Exception to The Rule of Natural Justice

Exclusion of Natural Justice-:

Though the rule of natural justice namely, nemo judex in causa sua and audi alteram partem, have now a definite meaning and connotation in law, and their content and implications are well understood and firmly established, they are nonetheless not statutory rules. Each of these rule yields to and changes with the exigencies of different situations. They do not apply in the same manner to situations which are alike. These rules are not cast in a rigid mould nor they be put in al legal strait-jacket. They are not immutable but flexible. These rules can be adopted and modified but statues and statutory rules and also by the constitution of the tribunal which has to decide a particular matter and the rules by which such tribunal is governed.[1] There are exceptional situation which exercised this types of practice informed the administration tribunals and so many laws are overtake the natural justice may be excluded-:

1. Statutory exclusion
The principles of natural justice do not suppliant the law but supplements it. It follows where the statute is silent about the compliance with the principles of natural justice; such statutory silence is taken to imply observance of the principles of natural justice. However, where a statue excluded the application of any or all the rules of natural justice than court cannot ignored statutory mandate and read in to the concerned provision the requirement natural justice.[2]

2. Exclusion in cases of legislative function
Legislative action, plenary or subordinate, is not subject to the rules of natural justice. This is so because these rules lay down a policy without reference to particular individual especially it was applied disciplinary action which is exercised the rights to maintained peace and security and privacy. Legislative action, for example, price fixing, is a direction of general character, not directed against a particular person or individual manufacturer or trader. There is no question invoking principles of natural justice in such cases.[3]

3. Exclusion in Emergency
In exceptional cases of emergency where prompt and preventive action is required, the principles of natural justice need not to be observed. According to Justice krshna Iyer ….. ‘If to condemn unheard is wrong, it is wrong except where it is overborne by dire social necessity’.[4] Thus, where dangerous building is required to be demolished to save human lives.

However, ‘immediacy’ does not exclude duty to act fairly because even an emergent situation can co-exist with the canons of natural justice. Thus, even in the case of emergency here precious rights of the people are affected; post-decisional hearing has relevance to administrative fairness.

Public interest
There requirement of notice and hearing may be excluded where prompt actions to be taken in the interest of public safety, public health or public morality. In case of pulling down property to extinguish fire, destruction of contiguous plant is animal like destruction of unwholesome food etc. action has to be taken without giving the opportunity of hearing. Nevertheless, hearing may be given in some of this situation after the action has been taken as a corrective measure to see whether mistake has been committed.

Exclusion based on impracticability
Judicial approach in applying the rules of natural justice to fact situations is not theoretical but pragmatic. Where the number of persons is so large that is not practicable to give all of them the opportunity to being heard, the court does not insist an observance of the principle of natural justice. The entire MBA entrance examination was canceled the university because of mass copying, the court held that notice and hearing to all the candidates is not practicable in such situation.[5]

Exclusion based on the Academic evaluation
Where a student is removed from an educational institution on grounds of unsatisfactory academic performance, the requirement of pre decisional hearing is excluded. Thus, a student of the university was removed from the rolls because of unsatisfactory academic performance without giving any hearing.[6]

Exclusion in case of interim disciplinary action
Where disciplinary action is preventive in nature, the observance of the rules of natural justice is excluded. Thus in

Abhay kumar v. K. Srinivasan[7] case the Delhi high court ruled that such an order could be compared with an order of suspension pending enquiry which is preventive in character in order to maintain peace in the campus, and therefore the principles of natural justice not attracted.

Contractual transaction
In state of Gujrat v. M.P. shah Charitable trust[8] the Supreme Court held that the principles of natural justice are not attracted in case of termination of an agreement in any contractual field. The reason is clear that termination of an arrangement is neither a quasi judicial nor an administrative act. Hence, the question of duty to act judicially does not arise.

[1] C.K. Thakker, Administrative Law,(Eastern Books Company, 1996), 207

[2] Union of India v. J.N sinha AIR 1971, SC 40

[3] Union of India v. Cynamide India AIR 1987, SC 1802

[4] Mohinder Singh Gill v. Chief election commissioner, AIR 1978 SC 851

[5] R. Raadha Krishnaman V. Osmania University, AIR 1974Ap 283

[6] Jawar lal Nehru Universityv. B.S. Narwal, AIR 1981 DEL 381

[7] AIR 1981 Del 381

8 3 SCC 552

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