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Q. Need of Tribunal reforms: Discuss the importance tribunals and need of reforms.
Feb 25, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

Tribunals in India are specialised courts (other than formal judiciary), established under statute for the purpose of dealing with disputes relating to particular kind of law. Unlike regular courts therefore, a tribunal will only hear cases it specializes in. for example National Green Tribunal hears the cases relating to environmental issues.

Issue- 

The Prime Minister’s Office is assessing the functioning of tribunals. A parliamentary standing committee’s last year report raised the concerns over sad state of affairs of tribunals. Report says many tribunals are dysfunctional due to large-scale vacancies. 

Importance of Tribunals-

  • Tribunals bring expertise and speed to dispute resolution. India has many tribunals that hear pleas against orders by sectoral regulators. The tribunals offer the first opportunity of appeal against orders by sectoral regulators.
  • The judiciary in India is already over-burdened, tribunals with their domain expertise helps to reduce the burden of judiciary. 
  • Tribunals would serve to sum up the evidence and elucidate the principles and rules needed to evaluate the evidence, which reduces the workload of judiciary even if the tribunal’s finding goes for review at a high court or the Supreme Court.

Need of Reform-

  • Last year Parliamentary committee raised the concerns over sad state of affairs of tribunals.
  • Tribunals are suffering from lack of human and financial resources, due to this many tribunals became dysfunctional.

Suggestions-

  • The government must provide human and financial resources for tribunals to function effectively.
  • All tribunals should be made multi-member body and should include a sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court or a high court with domain experts on these tribunals.
  • Government should make legislation to make regulators accountable to Parliament, to enable them to function independently. 
  • There should be structured interactions and periodic reporting will enable Parliament to review regulatory actions and raise investor comfort.

Conclusion-

In India tribunals are established to reduce the burden of formal judiciary and to bring expertise and speed to dispute resolution. Though to some extent tribunals fulfilled their desired objectives, but these tribunals are suffering from many issues. Hence there is an urgent need to reform these institutions to realise the desired objectives.


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