Statutory, Regulatory and Various Quasi-judicial Bodies

Statutory bodies

Statutory bodies are established by acts of Parliament or State Legislatures concerned.Statutory bodies are non-constitutional bodies which make rules and regulations and take the decision on behalf of the government.As these bodies are established by the act, it derives its powers, functions, duties from the respective act.Statutory bodies are established to perform specific tasks. These are sector specific and lessen the burden on the government.Government may grant certain level of independence in its functioning, appointment of members. Though government may grant the independence and autonomy to these bodies, government needs to ensure financial prudence in its functioning.These bodies are subject to varying degrees of ministerial control which are identified in the statutory body’s enabling legislation. Ministers are accountable to Parliament for the operation of all government agencies within their ministry and are necessary to table their annual reports in Parliament.The meaning of a ‘statutory body’ may change depending upon the legislation. For example, a local council is not a statutory body for the purposes of the Financial Accountability Act, but it is for the purposes of the Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act.All statutory bodies are established and operate under the provisions of their own enabling legislation, which sets out the purpose and specific powers of the agency.

Examples: National Human Rights Commission, National Green tribunal, Medical Council of India, University Grants Commission etc.

List of important statutory bodies

National Commission for Minorities

National Commission for Backward Classes

National Green Tribunal

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

National Law Commission

National Human Rights Commission

National Commission for Women

Armed Forces Tribunal

Regulatory bodies

The notion of the regulatory agency was initiated in the USA and it has been basically an American establishment. The first agency was Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), established by Congress in 1887 to control the railroads.A regulatory body also called a regulatory agency is a public authority or a government agency which is accountable for exercising autonomous authority over some area of human activity in a regulatory or supervisory capacity.Regulatory agencies are generally a part of the executive branch of the government or they have statutory authority to execute their functions with oversight from the legislative branch.Their activities are generally scrutinized by the legislature. Regulatory authorities are usually established to implement standards and safety, or to oversee use of public goods and regulate business.Regulatory body, independent governmental body established by legislative act in order to set standards in a specific field of activity, or operations, in the private sector of the economy and then to enforce those standards.Regulatory agencies function outside direct executive supervision. Because the regulations that they adopt have the force of law, part of these agencies’ function is essentially legislative; but because they may also conduct hearings and pass judgments concerning adherence to their regulations, they also exercise a judicial function – often carried out before a quasi-judicial official called an administrative law judge, who is not part of the court system.Regulatory agencies became popular means of promoting fair trade and consumer protectionas problems of commerce and trade became more complex Several risks are involved in the absence of a regulatory system. The main risks of not regulating are:Excessive tariff. In adequate service level and quality Non-compliance of contractual obligations to users, government or other parties Low efficiency in production and in the provision of goods and services. In adequate level of investment in the sector Frequent discontent between the parties involved .

List of important regulatory bodies

Advertising Standards Council of India

Directorate General of Civil Aviation

Forward Markets Commission

Inland Waterways Authority of India

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority

Competition Commission of India

Biodiversity authority of India

press council of India

Reserve Bank of India

Securities and Exchange Board of India

Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

Medical Council of India

Pension fund regulatory and development authority

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

Quasi-military bodies

A Quasi-Judicial Body is an entity such as an arbitrator or a tribunal, generally of a Public Administrative Agency, which has powers and procedures resembling that of a Court of Law or Judge, and which is obliged to objectively determine facts and draw conclusions from them so as to provide the basis of an official action.A Quasi-Judicial Body has also been defined as “an organ of Government other than a Court or Legislature, which affects the rights of private parties either through adjudication or rulemaking”.It is not necessary that a Quasi-Judicial Body has to be a Court of Law, such as National Green Tribunal.For example, the Election Commission of India is also a Quasi-Judicial Body but does not have its core functions as a Court of Law. Finance Commission is also a quasi-judicial body but do not perform functions of court of law.Awards and judgements of quasi-judicial bodies often depend on a predetermined set of rules or punishment depending on the nature and gravity of the offence committed. Such punishment may be legally enforceable under the law of a country, it can be challenged in a court of law which is the final vital authority.

List of important Quasi judicial bodies

National Human Rights Commission

State Information Commission

State Human Rights Commission

Central Information Commission

Competition Commission of India

Appellate Tribunal for Electricity

State Electricity Regulatory Commission

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum

Banking Ombudsman

Insurance OmbudsmanIncome tax Ombudsman

Electricity Ombudsman

Railway Claims Tribunal

Income Tax Appellate Tribunal

Intellectual Property Appellate Tribunal