Judicial Control Over Administrative Tribunal- Res Judicata, Stare Decisis
Judicial Control Over Administrative Tribunal- Res Judicata, Stare Decisis





  • Introduction
  • Judicial Review- Explained
  • Judicial Review- Grounds
  • Review of decisions of administrative tribunals
  • Case Law
  • The doctrine of Res Judicata Explained- Objective
  • Case Law
  • Administrative tribunal and Doctrine of Precedent
  • Administrative tribunal and doctrine of Stare Decisis Explained
  • Case law
  • Conclusion


The Judiciary plays a very important role as a protector of the constitutional values and they try to undo the harm that is being done by the legislature and the executive and they make sure to provide fair justice to every citizen through excercising their power of judicial review.
Provisions are made for filing appeals in many statutes or against revisiting the orders the administrative tribunals and statutory authority passed.
Statutory finality is when provisions are created in a statute through which the orders given by administrative tribunals and similar authorities are made final.
The jurisdiction of the High Court will not be affected by the statutory finality as per Art. 226 & 227 and that of the Supreme Court as per Art. 32 & 136 of the Indian Constitution. No statute can ever take away the power of the judicial review from the High Courts and the Supreme Courts.


Judicial Review- Explained-

Judicial Review means- ‘A courts authority to examine an executive or legislative act and to invalidate that act if it is contrary to constitutional principles.’

Courts have supervisory jurisdiction over the actions of Boards, Public tribunals, officers and decision makers of the public. In the advent of certain circumstances where the parties who have been affected by decisions of tribunals, boards or other public decision makers may bring an application before the court to have the administrative decision reviewed by the court. Article 13 of the Constitution has expanded the scope of judicial review.


Judicial Review- Grounds-

Some of the grounds of judicial review are:

-If the tribunal has taken action without jurisdiction

-Has failed to undertake jurisdiction given to it

-If the order passed by the tribunal is perverse, mala fide or arbitrary

-It has not taken into keenness the principles of natural justice

-There is an era that is clear on the face of the record.

-The order ultra vires the Act

-There is no evidence that supports the order

-The order has its basis on irrelevant considerations

-Where the recorded findings conflict themselves and are inconsistent

-Grave injustice showed by the order given by the tribunal

-The order is in a manner that no man who is reasonable would have made it, similarly, it can be put aside by the Supreme Court or the High Court.

Since Supreme Courts and High Courts have powers that are limited under the Constitution of India, there will be a reluctance to come in between the rulings of authorities that were constituted specially or tribunals formed by a statute on the basis that perhaps insufficient, inadequate or undetailed reasons were provided.


Review of Decisions of Administrative Tribunals

No authority has the inherent power of review and that can be practiced only if it is given by a statute relevant to it. The administrative tribunal stops to have control over an issue; functus officio – the very moment they make an order. It cannot review the decisions it has made therefore only until that power is given to it by a statute.

Case Law– 

In Northern India Caterers Ltd. v. Left Governor of Delhi, 1980, despite the kind of proceedings it is way past the dispute that it is not possible for a review proceeding to be made equal with the first hearing of the case, and the final word of judgment given by a court will not be considered again only on the occasion that a glaring omission or patent mistake or error has come up earlier by the judicial shortcomings.


The doctrine of Res Judicata Explained-

Section 11 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908 gives room for the doctrine of res judicata. This means that if an issue has been turned into as the subject matter of the previous suit and had been brought up, tried, decided by a competent court having the authority to try the suit, no party can be permitted to reopen it in a subsequent litigation.


The Doctrine of Res-Judicata is based on three maxims-

  1. Any person cannot be tried again/twice for the same cause.
  2. It is in the interest of the state there a litigation should reach its end.
  3. The decision given by the Court must be accepted as a correct decision.


Case Law

It was held in Satyadhyan Ghosal v. Deorjin Debi , that the principle of res judicata is based on the requirement of giving finality to a judicial decision. Further, in the absence of such a rule, there will be no end to litigation and the parties would be subjected to continuous trouble, harassment, and expenses.

Bombay Gas Ltd. v. Shridhar, 1961, the Supreme Court maintained that an award stated by the Industrial Tribunal goes by as res judicata amidst the same parties and the Payment of Wages Authority does not have the authority to host the question for a second time.


Administrative tribunal and doctrine of precedent-

It is stated in the Art. 141 of the Constitution that the law pronounced by the Supreme Court shall take effect on every court within the borders of India which would also apply to ordinary courts and administrative tribunals. However, there is no provision that corresponds to Art. 141 in relation to the law the High Court declares.

The question that comes up is whether the law pronounced by the High Court has the same effect that applies to all courts and tribunals under it within the boarders according to where it has jurisdiction over. The Apex Court in the State is the High Court.

In general, the principle of Art. 141 has an effect on the judgment of the High Court. Just like the Supreme Court, the High Court has the authority to supervise all subordinate courts and tribunals inferior to it in the territories in respect to where its jurisdiction is exercised.

In that case, if any administrative tribunal goes contrary to jurisdiction or overuses its power or looks to violate the law, the High Court can definitely come in between the proceeding of the tribunal.

Case Law

In Bhopal Sugar Industries v. I.T.O., 1961, the Income Tax Tribunal had directed the Income Tax Officer to go about clearly and unambiguously. The Supreme Court ruled that such a refusal would be contrary to the functional principle of hierarchy of the Courts and a sight will destruct basic principles of administration of justice.

Administrative Tribunal and Doctrine of Stare Decisis-

The Doctrine of Stare Decisis is Latin for “to stand by things decided and not to disturb decided matters.” 

Stare Decisis is cited by the court- when an issue has been previously brought to the court and a ruling already issued.

The doctrine of stare decisis comes along with certainty, uniformity and predictability in law since the ruling given by higher authorities to be pursued after in future in a case having the same fact.

Under the doctrine of stare decisis, the decision of a higher court that falls within the same provincial jurisdiction acts as a binding authority on a lower court having the same jurisdiction.

The decision of a court of another jurisdiction only acts as a persuasive authority.

The degree of persuasiveness is dependent upon various factors, including, first, the nature of the other jurisdiction. Second, the degree of persuasiveness is dependent upon the level of court which decided the precedent case in the other jurisdiction.

Other factors include the date of the precedent case, on the assumption that the more recent the case, the more reliable it will be as authority for a given proposition, although this is not necessarily so.

Case law-

In a case, East India Commercial Co. Ltd. v. Collector of Customs, 1962, maintained that the ruling of the High Court. Proceedings had begun by the Collector of Customs against the petitioner company on the accusations that it had breached the conditions of license and illegally disposed of goods and in that way committed an offense. There was an order of acquittal that was ruled by the trial court holding which was confirmed by the High Court. It held that it cannot be stated that a license condition led to an order in the Act and in that case, the company had not committed any offense.


An administrative tribunal is created of a statute and it is, therefore, an organ of the statute. It has some of the accessories of a court. The administrative tribunals have been given judicial powers of the State which allows them to undertake a judicial and quasi-judicial function. The law pronounced by the Supreme Court is applicable and holds all courts and administrative tribunals subject to it. All tribunals are held by the ruling of a high authority.




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