What are Quasi-Judicial Bodies?

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Justice, in its most basic definition, is an ideal that stands for something that and just. Fundamentally, it means acting in a just, unbiased, fair, and proper manner. Justice nowadays essentially refers to the acceptance and application of legislatively enacted laws. Furthermore, unlike ancient states, this function is mostly performed by judicial organs in the present environment.

Salmond claims that the bodies of rules that tribunals acknowledge and follow while dispensing justice are known as laws. Even Roscoe Pound defined laws as rules that are upheld by public authorities.

The Indian Constitution is founded on the principle of natural justice. The fundamental tenet of this philosophy is outlined in Articles 14, 19, and 21 of the Indian Constitution. The Indian Supreme Court is crucial in elevating the value of the natural justice principle in India. 

Under A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras, the court adopts a very stale position and declares that any procedure outlined by any Statute falls inside the definition of "procedure established by law" as stated in Article 21 of the Constitution. When interpreting this Article, such a procedure may take precedence over the ideas of rationality, natural justice, or due process.

The Non-judicial entities with the authority to interpret the law are known as quasi-judicial bodies. These are organizations that could be governmental administrative agencies, as well as organizations governed by a contract or private law, such as an arbitration panel or tribunal board.

When a body has judicial authority but only partially exercises it, it is referred to as a quasi-judicial body. In this capacity, it performs some of the functions of a court, including adjudication and decision-making, but it is not strictly obligated to follow those procedures.

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What are Quasi-judicial bodies?

Quasi-judicial entities are non-judicial organizations with the authority to interpret the law. They are organizations, such as an arbitration panel or tribunal board, which could be public administrative agencies but also a contract or private law entity, and which have been given powers and procedures similar to those of a court of law or judge, and which must objectively determine the facts and draw a conclusion from them to serve as the foundation for any subsequent decisions.

A person or entity with authority comparable to that of a court of law is referred to as a quasi-judicial body. The concerns that are relevant to the specific administrative agency are the only ones that fall under quasi-judicial activity. These organizations were created to lighten the load on the courts.

 Penalties for the guilty can be decided by quasi-judicial bodies. This authority is not available to quasi-judicial bodies, who must instead base their decisions on the law already in place. Knowing the significance of the aforementioned authorities, we are aware that the defense of immunity under tort law is necessary to prevent interference with their ability to carry out their jobs.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), and the National Green Tribunal are some of the significant quasi-judicial organizations.

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Evolution of Quasi-judicial bodies: 

In both industrialized and developing nations, the expansion of administrative tribunals has been a key phenomenon of the 20th century. Numerous Tribunals have been established periodically in India as well, both at the federal level and at the state level, encompassing a variety of activities such as trade, industry, banking, taxation, etc.

The Government of India had been deliberating for a very long time on the issue of creating Administrative Tribunals to offer quick and affordable redress to government employees regarding disputes on recruitment and other terms of employment.

It wasn't until relatively recently that reasoned orders were acknowledged in India as a component of natural justice. In Siemens Engg. & Mfg. Co. of India Ltd. v. Union of India, the Supreme Court ruled that the requirement that quasi-judicial bodies provide justifications for any orders they issue must be regarded as a fundamental principle of natural justice. 

Features of quasi-judicial bodies: 

The following are the traits that define the quasi-judicial bodies:

  1. Arbitrating Disputes: The quasi-judicial entities arbitrate cases and determine punishments; parties can turn to these organizations for justice without having to deal with the legal system's red tape. The disagreements can be over money, how rules should be followed, or anything else that isn't immediately related to the judiciary. For instance, tribunals are quasi-judicial agencies that help two parties, often states, reach amicable solutions to disputes.
  2. The limited function of adjudication: Their authority is typically restricted to one particular area of competence, such as financial markets, employment laws, public standards, immigration, or regulation.
  3. Justice is predetermined by predetermined rules: Awards and judgments of quasi-judicial organizations frequently depend on predetermined rules or punishments depending on the type and seriousness of the committed offense.
  4. The award can be challenged in court: Such punishment may be legally enforceable under a country's law, but the court of law, which is the last and most important authority, can still be used to appeal the decision.

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How can quasi-judicial entities function more effectively?

Government priority: The government needs to prioritize these agencies' effective operation and state its stance on the matter explicitly.

  1. Information gathering is essential: A minimum of once each year, comprehensive data on how these agencies are operating must be gathered and released.
  2. Procedure improvements: These adjudicating authorities should implement the procedural reforms recommended by organizations like the Law Commission for revision of the Civil Procedure Code, such as minimizing adjournments, requiring the filing of written arguments, and other similar reforms.
  3. Digitalization of court records: To handle all ancillary activity associated with the administration of justice, such as the filing of complaints, issuance of summonses, movement of case records between courts, issuing copies of judgments, and so forth, an electronic platform should be built.
  4. Study of these bodies' operations: It is advisable to support interdisciplinary research on how these courts operate. This would highlight the areas that needed improvement, including law changes or the issuance of clear rules.
  5. Authorities should undergo periodic training and orientation: The adjudicating authorities should undergo periodic training and orientation.


The application of the natural justice concept is not constrained by any particular boundaries; rather, it depends on the characteristics of the jurisdiction, the powers granted to the administrative body, and the nature of the rights that the individual is having violated.

Therefore, if any authority is granted at any point during the process, the judicial role is not purely acknowledged; rather, the principal's primary goal is to avoid a miscarriage of justice. One must keep in mind that the principles of natural justice are necessary for any administrative settlement to be recognized as valid since any judgment or order that violates them will be deemed to be null and void in nature.

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