Wednesday, July 13, 2011

‘Govt can’t create courts or tribunals’

New Delhi: The government cannot constitute courts or tribunals as it will dent judicial independence and jeopardize protection of citizen’s rights, the Supreme Court has ruled.
The power to create courts, tribunals and even quasi-judicial bodies vests exclusively with the legislature and the executive has no role in it, said a bench of Justices R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik.
“Creation, continuance or existence of a judicial authority in a democracy must not depend on the discretion of the executive but should be governed and regulated by appropriate law enacted by a legislature,” said Justice Raveendran, writing the judgment for the bench.
“If the power to constitute and create judicial tribunals by executive orders is recognized, there is every likelihood of tribunals being created without appropriate provisions in regard to their constitution, functions, powers , appeals, revisions, and enforceability of their orders, leading to chaos and confusion,” the bench said.
“There is also very real danger of citizen’s rights being adversely affected by ad hoc authorities exercising judicial functions, who are not independent or competent to adjudicate disputes and render binding decisions. Therefore, the executive power of the state cannot be extended to creating judicial tribunals or authorities exercising judicial powers and rendering judicial decisions,” the court said.
The bench also said that even a HC could not direct a state government to create or constitute quasi-judicial tribunals, which could be done only through legislative process.

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