Exceptions to Principles of Natural Justice: Part IV

By Adv. Shriya Maini.

First Part of this Series, can be accessed here.

Second Part of this Series, can be accessed here.

Third Part of this Series, can be accessed here.

  • Where no right of the person is infringed

Where no right has been conferred on a person by any statute nor any such right arises from Common Law, the Principles of Natural Justice are not applicable. This can be illustrated by the decision of the Supreme Court in J.R. Vohra v. Indian Export House (P) Ltd., wherein the Delhi Rent Control Act made provisions for the creation of limited tenancies. More specifically, Sections 21 and 37 of the Act provided for the termination of limited tenancies. The combined effect of these Sections was that after the expiry of the term a limited tenancy could be terminated and warrants of possession could be issued by the authority to the landlord without giving any notice of hearing to the tenant. Upholding the validity of warrants of possession without complying with the Principles of Natural Justice, the Supreme Court held that after the expiry of the period of any limited tenancy, a person had no right to stay in possession and hence, no right of his was prejudicially affected which could warrant the application of the Principles of Natural Justice. (more…)

Exceptions to Principles of Natural Justice: Part III

By Adv. Shriya Maini.

First Part of this Series, can be accessed here.

Second Part of this Series, can be accessed here.

  • Exclusion in cases of legislative action: “Doctrine of Parliamentary Supremacy”

Another distinct exception to the otherwise mandatory application of Principles of Natural Justice is that of Legislative action. An interesting query arises here- what is a “Legislative Action” exactly? Professor M.P. Jain defines the same by stating it to be an order of general nature, not one applying to a person or few specified persons. Whether plenary or subordinate, he believes it is not subject to the rules of Natural Justice because these rules lay down a policy without reference to a particular individual. On similar lines, application of Principles of Natural Justice may also be excluded by a provision of the Constitution. In other words, the legislative action of the Legislature leads to the creation of an Act or Statute, while that of an Executive Action leads to the birth of Delegated Legislation. However, both may be exempt from the necessary and obligatory compliance of Principles of Natural Justice. A concept borrowed from the English Courts, J. Meagry in Bates v. Hailsham held that “There is no implied right to be heard in a Legislative Process”. The Constitution of India as a matter of policy excluded the Principles of Natural Justice in Articles 22, 3I(A), (B), (C) and 3II(2). (more…)

Exceptions to Principles of Natural Justice: Part II

By Adv. Shriya Maini.

First Part of this Series, can be accessed here.

  • Exclusion in Emergency: Hurry versus Hearing

Whether it is for public safety, public interest, public health or public morality- the action, preventive or remedial, that is needed, is the requirement of notice and where a hearing may be obviated, would be exceptional cases of Emergency. The reasoning here is that a plausible hearing could delay the Administrative Action, thereby defeating the very purpose for which it was constituted. But if the right to be heard was to paralyze the process, the law would inevitably exclude it. Hence, if to condemn unheard is wrong, it is wrong except where it is overborne by dire social necessity. Therefore, examples such as where a dangerous building is to be demolished, or a company has to be wound up to save depositors, or there is imminent danger to peace, or a trade dangerous to society is to be prohibited, dire social necessity requires exclusion of the elaborate process of fair hearing. In the same manner, where power theft was detected by officials, immediate disconnection of supply was said to be non-violative of the Principles of Natural Justice. (more…)

Exceptions to Principles of Natural Justice: Part I

By Adv. Shriya Maini.

“There are no Victors in the game of law until the Court verdicts…”

Justice is the most important task of Rule of Law of the State. The role of an attorney is an integral part of the justice system of the State which fails its society if the litigant is not zealously represented. The prime object of this post is to develop an understanding of exceptions to Principles of Natural Justice with a special emphasis on its legal aspects conducive to equip the law students with a profound understanding of how an advocate ought to approach a case procedurally. (more…)

Judiciary, Media and Public Opinion: An Overview

By Arifa Khan, Post Graduate College of Law, Osmania University, Hyderabad.

The media is regarded as the fourth pillar of any democracy. An independent media is necessary for keeping a check on the government and its organs. But with the increasing corporatisation of media and the race to grab more eyeballs for higher numbers, the media is overstepping its boundaries. It has been witnessed that the media pronounces its own verdict before the trial begins and ends up violating the principles of a fair trial. The accused persons are held guilty in the eyes of the public before a verdict is delivered in open court. Also, the sensationalism by media affects Judges and the public opinion created by the media is bound to have an effect on them. (more…)