The Supreme Court while hearing the case of Orissa Administrative Tribunal Bar Association v. Union of India upheld the abolition of the Orissa Administrative Tribunal (OAT) by the Central government on the ground that it is not violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. The Court added that people or their representatives need not be heard while taking a policy decision such as this one.
The matter was regarding a plea filed by the OAT Bar Association stating that the Central government had issued a notification abolishing the OAT by invoking section 21 of the General Clauses Act, 1987. However, the parent act (Administrative Tribunals Act) implicitly denied the exercise of such power. The abolition was earlier dismissed by the Orissa High Court challenging which the present petition was filed in the Supreme Court.
The purpose of establishing these tribunals was to reduce the burden of cases on the High Courts, as well as to secure speedy disposal of cases, the plea also said by way of the 42nd Constitutional Amendment, and pursuant to Article 323A. The Plea further stated that the High Court has turned a blind eye to the abuse of power by the Centre as well as the State government, by simply terming it to be an administrative action.