Tribunals & Principles of Natural Justice by Aesha Sheth @LEXCLIQ

Rules of natural justice have developed with the growth of civilization & the content thereof is often considered as a proper measure of the level of civilization & rule of law prevailing in the community.

In order to protect himself against the excesses of organized power man has always appealed to someone beyond his own creation.

Such someone could only be God & his laws, divine law or natural law, to which all temporal laws & actions must conform. This is the origin of the concept of natural justice.

Natural justice implies fairness, reasonableness, equity& equality.

Natural justice is a concept of common law.

Natural justice is another name for common-sense justice.

Principle of natural justice is derived from the word “JUS NATURAL” of the Roman law & it is closely related to Common law & moral principles but is not codified.

In the ancient days of fair practice, at the time when industrial areas ruled with a harsh & rigid law to hire & fire, the Supreme court gave its command with the passage of duration & establishment of social, justice & economy statutory protection for the workman.

Natural justice simply means to make a sensible & reasonable decision making procedure on particular issue.

In India, the principles of natural justice are firmly grounded in Articke 14 & 21 of the Indian Constitution.

The violation f principle of natural justice results in arbitrariness, therefore, violation of natural justice is a violation of Equality clause of Art.

  1. Hearing rule

The person or party who is affected by the decision made by the panel of expert members should be given a fair opportunity to express his point of view defending himself.

2. Bias rule

Panel of expert should be biased free while taking the decision. The decision should be given I a free & fair manner which can fulfill the rule of natural justice.

Reasoned decisions

Order, decision or judgment of the court given by the Presiding authorities with a valid & reasonable ground.

Natural justice is a sense of what is wrong and what is right.

In India, this concept was introduced at an early time. In the case of Mohindar Singh Gill v/s Chief Election Commissioner, the court held that the concept of fairness should be in every action whether it is judicial, quasi-judicial, administrative & or quasi-administrative work.

Purpose of the principle of natural justice

  • To provide equal opportunity of being heard.
  • Concept of fairness.
  • To fulfill the gaps & loopholes of the law.
  • To protect the fundamental rights.
  • Basic feature of the Constitution.
  • No miscarriage of Justice
  • The principle of natural justice should be free from bias & parties should be given fair opportunity to be heard & all the reasons & decision taken by the court to the respective parties.
  • Supreme Court says that arriving at a reasonable & justifiable judgment is the purpose of judicial & administrative bodies.

The main purpose of natural justice is to prevent the act of miscarriage of justice.

Natural justice can be claimed when acting judicially or quasi-judicially like Panchayat & tribunals etc. As well.

In the case of the Province of Bombay v/s Khushaldas Advani, it was said that natural justice will be applicable on statutory as it is a basic principle of Natural Justice which leads to fairness & justice.

In the case of Board of High School v/s Ghanshyam, a student was caught while cheating in the examination hall & he was debated due to the act. Supreme Court held that student cannot file public interest litigation against the examination board.

The tribunals shall not be bound by the procedure laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 but shall be guided by the Principle of Natural Justice.

The tribunal shall also not be bound by the rules of evidence contained in the Indian Evidence act, 1872.

Exceptions to the Rule of Natural Justice

  • Exclusion in emergency.
  • Exclusion in cases of confidentiality.
  • Exclusion in case of purely administrative matters.
  • Exclusion based on impartiality.
  • Exclusion in case of interim preventive action.
  • Exclusion in case of legislative action.
  • Where no right of person is infringed.
  • Exclusion in case of statutory exception & necessity.
  • Exclusion in case of contractual arrangement.
  • Exclusion in case of government policy decision.
  • “Useless formality” theory.

The principle of Natural Justice have been developed & followed by the judiciary to protect the right of the public against the arbitrariness of the administrative authorities.

Rule of natural justice relates t fairness, they exist to protect the fair dealing with individuals who finds themselves before a court, tribunal or any hearing to whose judgment an individual is subject.

Rights to fair hearing & a judge not adjudicating over a matter in which hevhas an interest is German.

The extent & application of the rules of Natural Justice cannot be imprisoned within the strait jacket of a rigid formula.

The application of the doctrine depends upon the nature of the jurisdiction conferred on the administrative authority and upon the character of the rights of the person affected.




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