This article will guide you to make your experience in the Administrative Tribunal Laws smother. It will give you a clear idea as to which forum you should make your claim regarding the injustice you are facing and what will be the process.

What are Administrative Tribunal Laws in Bangladesh?

 

An administrative tribunal is a special tribunal for resolving disputes in relation to or arising out of the terms and conditions of persons in the service of the republic or of any statutory public authority. An administrative tribunal plays a vital role to ascertain that the acts of the government officials are consistent with the law. 

Administrative tribunals have been defined as bodies outside the hierarchy of the courts with administrative or judicial functions as such; it is a separate body from the Courts of Bangladesh. The tribunal consists of one member who is a district judge.

                

Administrative Tribunal and Writ Petition to High Court 

 

The general rule is that government servants cannot maintain a Writ Petition in presence of the Administrative Tribunal relating to the terms and conditions of service of the republic. In the absence of challenging the vires of law, the writ petition is not maintainable (Government of Bangladesh and others vs. Santosh Kumar Shaha and others, 2016(1) lnj (ad) 61.

The High Court Division can also entertain Writ Petition on such service matter upon a view that the remedy before the Administrative Tribunal is not efficacious or that under the particular facts and circumstances of the case the Writ Petition can be entertained, notwithstanding the availability of alternative remedy before the tribunal (Abdul Wahab Sarker (Md) Vs. Bangladesh (Spl). 17 BLC (2012) HCD 355)

The Writ Petition will be maintainable for matters related to the service of the republic only when there is any violation of fundamental rights or there is a challenge to the vires of any law. 

 

Persons in the Service of the Republic

 

In order to understand in which case a claim can be referred to the Administrative Tribunal, it is important that we break down the meaning of ‘’persons in the service of the republic or of any statutory public authority’’. 

Persons in the service of the republic means a government employee and it also includes a person who is or has retired or is dismissed, removed, or discharged from such service but does not include a person in the defense services of Bangladesh.

 

Jurisdiction of Administrative Tribunal 

 

An administrative tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction to determine an application made by a person relating to terms and conditions of his service to the republic including pension rights and violation of fundamental rights or in respect of any action taken in relation to him as a person in the service of the Republic (Muslim Uddin Vs. Bangladesh (Spl), 64 DLR (2012) AD 161). However, such a person making an application to the Administrative Tribunal must be aggrieved by any order of a higher authority.                    

 Moreover, no application can be made to the Administrative Tribunal in respect of an order, decision, or action which can be set aside, varied, or modified by a higher administrative authority under any law in force, until such higher authority has taken a decision on the matter. Therefore, first, an application or appeal should be made to the higher administrative authority against the decision, order, or action. The higher administrative authority has to take the decision within two months from the date of the appeal or application made by the aggrieved. Upon expiry of the time period, it will be deemed that the higher authority has disallowed the appeal or application for review, and thereafter an application can be made to the Administrative Tribunal. 

Thus, an Application to the Administrative Tribunal should not be made while there are other alternative remedies available to the aggrieved person and should only be used as a last resort. 

 

Time limitation of Administrative Tribunal 

 

Application to the Administrative Tribunal shall be made within 6 months from the date of making or taking the order, decision or action concerned or making of the decision on the matter by the higher administrative authority as the case may be (Md. Nazimuddin Vs. Govt. of Bangladesh & Ors. 32 BLD (2012)-AD-47)

 

Who can file a suit to the Administrative Tribunals?

 

 In Bangladesh, any government employee or any public authority can file a suit to an administrative tribunal. But before that one shall have to fulfill the following criteria:

  1. He should have availed of all the remedies available to him under service laws.
  2. He should have locus standi in the subject matter.

 

Required information for making an application to the Tribunal 

 

Every application to a tribunal shall be in writing. An application shall contain the following particulars, namely-

  1. The name of the tribunal to which the application is made.
  2. The name, description, and address of the applicant.
  3. The name, description, and address of the opposite party.
  4. The fact constituting the cause of action .when and where it arose.
  5. The facts show that the tribunal has jurisdiction to entertain the application.
  6. The relief that the applicant claims.
  7. Any matter on which the applicant intends to rely.
  8. An applicant shall pay a fee of taka 20.00 and an additional fee of taka 5.00 for each application with a court fee stamp affixed to the application and signed by him.

 

 

Process after the filing of an application to the Administrative Tribunal 

 

Steps 1: Notice to the opposite party

 

After filing an application to the tribunal, the tribunal shall issue a notice to the opposite party directing him to submit a written statement. A copy of the written statement shall be sent to the applicant by registered post.

 

Step 2: Procedure for disposal of application

 

After fifteen days of the expiry date fixed for submission of a written statement by the opposite party, the tribunal shall fix a date for the hearing of the application. Tribunal shall issue a notice to both parties for their presence at the tribunal on the date of hearing with all necessary documents. 

