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State Administrative Tribunal Can Be Abolished By The Union Government: Odisha Administrative Tribunal’s abolition is upheld by the Supreme Court

Issue – The Central Government’s 2019 announcement to abolish the Odisha Administrative Tribunal was upheld by the Supreme Court. 

Facts of the case – The Orissa High Court’s ruling upholding the OAT’s abolishment was challenged in a petition brought by the Odisha Administrative Tribunal Bar Association, which the bench dismissed.

Reasoning – Since Article 323A of the Indian Constitution only grants the Union Government the authority to create administrative tribunals at its discretion in response to a request from a State Government, it does not prevent it from dissolving a State Administrative Tribunal.

Arguments – The authority to create an Administrative Tribunal includes the authority to dissolve the Tribunal as well. The Constitution’s Article 14 was not broken by the announcement that disbanded the OAT on August 2, 2019. The class of people who were impacted by the decision to abolish the OAT are not entitled to a hearing, hence the standards of natural justice are also not infringed. The choice was made using administrative authority, not quasi-judicial authority.

Judgement – The Rojer Mathew decision’s directive to perform a judicial effect assessment has been given by the Court to the Ministry of Law and Justice. On September 21, 2022, the bench had postponed making a decision in the matter. 

Provisions used in the case – Article 323A and Article 14 of the Constitution.

Case title – Orissa Administrative Tribunal Bar Association v. UoI And Ors.

Written by – Nikita Shankar

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