Principles of Natural Justice and India

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The concepts of social and economic justice that can be seen in the Preamble of the Constitution are based on the principles of natural justice.

Article 311 of Constitution of India incorporates many of the features of the natural justice without explicitly mentioning it.

Violation of natural justice is equal to violation of Equality of the Article 14 of Constitution of India.

The principles are followed in Administrative Adjudication under Administrative Law.

Recent Cases / Related Cases / Case Laws

  • Andhra Scientific Co vs Seshgiri, AIR 1967 SC 408: Supreme Court or High Court will interfere into administrative actions where the tribunal violates the Principles of Natural Justice.
  • K I Shephard vs Union of India (1987) 4 SCC 431, 448: The rules of natural justice have been developed with the growth of civilization and the content thereof is often considered as a proper measure of the level of civilization and Rule of Law prevailing in the community.
  • Supreme Court interfered in the Section 314 of the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 that empowered the Commission to demolish illegal structures and constructions without notice. The Supreme Court observed that Section 314 does not have a command but only gives discretion to the Commissioner which must be reasonably exercised.
  • In Saij Panchayat v State of Gujarat, when the Government has transferred a panchayat area as a notified area, the Supreme Court held that though the law did not provide the need to conduct a hearing before the transfer of the land, the denial of such an opportunity is not in consonance with the scheme of the law governing our society.
  • In Hindustan Petroleum Corporation v HL Trehan, the Supreme Court held that when an authorityhas statutory power to take action without hearing, it would be arbitrary to take action without hearing and thus violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.
  • In DK Yadav v JMA Industries Ltd, the Supreme Court held that even when managements have the statutory standing powers to terminate the services of employees who overstayed the leave period, it will be a violation to Article 21 of Constitution to do so without hearing since it will deprive the person of his livelihood and hence cannot be just, fair and reasonable.
  • In State Bank of India v K Narayanan Kitty, the Supreme Court held that for the application of the principles of natural justice, there need not be a necessity that some prejudice must be caused.

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