Natural Justice and Types of bias

NATURAL JUSTICE MEANING

Natural justice is an important concept of law. It is also known as substantial justice, universal justice or fair play in action. It is a branch of public law. It is based on law of equity.

From the days of Adam and Kautilya Arthashastra, the rule of law has had the stamp of natural justice which makes it social justice.

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The principles of natural justice are –
Nemo judex in causa sua – It means no one shall be judge in his own case.

Audi alteram partem – It means both the parties/sides must be heard. No man should be condemned unheard.

Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India, 1978

It is well established that even when there is no specific provision in a statute or rules made for showing cause against the action made, which affects the right of that individual, the duty to give reasonable opportunity to be heard will be implied from the nature.

The principles of natural justice are binding on all courts, judicial bodies and quasi judicial authorities.

Absence of bias, interest or prejudice

The first requirement of natural justice is that the judge should be impartial and neutral and must be free from bias. He cannot act as a judge in a cause in which he himself has some interest either pecuniary or otherwise.

Types of bias.

There can be many types of bias. Main types of are,

1. Pecuniary bias – It concerns with financial interest in subject matter.

2. Personal bias – A judge may be relative, friend or associate of a party.

3. Official bias – When judge has general interest in the subject matter.

Exclusion of principles of natural justice.

1. Where a statute expressly excludes.
2. Where the action is legislative in nature.
3. Where doctrine of necessity applies.
4. Where facts are admitted or undisputed.
5. Where enquiry is of confidential nature.
6. Where preventive action is to be taken.
7. Prompt and urgent action is necessary.

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