity, which delays the justice. Due to those reasons Quasi-Judicial Bodies are created. 

Quasi-judicial bodies are such institutions which have power of enforcement of law but are not courts. These bodies can inquire, investigate, summon & award legal penalties to any administrative agency. 

Features of quasi judicial body

  1. The courts have the power to supervise over all types of disputes but the quasi-judicial bodies are the ones with the powers of imposing law on administrative agencies.
  2. These are created for specific purpose. For example – National Human Rights Commission is quasi judicial body which looks into cases of specifically Human Rights violation, if fundamental rights are violated, courts intervene in that. 
  3. They can be statutory, regulatory or constitutional in nature. For example – National Human Rights Commission is a statutory body, while Finance Commission is a constitutional body created under Article 280, whereas SEBI is a regulatory body which performs Judicial functions too. 
  4. They can be created for a specific period for special purposes. Central Vigilance Commission is a permanent body while Finance Commission is constituted every five years.
  5. These bodies need not be headed by a judge rather experts too can be included having sectoral knowledge like Finance, Economics, Law etc. 
  6. Verdict of these bodies can be challenged in a court of law which is the final authority.

 

Some prominent Quasi judicial bodies are

  • Finance commission (Article 280):  It is a constitutional Quasi judicial body it determines and recommends the distribution of net proceeds of taxes it also recommends the principles governing the distribution of grants to States.
  • National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commission: They’re statutory Institutions established under the Human rights act, 1993. They look into allegations of human rights violations and provide redressal to citizens. They act as Watchdog of Human Rights in the country.
  • Central information commission and State information commission: They were established by The Right to Information act 2005 they provide redressal Avenue for grievances arising from the improper faulty implementation of the act.
  • Income Tax Appellate Tribunal :adjudicates disputes regarding tax deduction and calculation
  • National Green Tribunal: Has been established under NGT act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environment protection and conservation of forests
    • Important cases of NGT:
      • Banning of Diesel Vehicles in Kerala & Delhi In May 2016, the Kochi circuit bench of NGT banned all diesel vehicles more than 10 years old from operating in 6 cities of Kerala.
      • Art of Living Foundation casing fined Art of living foundation for damage to Yamuna flood plains
      • NGT is counted among India’s relatively few institutions that hold the public trust.
  • Sales tax appellate Tribunal
  • Banking ombudsman
  • Insurance ombudsman
  • Income Tax ombudsman
  • Intellectual property appellate Tribunal
  • National consumer disputes redressal Commission
  • State consumer disputes redressal Commission

 

Advantages

  • Lessen the burden of court: These bodies reduce the burden of our judiciary which is marred with huge pile of pending cases.
  • Expertise: Generally members of the bodies have necessary expertise in the particular area which helps immensely in cases.
  • Accessible : These are easily accessible to common people and moreover these involve very low cost as compared to judiciary
  • Flexibility: Judiciary generally refer to its old judgements but quasi bodies have flexibility to operate.

 

Disadvantages

  • A person can again appeal in the court against the decision of the Quasi Judicial body. This fades away the advantage of cost and time provided by the Quasi Judicial body. 
  • lack of manpower: These bodies are understaffed
  • No independence like judiciary thus affected from interference from executive.
  • Toothless tiger: Lack of enforcement mechanism & compliance to rules.
  • Most of these bodies are recommendatory in nature, like NHRC and CIC. They can’t even award compensation or relief to the victims directly, but can only recommend it. 

Conclusion:

Quasi judicial bodies are required due to complexity of society, to lessen the burden on judiciary and fasten the process of justice. They are not bound by precedents. Thus Quasi judicial bodies are guided by the principles of natural justice and enable speedy justice. These bodies improve administrative efficiency and help in Good Governance. Indian govt should take necessary measures to overhaul these bodies such as appointment through judicial process rather than executive to maintain independence, giving more teeth.

 

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