Principle of natural justice

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow

Article | Service & Labour

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The principles of natural justice have been a fundamental part of the legal system in India and have been consistently upheld by the Supreme Court of India in its various decisions. The Indian Constitution guarantees the right to a fair trial and due process of law, which includes the principles of natural justice.

One of the significant contributions of the Supreme Court of India to the development of the principles of natural justice is the concept of “audi alteram partem,” which means “hear the other side.” It is an essential principle of natural justice that requires that no one should be condemned unheard, and both sides should be given a fair opportunity to present their case. The Supreme Court has consistently held that this principle is a cornerstone of natural justice, and its violation can lead to a denial of justice.

The Supreme Court of India has also emphasized the importance of the principle of impartiality, which requires that judges, tribunals, or other decision-makers must not have any personal interest in the outcome of the case. The Court has held that any decision made by a biased or prejudiced decision-maker would be null and void, as it would be in violation of the principles of natural justice.

In addition to the above, the Supreme Court has also emphasized the importance of the rule against bias, which requires that any person involved in the decision-making process should be free from any interest or bias that may influence the decision. The Court has held that a decision-maker who has a personal or financial interest in the case must recuse themselves to ensure that the decision is fair and impartial.

Finally, the principle of proportionality, which requires that any punishment or penalty imposed should be proportionate to the offense committed, has also been emphasized by the Supreme Court. The Court has held that any punishment that is excessive or arbitrary would be in violation of the principles of natural justice and would be struck down.

In conclusion, the principles of natural justice have been an integral part of the legal system in India, and the Supreme Court of India has consistently upheld these principles in its various decisions. The principles of natural justice ensure that individuals are treated fairly and justly, and any violation of these principles can lead to a denial of justice.