‘Tribunalization’ of justice may lead to ‘Trivialization’ of justice. In this context, discuss the objectives and issues associated with tribunals. Also suggest measures.

Tribunals are quasi-judicial bodies, which adjudicate dispute, between parties, but not courts in the traditional sense.

Objective:

  • Offer specialization, as expert knowledge is involved with judicial wisdom.
  • Reduce costs of dispute settlement.
  • Tackle “Docket explosion” of cases.
  • As they are not bound by CrPc, offers less rigidity (only principles of natural justice are needed).

Issues with tribunals:

  • They have become bureaucratic boards, due to control of parent ministry. There is an erosion of separation of powers.
  • Supreme court in L. Chandra Kumar case, declared the removal of supreme court & high court jurisdiction as unconstitutional. As judicial review is a part of basic structure.
  • This itself affected the very role of tribunals.
  • Lack of infrastructure, delays in appointments. E.g. challenges faced by NCLT in IBC resolution.

Measures needed: (recommended by Justice Chauhan – Law commission)

  • Separate supervisory board, under single ministry.
  • It called for review of L. Chandra Kumar case.
  • High powered committee by CJI (or his appointee) for appointments.

Thus, reforms are needed to prevent Tribunalization of Justice to become Trivialization of Justice.

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