Sea Change on Natural Justice– on Application of Doctrine of Prejudice, after Maneka Gandhi Vs. Union of India, AIR 1978 SC 597: Affirmed in State of UP v. Sudhir Kumar Singh, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 847. Now, the law requires – prejudice ‘as a matter of fact‘; i.e. there must be ‘real prejudice‘.
Jojy George Koduvath.
Formerly, only two rules of rules of Natural Justice were recognised:
- “Nemo debetesse judex in propria causa sua” which means, no one should be a judge in his own case because it leads to rule of biases.
- Audi alteram partem, which means, no one should be condemned unheard. This rule cannot by itself, without more, lead to the conclusion that prejudice is thereby caused.
Subsequently, more subsidiary rules were recognised, such as:
- In good faith, without bias and not arbitrarily or unreasonably.
- Right to reasons or ‘speaking order’.
Later on, the following edicts are also pointed out as requirements of complying natural justice:
- ‘Justice should not only be done but seen to be done’,
- ‘A charge should be framed against the delinquent to face his case’.
PART – I
Sea Change in Natural Justice – Doctrine of Prejudice & Straight Jacket Formula
In early times, the legal concept uniformly followed was that ‘denial of natural justice itself causes prejudice’. It is pointed out by the Bombay High Court in Gulab Babusaheb Bargiri Vs. Executive Engineer, Maharashtra State Electricity Board (2000) that, after Maneka Gandhi Vs. Union of India (1978), the principle of natural justice has undergone a sea change. Now, the law requires – prejudice exist as a matter of fact.
In PD Agrawal v. State Bank of India (2006) the Apex Court observed that the principles of natural justice ‘has in recent time‘ undergone a sea change. Relying on State Bank of Patiala Vs. SK Sharma (1996) and Rajendra Singh Vs. State of MP (1996) the Court held that principle of law was that some real prejudice must have been caused to the complainant.
It is held in PD Agrawal v. State Bank of India as under:
- “The principles of natural justice cannot be put in a straight jacket formula. It must be seen in circumstantial flexibility. It has separate facets. It has in recent time also undergone a sea change.
- … In Ajit Kumar Nag vs. General Manager (PJ), Indian Oil Corpn. Ltd., Haldia, AIR 2005 SC 4217. a Three Judge Bench of this Court opined:
- “We are aware of the normal rule that a person must have a fair trial and a fair appeal and he cannot be asked to be satisfied with an unfair trial and a fair appeal. We are also conscious of the general principle that pre-decisional hearing is better and should always be preferred to post-decisional hearing. We are further aware that it has been stated that apart from Laws of Men, Laws of God also observe the rule of audi alteram partem. It has been stated that the first hearing in human history was given in the Garden of Eden. God did not pass sentence upon Adam and Eve before giving an opportunity to show cause as to why they had eaten the forbidden fruit. (See R. v. University of Cambridge) But we are also aware that the principles of natural justice are not rigid or immutable and hence they cannot be imprisoned in a straitjacket. They must yield to and change with exigencies of situations. They must be confined within their limits and cannot be allowed to run wild. It has been stated: ‘To do a great right after all, it is permissible sometimes to do a little wrong.’ [Per Mukharji, C.J. in Charan Lal Sahu v. Union of India (Bhopal Gas Disaster), [(1990) 1 SCC 613: AIR 1990 SC 1480] SCC p. 705, para 124.] While interpreting legal provisions, a court of law cannot be unmindful of the hard realities of life. In our opinion, the approach of the Court in dealing with such cases should be pragmatic rather than pedantic, realistic rather than doctrinaire, functional rather than formal and practical rather than ‘precedential’.
- …Decision of this Court in S.L. Kapoor vs. Jagmohan & Ors. [(1980) 4 SCC 379], whereupon Mr. Rao placed strong reliance to contend that non-observance of principle of natural justice itself causes prejudice or the same should not be read “as it causes difficulty of prejudice”, cannot be said to be applicable in the instant case. The principles of natural justice, as noticed hereinbefore, has undergone a sea change.
