Principle Of Natural Justice

The principles of natural justice have been developed and followed by the judiciary to protect the right of the public against the arbitrariness of the administrative authorities. Natural Justice implies fairness, reasonableness, equity and equality. It is the concept of the Common Law, which stands on the same footing as the concept of “procedural due process” of America. According to HEGDE J., the aim of natural justice is to secure justice; to prevent miscarriage of justice and to give protection to the public against the arbitrariness.

  1. audi alteram partem,- the person, who has to be effected by a decision has a right to be heard; and
  2. nemo judex in re sua – the authority deciding the matter should be free from bias.

“And it appears in our books, that in many cases, the common law will control acts of parliament, and sometimes adjudge them to be utterly void: for when an act of parliament is against common right and reason, or repugnant, or impossible to be performed, the common law will control it, and adjudge such act to be void; and, therefore, in … Thomas Tregor’s case [Judge] Herle said, some statutes are made against law and right, which those who made them perceiving, would not put them in execution…”

But the year 1963 proved to be watershed in the development of concept of natural justice in common law world. With the expansion of the administrative process, the wide abuse of the power of the administrative authorities became evident. In the case of Ridge v. Baldwin[1] , the applicability of natural justice to the quasi-judicial bodies took place. Ridge v. Baldwin is regarded as the Magna Carta of natural justice. The judgment of LORD REID widened the ambit of natural justice.

[1](1964) AC 40, JAIN, CASES, I, 475-479

[2]AIR, 1974 SC 555

[3](1978) 1 SCC 248: AIR 1978 SC 597


Article by-

Siddharth Mohanty

Student, BA.LLB(Hons.),

National Law University, Orissa

[Submitted as an entry for the Blog Post Writing Competition, 2011]

By Competition2011 on April 20, 2011 · Posted in Simplified concepts

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