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Principles Of Natural Justice

Principles Of Natural Justice
Natural justice is an expression of English common law having it's origin in jus natural (law of nature) it involves the procedural requirement of fairness in England, it was initially applied to the court but later projected from the judicial to the administrative sphere. It is justice that is simple and elementary, and fair play in action.

Menika Gandhi vs. Union of India 1979.
In this case court held that Natural justice is a humanist theory, which means to impose fairness in the law.

Principles Of Natural Justice
The principles of natural justice are those rules which have been laid down by the courts as being minimum protection of the rights of the individual against the arbitrary procedure that may be adopted by a judicial, Quasi-judicial and administrative authority while making an order affecting those rights.
Frank committee or the committee on minister's power has laid down the following norms of natural justice.
  1. No man should be condemned unheard.
  2. No man shall be judge in his own cause.
  3. A party is entitled to know the reasons for the decisions.
  4. Making available a copy of Statutory report.
However the traditional English law recognize two principles of Natural Justice.

Nemo Judex In Causa Sua
MEANS No man shall be judge in his own cause, or no man can act as both at the one and the same time. A party or a suitor and also a judge, or the deciding authority must be impartial and without bias.

Ridge vs. Baldwini 1963.
Lord hodson observed one of the features of natural justice is the right to be heared by an unbiased tribunal.

Types Of Bias
  • Personal bias
  • Pecuniary bias.
  • Subject matter bias.
  • Departmental bias.
  • Policy notion bias.
  • Preconceived notion bias.

Personal Bias.
Cottle vs Cottle 1939.
The chairman of the bench was a friend of the wife's family who had instituted matrimonial proceedings against her husband. The wife had told the husband that the court ordered rehearing. It later turned out that the chairman was a friend of the wife's family.

Pecuniary Bias
Jee Jee Bhoy Vs Collector AIR 1965.
The C. J. reconstituted the bench when it was found that one of the members of the bench was member of the cooperative society for which the land had been acquired.

Subject Matter Bias Or Official Bias
Murlidhar vs. Kadam Singh AIR 1954.
The court refused to quash the decision of the election tribunal on the ground that the wife of the chiarman was a member of the congress party whose candidate the petitioner defeated.
Exception to the rule against bias.

Audi Alteram Partem
Means Rule of fair hearing, hear the other side or both the side must be heared. Or no man should should be condemned unheared or that there must be fairness on the part of the deciding authority.

Conclusively, any authority or body empowered to decide the question of legal rights of persons should follow the rule. Otherwise the decision would be quashed as violative of Audi alteram partem.

Reasoned Decision
Reason is an essential requirements of the rule of law. It provides a link between fact and decision.

Lord Denning observed that:
The giving of reason behind the decision is one of the fundamentals of good administration.

Principles of natural justice is important in providing fair justice to the people without the principles of natural justice there should not be justice. Conclusively natural justice means no interference of any type of advantage to the parties.

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