• Tribunals were not part of the original constitution.
  • Added by 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976 with a new Part XIV-A and Article 323A and 323B to the Constitution on recommendation of Swaran Singh Committee. (Committee also recommended Fundamental Duties).
  • They enjoy some of the powers of a civil court.
  • Tribunals works upon the principle of natural justice, not abide by civil procedure code.


  • Establishment of tribunals for Public Service Matters only.
  • Can be established only by Parliament and not by state legislatures.
  • Only one tribunal for the Centre and one for each state or two or more states may be established.
  • No question of the hierarchy of tribunals arises.
  • Establishment of tribunals for certain other matters. E.g. Taxation, Land reforms etc.
  • Can be established both by Parliament and state legislatures with respect to matters falling within their legislative competence
  • Hierarchy of tribunals may be created.


In accordance to Article 323A, Parliament has passed The Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 which authorises the Central government to establish one CAT and SAT.


PARAMETER Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) State Administrative Tribunal (SAT)





  • By President on the basis of recommendations of a high-powered Selection Committee.
  • Selection Committee Chaired by a sitting Judge of SC who is nominated by CJI.
  • After obtaining the concurrence of CJI, appointments are made with the approval of Appointments Committee of the Cabinet which is headed by PM.
  • Appointed by the president after consultation with the governor of the state concerned.
  • Provision for setting up of joint administrative tribunal (JAT) for two or more states.


  • Multimember Body consists of 1 Chairperson and 65 members (as of 2019).
  • Chairperson- 5 years or age of 65 years.
  • Members – 5 years or age of 62 years.




  • Principal bench at Delhi and additional 17 regular benches. (15 at the seats of HC + 2 at Jaipur and Lucknow).
  • Not bound by the CrPC. It is guided by the Principles of Natural Justice.
  • Members drawn from both Judicial and Administrative Streams.
  • Allows applicant to appear either in person or through a lawyer.
  • Jurisdiction extends to the all-India services, Central civil services and civil posts under the Centre and Civilian employees of defense services.
  • SATs have been set up in the 9 states of Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala.
  • Jurisdiction extends to recruitment and all service matters of state government employees.


  • Article 323 A– Enables the Parliament to take out the adjudication of disputes relating to service matters from the civil courts and the high court and place it before the administrative tribunals.
  • In Chandra Kumar case, the Supreme Court declared those provisions of these two articles which excluded the jurisdiction of the high court and the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. Hence, the judicial remedies are now available against the orders of these tribunals.
  • It laid down that appeals against the orders of the CAT shall lie before the division bench of the concerned high court.


A court of law is a part of the traditional judicial system. An Administrative Tribunal is an agency created by the statute and invested with judicial power.
The Civil Courts have judicial power to try all suits of a civil nature unless the cognizance is expressly barred. Tribunal is also known as the Quasi-judicial body. Tribunals have the power to try cases of special matter which are conferred on them by statutes
Judges of the ordinary courts of law are independent of the executive in respect of their tenure, terms and conditions of service etc. Judiciary is independent of Executive. Tenure, terms and conditions of the services of the members of Administrative Tribunal are entirely in the hands of Executive.
A court of law can decide vires of a legislation Administrative Tribunal cannot do so
A court of law is bound by all the rules of evidence and procedure. An Administrative Tribunal is not bound by rules but bound by the principles of nature of Justice.
The presiding officer of the court of law is trained in law and legal professional. The president or a member of the Tribunal may not be trained as well in law. He may be an expert in the field of Administrative matters.
Court must decide all questions objectively on the basis of evidence and materials on record. Decision of Administrative Tribunal may be subjective rather than objective. Administrative Tribunal may decide questions by taking into account departmental policy.
Download IGP- Current Affairs for Interview 2022
Enter your details to get the ebook!
1.5 Year Current Affairs
Download Free Ebook
Enter your details to get the ebook!
Basics Of UPSC Interview
Download Free Ebook
DAF Based Question
Whatsapp Your DAF-II
Fill form NOW
Get Your Personalized
Get Your Personalized
DAF Based Question
Fill form NOW
Whatsapp Your DAF-II
Mentors Guided
Prelims Test Series UPSC 2023
Program starts from 15th of January 2023
Online mode
Whatsapp Now
Offline mode
Enroll now
Whatsapp now