This article is written by Gaurav Purohit, a student of Amity University Rajasthan Currently Pursuing BBA LLB.
The Right to a Fair Trial is perceived universally as a basic human right and nations are needed to respect this principle. Various nations have created various methods of doing this, however paying little heed to how a specific legal system works, the principles are core to all reasonable justice systems and they all form the Right to Fair Trial.
Fair Trials are the best way to prevent miscarriages of justice and are an important aspect of a fair and just society. Each individual who is charged as an accused of a particular crime should have their guilt or innocence determined by a reasonable and effective legal process. In any case, it’s not just about ensuring suspects and defendants. It additionally makes society more secure and stronger. Without a fair trial, victims can have no certainty that justice will be done to them or not. Without a fair trial, trust in government and the rule of law( article 14 of the Indian Constitution) collapses.
The right to a fair trial isn’t new; it has for quite some time been perceived by the global community as a basic human right. It’s a right that is being abused in nations over the globe with devastating human and social consequences.
The Right to a reasonable and fair trial is used to cross-examine or investigate in different declarations that represent customary international law, for example, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Though the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which provides some basic rights to citizens such as the right to a fair trial, for example, the assumption of innocence until proven guilty, in Articles 6, 7, 8, and 11, the key provision is Article 10 which expresses that:
Everybody is qualified for equality for a public hearing by a tribunal which is unbiased and independent, in the protection and determination of his rights and obligations and any criminal allegations against him.
The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols necessitate that any prisoners of war confronting a judicial proceeding get a reasonable trial. For instance, Articles 102–108 of the 1949 Third Geneva Convention detail prerequisites for the fairness of trials against prisoners of war. Other provisions require reasonable and regular trial protections of appropriate trial and defense an unbiased and regularly established court respecting the generally recognized standards of normal legal system a consistently established court managing all the judicial ensures which are perceived as vital by civilized groups and court offering the basic assurances of independence and impartiality.
Principles of Natural Justice
Principles of Natural Justice are derived from the word ‘Jus Natural’ of the Roman law and it is firmly identified with Common law and moral principles yet aren’t systematized or codified. It is natural law or law of nature which isn’t derived from any statute or constitution. The principle of natural justice is adhered to by all the residents of a civilized State with Supreme significance. In the ancient days of reasonable and fair practice, when industrial areas managed with a brutal and rigid law to recruit and fire, the Supreme court provided its order with the passage of duration and foundation of social, justice, and economic statutory protection assurance for the workers.
Natural Justice intends to settle on a reasonable and sensible decision making on a specific issue. Here and there, it doesn’t make a difference what is the sensible decision yet in the end, what is important is the procedure and whom all are engaged in taking the sensible decision. It isn’t confined inside the idea of fairness it has various colors and shades which shift from the specific situation.
Objectives of Natural Justice
- Equal Opportunity of being heard
- Protect the Fundamental Rights
- Prevents Miscarriage of Justice
- Fulfill the Loopholes of Law
Rules of Natural Justice
Nemo Judex in Causa Sua
Nobody should be a judge in his matter or case since it prompts the rule of biases. Bias implies an act that results in the unfair activity whether in a conscious or unconscious stage about the party or a specific case. Accordingly, the need for this rule is to make the adjudicator (judge) impartial and given judgment based on pieces of evidence recorded according to the case.
Different Types of Bias
- Personal Bias.
- Pecuniary Bias.
- Subject Matter Bias.
- Departmental Bias.
- Policy Bias.
- Bias on account of the obstinacy
- Personal Bias
Personal Bias emerges from a connection or relation between the parties and the decision making authority and which lead the decision making authority in a doubtful circumstance to make an unfair activity and give judgment in favor of his person. Such conditions arise because of different types of personal and professional relations.
To challenge the administrative action effects on the ground of personal bias, it is important to give a sensible reason behind the bias.
Ramanand Prasad Singh versus Union Of India.
Apex court held that one of the individuals from the selection committee his brother was a candidate in the competition however because of this, the entire procedure of selection can’t be quashed or canceled.
To avoid the act of biases at the turn of his brother panel member connected with the candidate can be ordered to go out from the particular panel so a reasonable and fair decision can be made.
