Importance of political institutions for economic growth with special reference to India.
- Lok Sabha
- Rajya Sabha
The Houses pass various legislations that have a direct impact on economic growth. For example: (1) Land Acquisition Bill (2) GST (3) Bankruptcy Code (4) Forest Rights Act (5) Debt issuance by the government (6) Ratification of FDI norms that affect economy as well
Judiciary: (1) Ensures that laws are adhered to with its enforcement powers (2) Enables stability in the country (3) Redresses disputes, conflicts and economic justice related questions for tribals, consumers, and so on.
The tribunals were established with the object of providing a speedy, cheap and decentralised determination of disputes arising out of the various welfare legislations.
Another important reason for the new development was that while the courts were accustomed to dealing with cases primarily according to law, the exigencies of modern administration requires the adjudication of disputes not necessarily on the basis of technical questions of law, but also after considering the policy intentions and the public interest.
Besides, tribunals were also seen as bodies manned by experts who could professionally and fairly deal with the issues which though challengeable in courts of law, yet required technical expertise. The Railway Claims Tribunal, CESTAT ITAT, Labour Tribunals, the Companies Tribunal, various Compensation Tribunals, Revenue Courts of various States, etc., can be cited as examples of such tribunals.
However, increasing tribunalisation which refers to the perception of usurping of certain judicial powers from courts by tribunal, arises from the over interpretation of Article 50 of Indian constitution which deals with separation of judiciary from executive.
It points out that State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State.
Some instances of Tribunalisation:
- The first tribunal was set up in India 25 years ago to take the load off high courts. At last count, there are 93 specialised tribunals in India, the latest one being , 61-member Companies Appellate Tribunal.
- The Court in Chandra Kumar vs UOI Case (1997) suggested that the tribunals should enjoy the same constitutional protections as the Courts( HC and SC). This meant that when the jurisdiction is being transferred from a court to a tribunal, the members of this tribunal should hold a rank, status and capacity which is as close to those of the judges in a court as possible.
- Finding retired judges and competent candidates with qualifications set out by Parliament, to be members of quasi-judicial tribunals has been a difficult task.
- Tribunals are under the direct administrative control of ministries within the government which administer their day to day functioning and appointments and hence are likely to be influenced by the government’s opinion ,thus interfering with the justice delivery.
The recent Supreme Court judgment which struck down the National Tax Tribunals (NTT) also clearly spelt out the parameters to test the constitutionality of tribunals.
Recently, the Department of Legal Affairs in the Law Ministry had recently proposed the idea for “possibility of merging the functions of tribunals with some other tribunals” to avoid “overlapping/identical functions” being discharged by them.
However, not all tribunals are insulated to mainstream judiciary like Rent Control Tribunals, Motor Vehicles Tribunals, Labour Tribunals etc are part of the judiciary and are working better than the independent tribunals. Thus, despite so many concerns, tribunals have been pivotal and effective in addressing disputes in past.