Principle of Natural Justice
Constitution of India
Constitution of India contains 395 articles in 22 parts. There are also 12 schedules in Indian Constitution. Additional articles and parts inserted later through various amendments. The article below gives a brief overview of the Constitution of India. The Constitution provides for a Parliamentary form of government which is federal in structure with certain unitary features.
WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN, SOCIALIST, SECULAR, DEMOCRATIC, REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation;
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty sixth day of November 1949 , do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
“The Republic is governed in terms of the Constitution of India which was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th November, 1949 and came into force on 26th January, 1950”.
Constitution of India, Official site, Retrieved on 9th January, 2018.
Principle of Natural Justice
Natural Justice principle incorporated in Indian Constitution. The constitution has passed the golden thread of natural justice. The basic motive of principle of natural justice is to ensure fairness in social and economical activities of the people and also shields individual liberty against the arbitrary action. Natural justice encourages equity, fairness and equality. In the concept of common law, natural justice constitute higher procedural principles introduced by the courts. These principles must also followed by every judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative agency. It’s used before taking any decision that may adversely affect the rights of a private individual. To maintain trust of public in the country’s legal system. Therefore, natural justice forms important part of constitution.
The role and jurisdiction of administrative agencies increasing at a rapid pace in India today. If the function of the state does not carried out in a just and fair manner, the Rule of Law would lose its validity. Natural Justice firmly grounded to Article 14 and 21 of Indian Constitution. Since violation of natural justice leads to arbitrariness, so violation of justice is violation of equality.
In A.K.Kraipak Vs. Union of India, the Supreme Court laid down the following guidelines regarding the scope and object of the principles of Natural Justice:
(1) These rules operate in areas not covered by any law. In other words, they do not replace the law but makes addition to the law;
(2) These rules made to secure justice or also to prevent failure in providing justice;
(3) In view of nature of these principle, it’s not possible to set them cast them in a narrow mould or fit them into a straight jacket. Because that would prevent them of their flexibility or adaptability to various situations that may come during the course of the enquiry;
(4) Principle of Natural Justice will depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case;
(5) If a complaint made before the court that some principle of Natural Justice contravened. Then the court has also to see whether the observance of the rule was necessary for a just decision of the case;
(6) The concept of Natural Justice has also undergone a great deal of change in recent years. In the past it was thought that it included just two rules namely
- no one shall be a judge in his own cause and
- no decision given against party without affording him a reasonable hearing.
- quasi-judicial enquiries must held in good faith also without bias and not also arbitrarily or unreasonably.
In the course of years many more subsidiary rules came to added to the rules of natural justice;
(7) In the opinion of the courts, unless the authority concerned was required by the law to act judicially. There was no room for the application of the rules of Natural Justice. The validity of that limitation now questioned;
(8) The purpose of the rules of Natural Justice to prevent failure in providing justice. Then one fails to see why those rules should made inapplicable to administrative enquiries;
(9) Often times it is not easy to draw the line that demarcates administrative enquiries from quasi-judicial enquiries. Enquiries which are considered administrative at one time are now being considered as quasi-judicial in character;
(10) Arriving at a just decision is the aim of both quasi-judicial enquiries as well as administrative enquiries. An unjust decision in an administrative enquiry may have more far-reaching effect than a decision in quasi-judicial enquiry.
The natural justice mainly focuses on the following two maxims :
1. Nemo judex in causa sua – one cannot made a judge in his own cause or the rule against bias.
2. Audi alteram partem – a judge should always listen to the other party or a fair hearing must should be done before any order.