INDEPENDENCE AND PRISMATIC FACTORS IN QUASI-JUDICIAL SPHERE OF UNION REVENUE ADMINISTRATION- A STUDY
(BY DR. KISHORE AND DR SURESH BABU)
Rule- orientation, neutrality and anonymity are few of the hall-marks of bureaucracy. Such Weberian characteristics can be obtained in a complete manner only in ideal situations which, often, are far removed from reality. Absence of such factors lead to great deal of formalism and lack of independence in many spheres and this is more marked in Union Revenue Administration. Among the sources of revenue to the Government of India, Union Excise duties occupy a pride of place constituting the largest percentage averaging 35% of the gross tax revenue receipts from 1997-98 to 2001-02. The significance of the levy points to the urgency in addressing the problems in its administration. The Paper extrapolates Riggsian concepts to comprehend such problems in the sphere of adjudication. It begins with an introduction to functioning of quasi-judicial system in the Central Excise Administration and then proceeds to analyse the extent of prevalence of such factors followed by an attempt to understand the causes of their existence. A solution which is both administratively feasible and economically viable has been suggested for imparting greater independence in the adjudicatory proceedings. The Paper also considers the views of various Tax Reforms Committees constituted by the Union Government in so far as adjudication is concerned and evaluates the relevance of criticisms of Riggsian concept of Prismatic society to the identified problem and suggested solution.