Tribunal is a special court, convened by the government to inquire into a specific matter.
Tribunals cannot determine legal questions unless empowered by an Act of the Parliament.
Tribunals have to follow judicially as opposite to administratively. They should function impartially and judicially without regard to the executive policy.
Kinds of Tribunals
- Statutory Tribunal: These are set up by statutes
- Constitutional Remedies by way of Writ of Prohibition, Certiorari and Mandamus are available
- They get the force of law directly.
- Generally solve the problems between members or between a member and a third party
- Judicial review for the decision is possible.
- Example: Bar Council of India setup under Advocates Act, 1961, Medical Council of India set up under Medical Council Act, 1956 etc.
- Non-Statutory Tribunal: These are set up by members by way of contracts, expressed or implied.
- Constitutional Remedies are not available
- They get the force of law indirectly.
- They generally solve the problems within themselves and cannot solve a problem between a member and a third-party.
- No judicial review for the decision is possible.
- Examples: Clubs, Trade Unions, Societies etc.
Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Law
- Salt v Cooper (1880) 16 Ch D 544: "The main object of the Judicature Act, 1873, was to assimilate the transaction of equity business and common law business by different courts of judicature. It has been sometimes inaccurately called 'the fusion of law and equity'; but it was not any fusion or anything of the kind; it was the vesting in one tribunal the administration of law and equity in every case, action, or dispute which should come before the tribunal. That was the meaning of the Act. Then as to that very small number of cases in which there is an actual conflict, it was decided that the rules of equity should prevail. That was to be the mode of administering the combined jurisdiction."