Introduction to the Natural Justice Principle: The term natural justice highlighted several fundamental laws of the judicial procedure. There is no law in India that provides for the minimal procedure to be followed in the exercise of their decision making power by administrative authorities. The minimum fair process refers to natural justice concepts.
Natural justice in welfare states such as India refers to equality and fairness, and administrative agencies’ role and jurisdiction is rapidly increasing.
The purpose of the Principle of Natural Justice:
The principle of natural justice is a set of rules issued by a court for the purpose of protecting an individual’s rights against the adoption of arbitrary procedures in determining questions affecting the rights of individuals. Them by a judicial or quasi-judicial body (Pitchaiah vs University of Andhra). The principles of natural justice can be easily stated, but their precise scope is not easy to define. One regulation prohibits bias and prejudice, while another protects the freedom to be heard.
Both laws distinguish what is often called ‘natural justice.’ It is supported by twin pillars. Two words- neutrality & fairness were inserted into them In order to provide justice to the worker whose conduct is probed, the principle of natural justice is deemed more vital. Therefore, for the purpose of domestic investigation, it is necessary to understand its scope and scope and consequences. We find fresh cases every day, but with regard to machinery for departmental investigations and decision-making, the infrastructure is still the same.
Therefore, employers should pay special attention to this aspect of discipline in order to avoid these score pitfalls.
The natural justice principle has the following rules:
Nemo judex in causa sua (nobody is appointed as a judge in their case (the rule against prejudice)
Audi alteram partem (listen to the other party or the rule of fair rule) (the rule that no one should be condemned unheard)
Nemo judex causa sua (rule against bias) When it comes to bias, it refers to a bias, whether conscious or unconscious about a party or problem relation.
The rule of prejudice comes to the following principle.
The definition must be executed, as well as explicitly and indirectly.
Bias can take many forms:
1. Pecuniary prejudice/Bias
2. Personal prejudice/Bias
3. Subject-Matter Bias
4. Departmental Bias
5. Pre-conceived notion Bias
When the judge or arbitrator has an economic concern with the matter in dispute,
In R v.s Hendon rural district council (1933) 2 kb 696,
The decision of the Planning Commission with one member as an expert representing the applicant given approval was overturned by a British court.
In the case of Jeejeebhay (AIR 1965 SC 1096),
When it was discovered that one of the bench members was a member of a co-operative society for which land had been acquired, the C.J. reformatted the bench.
Personal prejudice arises in close relatives, namely friendships, relationships, business or professional relationships, and such relationships cannot act as judges.
Supreme Court ruling in Mineral Development Corporation Limited (M.D.C) Vs. Union Of India AIR 1960 SC 468, is a good illustration of this. Here the petitioner was granted a 99-year mining lease in 1947. But in 1955 the government cancelled the license. The petitioners acted against the minister by ordering on behalf of the government on the grounds that in 1952 the petitioners had opposed the minister in the general election. So, due to political conflicts, the Minister passed such an ordinance, and therefore the decree was subject to personal prejudice. The Supreme Court concluded that the allegation/affirmation was true and thus overturned the stated order. Therefore, due to political conflicts, the Minister passed such an ordinance, and therefore the decree was subject to personal prejudice.
Subject Matter Bias
Any interest or prejudice/bias will disqualify the judge from hearing the case. when the arbitrator or the judges have a common interest in the case in dispute because of his association with an administrative or private body, he is disqualified because he must have close and direct relations between the judiciary and issues in dispute.
departmental bias is something that comes into the administrative process, and if not checked effectively, it may negate/refute the concept of procedural fairness.
There are various circumstances when departmental bias problems develop when judge and prosecution roles are integrated in the same department. It is not uncommon for the same department to initiate an alma mater to make this decision as well, so sometimes departmental fraternity and loyalty go against the concept of a fair trial.
Pre-conceived notion Bias
Prejudice based on preconceived notions/ideas is a delicate administrative law matter. judges, on the other hand, are not obliged to sit like a blank slate. On the other hand, prejudice is to find a fair trial.
Audi alterm partem (hear the other side)
Audi alterm partem idea is a fundamental concept of natural justice’s doctrine. Listen to the other side. This means that the individual has a chance to defend himself. It is the rule that without a fair trial, no one should be a judge, without a fair trial in which the parties are given the opportunity to answer the evidence against them.
Case: Maneka Gandhi Vs. U.O.I AIR 1978 SC 597
The Supreme Court ruled in this case that the court’s order violated the principle of natural justice and overturned the following propositions:
Fair and without any interest or bias.
The authority cannot delegate its decision-making authority.
Before providing a reasonable opportunity for the affected party to submit its case, the Authority must disclose all material places.
It should be noted that in the past, the order of disciplinary authority was not required to be supported by reason. In the case of Som Dutt vs. Union of India, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that there is no rule of natural justice requiring a statutory tribunal to provide a reason for its decision in every case.
However, a new layer of logical order has been introduced to these regulations with the creation of natural justice. The legal luminaries have the notion that the necessity to give reasons for each decision guarantees that the proof concerning the case is taken properly by the Authority. The results should be backed by reasons as well as by the fact that it facilitates the judicial review of the inquiry officer’s conclusions and ensures that the decision is based on evidence and the records of a case and ensures that the decision-making authority acts arbitrarily or abruptly.
Consequently, an order issued by an investigative officer or disciplinary body must be a colloquial order. When the order is passed with reasons, only the disciplinary authority, otherwise the aggravated party, will demonstrate sufficient appreciation of the evidence. Should the appellant’s authority be unable to prove that the disciplinary authority’s order is deficient or irrelevance by specific unlawfulness? This is not to say that the order must be long and must deal with issues such as a court order every minute. Before passing, the evidence and the application of the mind should be at least demonstrated to be well appreciated.
Conclusion of the Principle of Natural Justice:
As stated in this article, the principles of natural justice and the rule of Law aim both primarily at a larger scope of equality before the law and not a judicial institution which violates its rights and is always a fair and impartial decision should take such an order or decision.