Making the Quasi-Judicial Bodies Works
Quasi-judicial Bodies in India
Quasi-judicial Bodies in India, Role of Quasi-Judicial Bodies & Measures for Better Operation
There is a class of quasi-judicial agencies that are not discussed in conversations on the pendency of cases. They can act as an important cushion in the early disposal of cases and reduce the burden of the judiciary.
A quasi-judicial body is “an organ of Government other than a Court or Legislature, which affects the rights of private parties either through adjudication or rulemaking”.
It is not mandatory that a Quasi-Judicial Body has to necessarily be an organization resembling a Court of Law. For example, the Election Commission of India is also a Quasi-Judicial Body but does not have its core functions as a Court of Law.
Some examples of Quasi-Judicial Bodies: Election Commission of India, the National Green Tribunal, the Central Information Commission (CIC), Lok Adalat etc.
Functions of Quasi-Judicial Bodies:
Issues with quasi-judicial bodies:
- Understaffing of bodies: The maladies that these agencies suffer from are far graver than judicial set-ups, as they are staffed by revenue authorities who have several other functions.
- More administrative and less judicial work: Their engagement with duties such as law and order, protocol, coordination, and other administrative functions leaves them with much less time for court work.
- lack proper knowledge of law and procedures: Several of the presiding officers lack proper knowledge of law and procedures, which has landed many a civil servant in deep trouble in sensitive matters such as those related to arms licences.
- Limited access to records: Their access to court clerks and record keepers is limited. Computers and video recorders are not available in many of these courts. Except in some states such as Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
- Lack of availability of data: Data on the level of pendency or the speed of disposal is not compiled in many states.
Quasi-judicial bodies form the substantial institutions of judicial system. It is regularly side-lined when we talk about the judicial reforms. If we could make our quasi-judicial bodies function properly and efficiently, it will reduce the burden on High courts and Supreme court.
A multi-pronged action plan inclusive of legal, governance and Human Resource reforms is required to move ahead. The government should make the efficient functioning of these agencies a priority and clearly articulate its position on the issue.
Procedural reforms such as minimizing adjournments, mandatory filing of written arguments and other such reforms proposed by bodies like the Law Commission for reform of the Civil Procedure Code should be adopted by adjudicating bodies.
Question for Practice:
“The Central Administrative Tribunal which was established for redressal of grievances and complaints by or against central government employees, nowadays is exercising its powers as an independent judicial authority.” Explain. (2019)
Daily Newsletter – Get all your Current Affairs Covered – Click Here