Question: What is quasi judicial body? Explain with the help of concrete examples.
Answer: A quasi-judicial body is a non-judicial body which can interpret law. It is an entity such as an arbitrator or tribunal board which has powers and procedures resembling those of a court of law or judge.
Characteristics of quasi judicial bodies
These bodies act as a medium where parties can resolve their disputes without approaching the judiciary. These disputes can be in the form of monetary, conduct of rules or any particular dispute that do not directly concern the judiciary.
Ex: Tribunals are very good examples of quasi judicial bodies as they adjudicate in matter between two parties, especially states. This can be a water sharing agreement that involves bringing consensus between the two parties.
- Prescribe punishment
These bodies not just give advice or resolve issues, but they also act as a punishing authority concerning matter that involve their jurisdictions. The punishments are usually non encroaching on independence of judiciary at any cost.
Ex: The consumer court in India handles consumer disputes and punishes the companies if they are found to indulge in malpractices.
- Limited powers
The powers of these bodies are limited unlike judiciary, which can set precedent for new laws if existing laws do not support. Quasi judicial bodies can only decide on cases that comes under their expertise, whereas this in not the case of judiciary.
Ex: Company Law Appellate Tribunal only decides on governance and functioning of corporate companies and their powers and expertise are limited to that.
Thus, quasi judicial bodies are usually specific bodies that handle cases that requires technical expertise and thus their powers can never overshadow judiciary, which is wide ranged.