- In view of the decision of this Court in State Bank of Patiala & Ors. vs. S.K. Sharma [(1996) 3 SCC 364] and Rajendra Singh vs. State of M.P. [(1996) 5 SCC 460], the principle of law is that some real prejudice must have been caused to the complainant. The Court has shifted from its earlier concept that even a small violation shall result in the order being rendered a nullity. To the principal doctrine of audi alterem partem, a clear distinction has been laid down between the cases where there was no hearing at all and the cases where there was mere technical infringement of the principal. The Court applies the principles of natural justice having regard to the fact situation obtaining in each case. It is not applied in a vacuum without reference to the relevant facts and circumstances of the case. It is no unruly horse. It cannot be put in a straight jacket formula. [See Viveka Nand Sethi vs. Chairman, J. & K. Bank Ltd. & Ots. (2005) 5 SCC 337 and State of U.P. vs. Neeraj Awasthi & Ors. JT 2006 (1) SC 19. See also Mohd. Sartaj vs. State of U.P. (2006) 1 SCALE 265.]”
Analysing previous judgments it is observed in State of UP Vs. Sudhir Kumar Singh, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 847, that the following are the tests to determine the non-observance of natural justice:
- “Natural justice is a flexible tool in the hands of the judiciary to reach out in fit cases to remedy injustice. The breach of the audi alteram partem rule cannot by itself, without more, lead to the conclusion that prejudice is thereby caused.
- Where procedural and/or substantive provisions of law embody the principles of natural justice, their infraction per se does not lead to invalidity of the orders passed. Here again, prejudice must be caused to the litigant, except in the case of a mandatory provision of law which is conceived not only in individual interest, but also in public interest.
- No prejudice is caused to the person complaining of the breach of natural justice where such person does not dispute the case against him or it. This can happen by reason of estoppel, acquiescence, waiver and by way of non-challenge or non-denial or admission of facts, in cases in which the Court finds on facts that no real prejudice can therefore be said to have been caused to the person complaining of the breach of natural justice.
- In cases where facts can be stated to be admitted or indisputable, and only one conclusion is possible, the Court does not pass futile orders of setting aside or remand when there is, in fact, no prejudice caused. This conclusion must be drawn by the Court on an appraisal of the facts of a case, and not by the authority who denies natural justice to a person.
- The “prejudice” exception must be more than a mere apprehension or even a reasonable suspicion of a litigant. It should exist as a matter of fact, or be based upon a definite inference of likelihood of prejudice flowing from the non-observance of natural justice.”(Quoted in Chairman, State Bank of India v. MJ James, (2022) 2 SCC 301).
The Supreme Court, in Uma Nath Pandey Vs. State of UP, (2009) 12 SCC 40, noted as under:
- “7. The crucial question that remains to be adjudicated is whether principles of natural justice have been violated and if so, to what extent any prejudice has been caused, it may be noted at this juncture that in some cases it has been observed that where grant of opportunity in terms of principles of natural justice do not improve the situation, ‘useless formality theory’ can be pressed into service.”
EARLIER VIEW: Order in breach of Natural Justice is a Nullity
In AR Antulay Vs. RS Nayak (1988) a seven Judge Bench of our Apex Court has held that when an order has been passed in violation of a fundamental right or in breach of the principles of natural justice, the same would be nullity.
The Supreme Court, in SL Kapur Vs. Jagmohan (1981), held as under:
- “In our view the principles of natural justice know of no exclusionary rule dependent on whether it would have made any difference if natural justice had been observed. The non-observance of natural justice is itself prejudice to any man and proof of prejudice independently of proof of denial of natural justice is unnecessary. It ill comes from a person who has denied justice that the person who has been denied justice is not prejudiced.”
The principles of law as to natural justice, to be applied in an action for termination of an employee, are applied in the matter of expulsion of a member of a society also.