- Pecuniary Bias
If any of the legal body has any kind of monetary advantage however small it maybe then it will result in administrative authority to biases
- Subject Matter Bias
When indirectly or directly the decision-making authority is associated with the subject matter of a specific case.
In the particular case of Muralidhar versus Kadam Singh The court denied canceling the decision of the Election Tribunal on the ground that the wife of chairman other was a member of the Congress party whom the petitioner defeated.
- Departmental bias
The issue or problem of departmental bias is extremely common in every administrative process and it isn’t checked viably and on every small interval period it will lead to a negative idea of reasonableness will get vanished in the procedure.
- Policy Bias
Issues emerging out of preconceived policy ideas are an exceptionally devoted issue. The crowd sitting over there doesn’t anticipate that judges should sit with a blank sheet of paper and provide a fair trial and decision over the issue.
- Bias on the Account of Obstinacy
Apex Court has found new measures of biases through unreasonable conditions. This new classification rose out of a situation where an appointed Judge of Calcutta High Court upheld his judgment in the appeal. An immediate infringement of the rules of bias is done because no judge can sit in appeal against in his case.
Audi Alteram Partem
It essentially incorporates 3 Latin words which fundamentally implies that no individual can be condemned or punished by the court without having a reasonable chance of being heard. In several jurisdictions, the bulk of cases are left pending without giving a reasonable chance of being heard. The strict significance of this rule is that both parties should be given a reasonable opportunity to introduce themselves with their relevant points and a reasonable trial should be conducted.
This is a significant guideline of natural justice and its pure form is not to punish anybody with no substantial and sensible ground. The prior notice ought to be given to an individual so he can plan to realize what all charges are outlined against him. It is otherwise called the rule of fair hearing. The elements of reasonable hearing are not fixed or rigid in nature. It shifts from case to case and from authority to authority.
Elements of Audi Alteram Partem
Issuance of notice–Valid and appropriate notification should be given to the required parties of the issue to additionally proceed with the procedure of the fair trial method. Regardless of whether the Statute does exclude the provision of issue of notice then it will be provided before the decision has been made. This was held in Fazalbhai versus Custodian.
In Kanda versus Government of Malaya, the court held that notice should and clearly and directly indicate the matter of bias, circumstances, and facts against which needs to be taken. It’s one of the rights of the person to protect him so he ought to be comfortable with the relevant issue so he may contradict the statement and safeguard himself.
The notice which is to be issued should be about the charges outlined against the accused person and should also mention the proceeding which is to be held. He must be punished on the charges which are mentioned in the notice, not for any other charges.
Right to present the case and pieces of evidence- After the notice has been received then the parties must be given a reasonable time for the preparation and presentation of the case in a real and effective manner. The refusal cannot be done on any unreasonable ground or due to arbitrary.
Right to Cross-Examination–The right of reasonable hearing incorporates the right to questioning the statements which are being made by the parties. If the tribunals don’t provide the right to cross-examination then it violates the principles of natural justice. All the required copies of the documents should be given to the court of law and if the parties fail to do so then this failure also will violate the principle of natural justice. The department should make available officers who are involved in the procedure of investigation and carry out cross-examination. Definition of Cross-Examination has been provided under Section 137 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872.
In particular exceptional or special cases, the right to cross-examination can be denied or dismissed. Hari Nath Mishra versus Rajendra Medical College, under this case, a student who was a male was charged with some indecent conduct towards a female student. Thus, here Right to Cross-Examination was denied for the male student as it will lead to embracement for the female student and it won’t likewise lead to infringement of natural justice.
Gurubachan Singh versus the State of Bombay.
In some cases, it turns out to be important to keep the personality and the identity of an individual as a secret as there is a danger of life and property.
In Ludhiana food product, the court held that If the party itself refused to cross-examine the witnesses then it won’t fall under miscarriage of natural justice.
Right of Legal representation- During the process of inquiry, every party has the right to have a legal representative. Each party will be represented by the one who is legally trained and no one can deny such right this was held in the case of A.K.Roy. Also, the office has a similar right to direct its official though that there are investigating officials in conducting adjudicating proceedings this was held in the case of the Sanghi textile processor versus Commissioner.