 

However, where on that day so fixed neither party appear and notice has been duly served, the tribunal may dismiss the application. If the applicant appears but the other party does not, the tribunal may hear the application ex-party. On the other hand, if the opposite party appears but the applicant does not, the tribunal may dismiss the application. 

 

Steps 3: Decision 

 

After the application has been heard, the tribunal shall give its decision in writing with reasons at once or on a future date. 

 

Powers and Functions of Administrative Tribunal

 

The main powers and functions of the administrative tribunal are as follows:

  1. Summoning and enforcing the presence of any person. To examine any person on oath.
  2. Requiring the discovery and production of any documents.
  3. Requisition of public order or a copy thereof from any office.
  4. Requiring evidence on affidavit
  5. Issuing commission for the examination of witnesses or documents.
  6. Any proceeding before the tribunal shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding. 
  7. If any difference in opinion among the members of the administrative appellate tribunal, a majority shall prevail.
  8. A tribunal shall hold its sitting as such place as the government may fix.
  9. If the chairman or any other member of the administrative appellate tribunal is unable to attend in course of any hearing, the hearing may continue before the other members.
  10. An administrative tribunal may make any order in writing to transfer any suit at any stage of the proceeding to another administrative tribunal.
  11. The members of the administrative tribunal or administrative appellate tribunal may make such arrangements as they consider necessary for the performance of the tribunal.

 

Binding effect of Tribunal’s decisions and orders

Administrative Appellate Tribunal 

 

All decisions and orders of the Administrative Appellate Tribunal shall, subject to the decisions and orders of the Appellate Division, be binding upon the Administrative Tribunals and the parties concerned.

Administrative Tribunal

 

All decisions and orders of an Administrative Tribunal shall, subject to the decisions and orders of the Appellate Division or of the Administrative Appellate Tribunal, as the case may be, be binding on the parties concerned.

Bar on jurisdiction of Courts

 

No proceedings, order, or decision of a Tribunal shall be liable to be challenged, reviewed, quashed, or called in question in any Court.

Administrative Appellate Tribunal

 

Any aggrieved person may prefer an appeal to the Administrative Appellate Tribunal. The appellate tribunal has jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from any order or decision of an administrative tribunal. The appellate tribunal may confirm, set aside or modify any decision of the administrative tribunal. The order passed by the appellate tribunal is final and binding.

The appellate tribunal consists of one chairman and two other members. The chairman has to be a person qualified to be a Judge of the Supreme Court or an officer in the service of the republic. However, he/she cannot be from a rank below an additional secretary of the government. For the other two members, one has to be an officer in the service of the republic not below the rank of joint secretary. The other member will have to be a person who is a district judge. 

 

The time limit of Administrative Appellant Tribunals

 

There is also a time limit for filing an appeal to the Administrative Appellant Tribunals. Any aggrieved person by any order or decision of the administrative tribunal may prefer an appeal to the administrative appellate tribunal within three months from the date of making such an order or decision. 

The administrative appellate tribunal may admit an appeal after the period of three months but not later than six months if the appellant satisfies the appellate tribunal that he had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal within three months. In addition, a party may apply to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for leave to appeal (i.e. as per article 103 of the constitution) against the decision of the Administrative Appellate Tribunal.

 

The right of legal representatives of the deceased applicant to continue the proceeding

 

Originally the Administrative tribunal act did not provide the right of legal representatives of the deceased applicant to continue the proceedings. But the Administrative Tribunal [amendment] act has given this right as such; it is one of the most efficacious provisions of the act to serve humanitarian cause Now the legal representatives are entitled to continue the proceedings if the applicant dies during the pendency of the case if his service had been pensionable under any law for the time being in force. Moreover, if the order of dismissal or removal is declared illegal, legal representatives are entitled to get pensionary benefits of the applicant if he retires or dies while in service. The legal representative of the deceased applicant may be substituted, upon an application, made to the Tribunal or, as the case may be, to the Appellate Division, within sixty days from the date of the death of the applicant.

 

Penalty provisions regarding Administrative Tribunal

 

A tribunal shall have the power to punish any person with one-month simple imprisonment or a fine of five hundred takas or both for obstructing any proceedings without lawful excuse. Moreover, the Administrative Appellate Tribunal shall have the power to punish for contempt of its authority like the High Court Division of the Supreme Court.

 

Legal Service regarding Administrative Tribunal by CLP:

 

The Barristers, Advocates, and lawyers at CLP in Gulshan, Dhaka, Bangladesh are highly experienced in assisting clients through the entire process and legal provisions relating to Administrative Tribunal in Bangladesh. 

For any queries or legal assistance, please reach us at E-mail: info@counselslaw.com
Phone:+8801700920980. +8801947470606. Address: House 39, Road 126 (3rd Floor) Islam Mansion, Gulshan 1, Dhaka.

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