Report No. 58
Cases under (1) and (2) are the most numerous.
8.22. Now, the suggestion has been made that service matters should be heard by specialised courts having jurisdiction to try them, to the exclusion of the courts of law including the High Courts and the Supreme Court. This suggestion was made with various objects in mind. The first object to create tribunals composed of members with expertise, who can bring to bear their special knowledge and experience upon the consideration of these complicated matters.
As Bose J. said, in a case involving the construction of the Central Civil Services (Temporary Services) Rules and the Fundamental Rules. "No one can be blamed for not knowing where they are (sic) in this wilderness of rules and regulations and coined words and phrases with highly technical and artificial meanings."
8.23. We had two other objects in mind in putting the question about service courts. First, the creation of such courts reduce the existing arrears in the courts (including the High Courts and the Supreme Court), and also reduce the load of other courts of law; secondly, it would be in the interest of the Government servants themselves, who will have a better opportunity of placing their grievances before such courts.
8.24. We have considered the proposal on merits, in some of the paragraphs which follow; but, as the suggestion has been made from time to time in this country, we decided to elicit opinion on issue. Accordingly, question 9 was framed thus:
"9.(a) Do you favour the creation of a court at the national level exclusively vested with jurisdiction over disputes between the Government and members of the public service in matters relating to service1 including, in particular, petitions based on Article 311 of the Constitution), whose decisions will be final, subject to appeal to the Supreme Court as indicated below?
(b) Should such a court be presided over by a person of the status of Supreme Court Judge or High Court Judge, aided by two experts whose independence is guaranteed by their tenure?
(c) Should the experts referred to in (b) above be members of the Court, or should they be only assessors?
(d) If your answer to (a) is in the negative, what other suggestions would you make as to the terms and conditions of service of its members?
(e) Should appeals to the Supreme Court from the above Court
(i) be allowed with special leave, or
(ii) be allowed with special leave but only if a substantial question of law of general importance is involved, or
(iii) be allowed with special leave but only if a question of fundamental right is involved, or
(iv) be allowed subject to any other limitation?
(f) Besides a National Court as suggested in (a) above, do you favour regional courts for the purpose mentioned in (a) above?"
1. These would include terms and conditions of service, promotions, service etc.
8.25. The replies to this question indicate that opinion is divided on almost every aspect of the proposal. The suggestion for the creation of Special Courts at the State level for hearing the grievances of the State Government servants has received a large measure of support, but the proposal for a National Court to decide disputes arising out of matters involving the All-India Services of posts under the Union has not received strong support.
As regards the composition of the Courts, opinion of those who support the proposal is almost unanimous that the Chairman of the State Court should be a person of the status of a High Court Judge, and in the case of the National Court he should be of the status of a Supreme Court Judge, and in each case the Court should have two associate members of high status, one of whom should be an expert and the other a senior official. All the replies in favour of the proposal have emphasised that the Service Courts, National as well as State, must have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide service mailers and the jurisdiction of ordinary Civil Courts should be barred.