Essentially, it has 3 grounds on which it depends:-
- The Aggrieved party gets the opportunity to demonstrate before the appellate and decisional court that what was the explanation which makes the authority to dismiss it.
- It is a satisfactory aspect of the party against whom the decision is made by the Court of Law.
- The obligation to record reasons works as hindrances against arbitrary action by the Judicial Power which is vested in the executive authority.
Exceptions of Natural Justice
- If the case is not serious then The Principles of Natural Justice will not be applied in such cases.
- In the Public Interest
- If it doesn’t violate the Rights of an Individual then the Principles of Natural Justice can be violated or disregarded.
- Express Statutory Provision
- During the Emergency
Important Case Laws
In Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, SC by understanding the implications of Gopalan during the 1975 emergency took a ‘U’ turn and held that Art 21 would not, at this point imply that law could prescribe some similarity of the procedure however arbitrary or fanciful, to deny an individual of his liberty. It presently implies that the procedure must fulfill certain necessities in the feeling of being reasonable and sensible. The procedure can’t be arbitrary, unreasonable, or unfair. The idea of reasonableness must be projected in the procedure pondered by Art.21. The Court has now assumed the power to adjudicate the fairness and justness of procedure which is set up by law to deny an individual of his liberty. The Court has arrived at this resolution by holding that Arts. 21, 19, and 14 are exclusive but they are interlinked and they are also known Golden Triangle of Indian Constitution.
Board of High school versus Ghanshyam, the Student was caught while cheating in the examination and he was suspended because of the malafide act. High Court held that student can’t file a Public Interest Litigation against the examination board
Eurasian hardware Ltd versus The State of West Bengal In this case, all the engineers were blacklisted. High Court held that without giving a substantial and sensible ground you can’t blacklist anybody and further he should be given a reasonable chance of being heard.
The Province of Bombay versus Khushaldas Advani, it was said that natural justice will be relevant on statutory as it is a basic principle of Natural justice which will lead to reasonableness and equity
The Principles of Natural Justice have been embraced and followed by the legal executive to secure public rights against the arbitrary action by the administrative authority. One can undoubtedly observe that the principles of natural justice incorporate the idea of reasonableness and fairness and they remain alive and provides support to protect fair dealing.
So at all the phases of the procedure if any authority is given off the legal capacity isn’t simply acknowledged yet the main motive of the principal is to prevent the miscarriage of justice. . It is Supreme to take note of that any order or decision which violate the principles of natural justice will be pronounced as invalid and null or void in nature, thus one must keep in mind that the principles of natural justice are important for any administrative settlement to be held legitimate or valid.
The Principle of Natural Justice isn’t kept to confined dividers the relevance of the rule however relies on the attributes of jurisdiction, grant to the administrative authority, and upon the idea of rights affected by the individual.
In India, the Principles of Natural Justice are mentioned in Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India. With the presentation of the concept of substantive and procedural due process as mentioned in Article 21, all that decency which is remembered for the principles of natural justice can be added something extra to Art. 21. The infringement of principles of natural justice of characteristic equity brings about arbitrariness; thus, infringement of natural justice equity is an infringement of the Equality clause of Art. 14.
- Article 14 of the Constitution Of India 1950.
- Article 21 of the Constitution Of India 1950.
 Ramanand Prasad Singh & Anr vs Union Of India 1996 SCC (4).
 Muralidhar versus Kadam Singh AIR 1954 MP 111.
 Fazalbhai versus Custodian 1961 AIR 1397.
 Kanda versus Government of Malaya 1962 AC 322.
 Hari Nath Mishra versus Rajendra Medical College AIR 1973 SC 1260.
 Gurubachan Singh versus the State of Bombay 1952 AIR 221.
 Ludhiana food product 1990 (47) ELT 294.
 A. K. Roy, Etc vs Union Of India 1982 AIR 710.
 Sanghi textile processor versus Commissioner 1993 ECR 226 AP.
 Maneka Gandhi vs Union Of India 1978 SCR (2) 621.
 Eurasian equipment Ltd versus The State of West Bengal 1975 SCR (2) 674.
 The Province of Bombay versus Khushaldas Advani 1950 SCR 621.
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