Though the distinction between quasi-judicial and administrative action has become blurred, yet it does not mean that there is no distinction between the two.
In A.K. Kraipak vs. The Union of India, the Court was of the view that in order to determine whether the action of the administrative authority is quasi-judicial or administrative, one has to see the nature of the power conferred, to whom power is given, the framework within which power is conferred and the consequences.
Thus broadly speaking, acts, which are required to be done on the subjective satisfaction of the administrative authority, are called ‘administrative’ acts, while acts, which are required to be done on objective satisfaction of the administrative authority, can be termed as quasi-judicial acts.
Administrative decisions, which are founded on pre-determined standards, are called objective decisions whereas decisions which involve a choice, as there is no fixed standard to be applied are so called subjective decisions.
The former is a quasi-judicial decision, while the latter is an administrative decision. In case of an administrative decision, there is no legal obligation, upon the person charged with the duty of reaching the decision, to consider and weigh submissions and arguments or to collate any evidence.
However, the Supreme Court observed, “It is well settled that the old distinction between a judicial act and administrative act has withered away and we have been liberated from the pestilent incantation of administrative action.”
Important quasi-judicial bodies in India are as under
- National Human Rights Commission
- State Human Rights Commission
- Central Information Commission
- State Information Commission
- National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
- State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
- District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum
- Competition Commission of India
- Appellate Tribunal for Electricity
- State Electricity Regulatory Commission
- Railway Claims Tribunal
- Income Tax Appellate Tribunal
- Intellectual Property Appellate Tribunal
- Central Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal
- Banking Ombudsman
- Insurance Ombudsman
- Income tax Ombudsman
- Electricity Ombudsman
- State Sales tax Appellate Tribunal