Report No. 69
VIII. Administrative Courts
6.17. Administrative Courts.-
In recent years, the movement to create specialised administrative courts has received considerable impetus. The need for economy and expertness led to the development of executive officers dealing with particular subjects, as also to specialisation in respect of courts sitting in judgment on executive officers. Courts so set up could hope to become specialists after some experience with work in their respective fields.
6.18. Administrative Tribunal.- Evolution of.-
It was in the fifties of the last century that Britain-and the world with her-became the creature of the railway age. Disputes relating to Railway rates and the like were put under administrative agencies, and thus started the trend away from the courts-a trend which is still continuing.1 Almost with each successive Act is created a special tribunal. Their number is legion. They vary in standing, function and powers, but they are all vested with judicial or quasi-judicial functions.
In India, the number of such courts (administrative courts) is fairly large, and many more are certain to come into existence in future. Various industrial tribunals, tribunals dealing with compensation, tribunals dealing with matters relating to taxation, tribunals dealing with railway rates and claims in respect of motor accidents, are important examples. Moreover, quasi-judicial powers have been conferred on agencies which are labelled not as tribunals but as boards, such as The Press Registration Appellate Board2 the Copyright Board3, and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes4. Some of them are even described as "courts"-for example, the Employees' State Insurance Court.5
Some of them are described as Commissioners-e.g. the Settlement Commissioners dealing with claims of displaced persons6, or the Appellate Assistant Commissioners under the Income-tax Act7
1. Cf. the recent constitutional amendments.
2. Section 80, Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867.
3. Section 6, Copyright Act,'1958.
4. The Customs Act, 1962.
5. The Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948.
6. Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1954.
7. Income-tax Act, 1961.