Natural Justice: Audi Alteram Partem – Requirements
Following are the three important principles of law as to enquiry:
- (i) Charge or show cause notice
- (ii) Proper evidence.
- (iii) Natural justice should be complied with. and
- (iv) Findings with reasons.
Granting opportunity for cross examination is integral part of natural justice.
Rule that is Contrary to the ‘Rules of Natural Justice’, Void
While considering Section 2 (b) of the Karnataka Societies Registration Act (similar provision to Sec. 15 of the Societies Registration Act), the High Court of Karnataka (RP Sethi, G. Patri Basavana Goud JJ.), in Lingappa Police Patil Vs. Registrar of Societies, it is held that the Rule of the Society which declared a person would cease to be a member merely on his default to make the subscription, without even providing him an opportunity to show cause for not making the payment within a specified period appeared ‘to be very harsh’; and that ‘confiscatory and deprivatory provisions made, resulting in civil consequences, should not have been allowed’ to be incorporated in the bye laws. The Division Bench struck down the impugned Rule it being contrary to the provisions of the Act. It is on the principle that rules of natural justice require that that no person can be condemned unheard.
PART – II
Domestic Tribunal – Jurisdiction of the Court is of a very limited
In Ujjal Talukdar Vs. Netai Chand Koley following principle has been laid down by the Calcutta High Court:
“A domestic tribunal cannot do anything it likes, throwing everything to the winds. But the jurisdiction of the Court is of a very limited character. Generally speaking, the court can set aside the decision of a domestic tribunal on one of the three basic considerations set out below:
- A. When the tribunal oversteps the limits of its jurisdiction.
- B. When it violates the principles of natural justice.
- C. When it acts dishonestly, actuated by bias, bad faith and the like.”
Natural Justice: Order in violation bad or not depended on facts of each case
Whether an order in violation of natural justice is bad or not is depended on facts and circumstances of each case. Its essence is good consciousness in a given situation; nothing more but nothing less.
In Keshav Mills Co Ltd. Vs. Union of Indiaour Supreme Court held:
- “We do not think it either feasible or even desirable to lay down any fixed or rigorous yard-stick in this manner. The concept of Natural Justice cannot be put into a straight-jacket. It is futile, therefore, to look for definitions or standards of Natural Justice from various decisions and then try to apply them to the facts of any given case. The only essential point that has to be kept in mind in all cases is that the person concerned should have a reasonable opportunity of presenting his case and that the administrative authority concerned should act fairly, impartially and reasonably.”
Court decide whether necessary for a just decision
In Mohinder Singh Gill Vs. Election Commissioner our Apex Court expounded the purport of natural justice following the principles laid down in AK Kraipak Vs. Union of India as under:
- “The aim of the rules of natural justice is to secure justice or to put it negatively to prevent miscarriage of justice. These rules can operate only in areas not covered by any law validly made. In other words they do not supplant the law of the land but supplement it. The concept of natural justice has undergone a great deal of change in recent years. In the past it was thought that it included just two rules namely: (1) no one shall be a judge in his own case (Nemo Judex In Causa Sua) and (2) no decision shall be given against a party without affording him a reasonable hearing (Audi alteram partem). Very soon thereafter a third rule was envisaged and that is that quasi-judicial enquiries must be held in good faith, without bias and not arbitrarily or unreasonably. But in the course of years many more subsidiary rules came to be added to the rules of natural justice. Till very recently it was the opinion of the courts that unless the authority concerned was required by the law under which it functioned to act judicially there was no room for the application of the rules of natural justice. The validity of that limitation is now questioned. If the purpose of the rules of natural justice is to prevent miscarriage of justice one fails to see why those rules should be made inapplicable to administrative enquiries. Often times it is not easy to draw the line that demarcates administrative enquiries from quasi-judicial enquiries. Enquiries which were considered administrative at one time are now being considered as quasi-judicial in character. Arriving at a just decision is the aim of both quasi-judicial enquiries as well as administrative enquiries. An unjust decision in an administrative enquiry may have more far reaching effect than a decision in a quasi-judicial enquiry. As observed by this Court in Suresh Koshy George Vs. University of Kerala (AIR 1969 SC 198) the rules of natural justice are not embodied rules. What particular rule of natural justice should apply to a given case must depend to a great extent on the facts and circumstances of that case, the framework of the law under which the enquiry is held and the constitution of the Tribunal or body of persons appointed for that purpose. Whenever a complaint is made before a court that some principle of natural justice had been contravened the court has to decide whether the observance of that rule was necessary for a just decision on the facts of that case.”
