Tribunals are established as per appropriate statutory provisions and are observed as an alternative medium to the conventional judicial bodies for the redressal of grievances and settling disputes. A tribunal, in a plain language, is a. body of administrative character that has been powered with judicial powers to adjudicate one question of law or fact that affects rights of citizens. It has judicial or a quasi-judicial function and works in a judicial manner.
Issues attached with tribunals are:
- The law ministry has recently stated that several of the 36 central tribunals do not function to optimum capacity.
- many tribunals also do not have adequate infrastructure to work smoothly and perform the functions originally envisioned for them.
- Location of benches in Delhi only.
- After SC’s decision in L Chandra Kumar Versus Union of India in 1997 appeals from tribunals are reaching to mainstream Judiciary. This is against the objective of setting up of Tribunals.
- Economic survey suggests that Government is the biggest litigant and most of the cases comes after facing adverse decision in Tribunals.
- the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has been understaffed for the past decade, because the government has not created new posts.
- there is a lack of information available on the functioning of tribunals. Websites are routinely non-existent, unresponsive or not updated.