26 Jul 2012

India's top court tackles 'lack of independence' in tribunals

India's highest court has advised the country's government to bring all tribunals under one administrative body in a bid to enhance their independence.

The notice came after the Madras Bar Association filed public interest litigation before the court, highlighting the ‘lack of independence’ of many tribunals in the country. The submission also claims that there is 'over-dependence' on a government ministry for administrative support of tribunals, which compromises their functioning, the news web site ‘Law et al’ reports.

Qualification concerns

And according to The Times of India newspaper, the Supreme Court has now issued a ruling directing the national government to bring all tribunals under the administrative responsibility of the ministry of law and justice.
The submissions also raised concern over the qualification of tribunal and board members, with many currently not required to have even a law degree. As a result, according to the bar association, some 95 per cent of 'technical' members would not be allowed to practise before tribunals.