• Tribunal is not part of the original constitution

  • 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 with a new Part XIV-A to the Constitution on recommendation of Swaran Singh Committee
  • 323-A – deals with Administrative Tribunals.
  • 323-B – deals with tribunals for other matters.
  • Works on principle of natural justice, not abide by civil procedure code.
  • Members are drawn from Judicial and administrative streams.
  • Chairpersons of tribunals accorded Status of judges of HC
  • They enjoy some of the powers of a civil court e. issuing summons and allowing witnesses to give evidence. Its decisions are legally binding on the parties, subject to appeal.
Art.323 A Art. 323 B
Contemplates the establishment of tribunals for public service matters only Contemplates the establishment of tribunals for certain other matters. E.g. tax, utility services.
Can be established only by Parliament and not by state legislatures. Can be established both by Parliament and state legislatures with respect to matters falling within their legislative competence.
Only one tribunal for the Centre and one for each state or two or more states may be established. No question of the hierarchy of tribunals arises.  A hierarchy of tribunals may be created.


Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)

  • set up in 1985 with the principal bench at Delhi and additional benches in different states
  • Original jurisdiction of CAT – In relation to recruitment and all service matters of public servants covered by it. Jurisdiction extends to the all-India services, Central civil services, civil posts under the Centre and civilian employees of defence services.
  • multi-member body consisting of a chairman and members
  • Members drawn from both judicial and administrative streams and are appointed by the president.
  • Members of the defence forces, officers and servants of the SC and the secretarial staff of the Parliament are not covered by it.
  • not bound by the procedure laid down in the CivilProcedure Code of 1908.
  • Guided by the principles of natural
  • Chairman– For 5 years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • Members – For 5 years or until they attain the age of 62 years, whichever is earlier.
  • The appointment of Members in CAT is made on the basis of recommendations of a high-powered selection committee chaired by a sitting Judge of SC who is nominated by CJI.
  • After obtaining the concurrence of Chief Justice of India, appointments are made with the approval of Cabinet Committee of Appointments (Headed by PM).
  • SC laid down that appeals against the orders of the CAT shall lie before the division bench of the concerned HC and later on in the SC.

State Administrative Tribunals (SATs)

  • Administrative Tribunals Act of 1985 empowers the Central government to establish the SATs and Joint administrative tribunal (JAT) for two or more states
  • Original jurisdiction of SAT – In relation to recruitment and all service matters of state government employees.
  • Set up in the nine states of Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala
  • Chairman and members of the SATs & JATs are appointed by the president after consultation with the governor

Administrative Tribunals

  • Administrative Tribunal is a creation of a statute.
  • An Administrative Tribunal is vested in the judicial power of the State and thereby performs quasi-judicial functions as distinguished from pure administrative functions.
  • Administrative Tribunal is bound to act judicially and follow the principles of natural justice. It is required to act openly, fairly and impartially.
  • An Administrative Tribunal is not bound by the strict rules of procedure and evidence prescribed by the civil procedure court and Evidence act.

Court of Law and Tribunal

Court of Law Tribunal
A court of law is a part of the traditional judicial system. An Administrative Tribunal is an agency created by the statute and invested with judicial power.
The Civil Courts have judicial power to try all suits of a civil nature unless the cognizance is expressly barred. Tribunal is also known as the Quasi-judicial body. Tribunals have the power to try cases of special matter which are conferred on them by statutes
Judges of the ordinary courts of law are independent of the executive in respect of their tenure, terms and conditions of service etc. Judiciary is independent of Executive. Tenure, terms and conditions of the services of the members of Administrative Tribunal are entirely in the hands of Executive.
A court of law can decide vires of a legislation Administrative Tribunal cannot do so
A court of law is bound by all the rules of evidence and procedure. An Administrative Tribunal is not bound by rules but bound by the principles of nature of Justice.
The presiding officer of the court of law is trained in law and legal professional. The president or a member of the Tribunal may not be trained as well in law. He may be an expert in the field of Administrative matters.
Court must decide all questions objectively on the basis of evidence and materials on record. Decision of Administrative Tribunal may be subjective rather than objective. Administrative Tribunal may decide questions by taking into account departmental policy.


 ‘Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities Rules, 2020’

  • The ‘Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities Rules, 2020’, were framed by the Ministry of Finance in exercise of powers under Section 184 of the Finance Act 2017.
  • These apply to 19 Tribunals including CAT; Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Customs, Excise, Service, Tax Appellate Tribunal etc.
  • However, Foreigners Tribunals are not covered.
  • Appointments to the above Tribunals will be made by Central Government on the recommendations by the “Search cum Selection Committee” composed of:
    • CJI or judge nominated by him
    • President/chairperson of tribunal concerned
    • Two government secretaries from the concerned ministry/department.
  • “Search Cum Selection Committee” has the power to recommend the removal of a member, and also to conduct inquiry into allegations of misconduct by a member.
  • Only persons having judicial or legal experience are eligible for appointment.
  • Rules also provide a fixed term of four years to the Tribunal members.
  • The condition in the 2017 Rules (which were set aside by Court) that the members will be eligible for re-appointment has also been dropped in 2020 Rules.

For Other Subject Wise Prelims Revisions: Click Here

For IAS Abhiyan NCERT Notes / Current Affairs / Test Series / Standard Notes : Click here