Application of the rule by the Supreme Court of Nepal:
In Nepal the requirement of hearing is particularly observed and spelt out by the Supreme Court in connection with the fundamental rights of citizens guaranteed under the constitution. The extraordinary power of the court to review the administrative action through writs enriches the applicability of the principles of natural justice in diverse ways.
The following cases show the role of the Supreme Court in administering justice through the rule of Audi Alteram Partem:
P. Koirala v. HMG, 2016: –
It is regarded as the first landmark case in the judicial history of Nepal in which the rule of natural justice was highlighted by the court in connection with the invalid action of the executive action. Here, the court expressed, that the constitutional guaranteed right could not be taken away by an administrative order in the name of public security and welfare without providing the detainee the sufficient grounds and reasons for such detention order. The court further stated that it is the fundamental principle of law and justice that a person, against whom an action is taken, must be properly informed with reasons. Any legal proceeding if initiated against him without notice and grounds, it is a violation of the rules of justice.
Rishikesh Shah v. the Chief Zonal Commissioner, 2027: –
The Supreme Court stressed that the petitioner hold the right to know the grounds of detention as it was inherent under the equality clause of the constitution and a part of the natural justice.
Moona Acharya v. the Kathmandu District Court, 2048: –
The court stated that a concerned authority who is confiscating the property of a citizen is under the obligation to provide an opportunity to the petitioner to defend his/her case. The court further expressed, though procedural fairness is the requirement of justice, it does not mean that this requirement can be fulfilled at the disposal and convenience of the petitioner. Therefore, if a reasonable opportunity is given for a hearing, that is quiet sufficient to satisfy the requirement of natural justice.
Lalit Ratna Shakya v. Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, 2050: –
The Supreme Court here observed that the principle of audi alteram partem includes a reasonable amount of time to be given to the litigant to present his case, a clear statement of the charges made against him and a favorable environment in which he may state his position.
Rukma Shamsher Rana v. HMG, 2054: –
The court observed, if any action is taken against any member of the national games and sports, he is required to be given an opportunity to be heard as hearing has become an essential phenomena in the present age. Therefore, if a person is dismissed from his post without any notice and ground, there can exist the monopoly of the administration and good governance of the country can become meaningless.
Haribanta Lal Shrestha v. Managing Committee, the Nepal Bank Ltd. : –
The court once again highlighted the importance of the rule of natural justice. The petitioner in this case was debarred from the opportunity to be heard and to produce evidence in his favor. The court condemned the action of the executive and ruled that the principles of natural justice are not founded merely on formalities rather they are the meaningful rules to provide the substantive justice. They help and facilitate in providing definite, solid and concrete justice.
Krishna Prasad Pande v. HMG: –
The petitioner was detained under sec. 3(1)of the Public Security Act, 1989. He was not given the chance of hearing. Grounds for his detention were also not provided to him. The court quashed such detention order of the authority as the order was inconsistent to the principle of natural justice. The court issued the writ of Habeas Corpus to set the petitioner free.
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