CIVIL

When a decision could be termed as quasi-judicial.

In Associated Cement Companies Ltd. Vs. P.N. Sharma and Another, Kania, C.J. held:

It seems to me that the true position is that when the law under which the authority is making a decision, itself requires a judicial approach, the decision will be quasi-judicial. Prescribed forms of procedure are not necessary to make an inquiry judicial, provided in coming to the decision the well-recognised principles of approach are required to be followed.

  1. Similarly, Das, J held, after reviewing a large number of cases where there were two disputing parties and an authority to adjudicate their dispute and where there were no two disputing parties but there was an authority to sit in judgment. I am presently concerned with the second line of cases. The learned Judge held:

What are the principles to be deduced from the two lines of cases I have referred to? The principles, as I apprehend them, are: (i) that if a statute empowers an authority, not being a Court in the ordinary sense, to decide disputes arising out of a claim made by one party under the statute which claim is opposed by another party and to determine the respective rights of the contesting parties who are opposed to each other, there is a lis and prima facie and in the absence of anything in the statute to the contrary it is the duty of the authority to act judicially and the decision of the authority is a quasi-judicial act; and (ii) that if a statutory authority has power to do any act which will prejudicially affect the subject, then, although there are not two parties apart from the authority and the contest is between the authority proposing to do the act and the subject opposing it, the final determination of the authority will yet be a quasi-judicial act provided the authority is required by the statute to act judicially.

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