Natural Justice

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Natural Justice.
4) What is natural justice?
Natural justice is a natural sense of what is right and wrong. It is a procedural concept and does not imposed any substantive restriction. Besides that, natural justice is also a fair administrative procedure to be followed by the administrative body in arriving at a right decision. Natural justice has two main components; the rule of hearing or rights to be heard or audi alteram partem and the rule against bias or nemo-judex in causa sua.

5) What are the main elements in nemo-judex causa sua?
Nemo-judex causa sua means the rules against bias. It means that a man should not be a judge in his own cause. The principle that bias disqualified an individual from acting as an adjudicator flows from two fundamental maxims; a man should not be a judge in his own cause; and justice must not only be done but be seen to be done. The fountain of administration justice must not only be pure but it must also enjoy public confidence and credibility. The adjudicator must not only be free from bias but there must not even be appearance of bias. There are three types or elements of bias; Pecuniary bias, Personal bias and Policy bias. A pecuniary interest, however small, in a controversy disqualifies a person from acting as a judge. In DIMES v GRAND JUNCTION CANAL, a public limited company filed a case against a land owner in a matter largely involving the interests of the company. The Lord Chancellor who was a shareholder in the company heard the case and gave the desired relief to the company. The decision was quashed by the House of Lords because of the Lord Chancellor’s pecuniary interest in the company. Personal bias may arise in the adjudicatory right, or in favour of, one party to the dispute before him under many varied circumstances, for example relationship, friendship or business dealings with or hostility or animosity against a party may disqualify an official to act as an adjudicatory in a dispute. All these circumstances create bias either in favour of, against a party to the dispute. In AK KRAIPAK v UNION OF INDIA 1970 SC 150, a Selection Board was formed to select employee of state service to the Indian Forest Service was one of the candidates and he was a member of the Selection Board. The Supreme Court held that a member of a decision making body cannot be both a party and a judge in the same dispute. In the case of official bias, the adjudicatory is not influenced by any personal or pecuniary but he is so imbued with the desire to promote official policy of his department that he becomes blind to the existence of the interests of the private individual. When an administrator acts as decision maker to decide a dispute between an individual and his department, there is a tendency that he was an official or policy bias towards his department. In ALKAFF & CO v THE GOVERNER-IN-COUNCIL, the Commissioner of Law was a member of Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT). SIT approved certain scheme and applied to the Governor-in-Council for approval. The Governor appointed the Commissioner to inquire and to make report on the proposal. The commissioner recommended approval of the scheme. Therefore held, the appointment of Commissioner to inquire the merit of the scheme could result in suspicion that justice might not be done. The order was quashed.

6) What is the element in audi alteram partem?
Audi alteram partem is the rule which requiring fair hearing. It has few elements. The first element is notice. Notice is a basic norm of natural justice is that before initiating adjudication proceedings, the party concerned should be given notice of the case against him so as to enable him to adequately defend himself. The right of hearing become illusory if the party has no knowledge of allegations which he need to meet. Notice thus regarded as the sine qua non of the right of hearing. The notice means an adequate notice as regards the details of the case against the party. Any...
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