Natural Justice: Common sense justice
The Supreme Court, in Uma Nath PandeyVs. State of UP (2009), further explained the of principles of natural justice as follows:
- “7. The crucial question that remains to be adjudicated is whether principles of natural justice have been violated and if so, to what extent any prejudice has been caused, it may be noted at this juncture that in some cases it has been observed that where grant of opportunity in terms of principles of natural justice do not improve the situation, ‘useless formality theory’ can be pressed into service.
- 8. Natural justice is another name for common sense justice. Rules of natural justice are not codified canons. But they are principles ingrained into the conscience of man. Natural justice is the administration of justice in a common sense liberal way. Justice is based substantially on natural ideals and human values. The administration of justice is to be freed from the narrow and restricted considerations which are usually associated with a formulated law involving linguistic technicalities and grammatical niceties. It is the substance of justice which has to determine its form.
- 9. The expressions ‘natural justice’ and ‘legal justice do not present a watertight classification, It is the substance of justice which is to be secured by both, and whenever legal justice fails to achieve this solemn purpose, natural justice is called in aid of legal justice. Natural justice relieves legal justice from unnecessary technicality, grammatical pedantry or logical prevarication. It supplies the omissions of a formulated law. As Lord Buckmaster said, no form or procedure should ever be permitted to exclude the presentation of a litigant’s defense.
- 10. The adherence to principles of natural justice as recognised by all civilised States is of supreme importance when a quasi-judicial body embarks on determining disputes between the parties, or any administrative action involving civil consequences; is in issue. These principles are well settled. The first and foremost principle is what is commonly known as audialterampartem rule. It says that no one should be condemned unheard. Notice is the first limb of this principle. It must be precise and unambiguous. It should apprise the party determinatively of the case he has to meet. Time given for the purpose should be adequate so as to enable him to make his representation. In the absence of a notice of the kind and such reasonable opportunity, the order passed becomes wholly vitiated. Thus, it is but essential that a party should be put on notice of the case before any adverse order is passed against him. This is one of the most important principles of natural justice. It is after all an approved rule of fair play. The concept has gained significance and shades with time. When the historic document was made at Runnymede in 1215, the first statutory recognition of this principle found its way into the ‘Magna Carta’. The classic exposition of Sir Edward Coke of natural justice requires to ‘vocate, interrogate and adjudicate’. In the celebrated case of Cooper Vs. Wandsworth Board of Works the principle was thus stated: ‘(E)ven God himself did not pass sentence upon Adam before he was called upon to make his defense. “Adam” (says God), “Where art thou? Hast thou not eaten of, the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?”
Natural justice has been variously defined. It is another name for common sense justice. It is held in Canara Bank v. Debasis Das:
- “Rules of natural justice are not codified canons. But they are principles ingrained into the conscience of man. Natural justice is the administration of justice in a common sense liberal way. Justice is based substantially on natural ideals and human values. The administration of justice is to be freed from the narrow and restricted considerations which are usually associated with a formulated law involving linguistic technicalities and grammatical niceties. It is the substance of justice which has to determine its form. Principles of natural justice are those rules which have been laid down by the courts as being the minimum protection of the rights of the individual against the arbitrary procedure that may be adopted by a judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative authority while making an order affecting those rights. These rules are intended to prevent such authority from doing injustice.”
In this decision it is also held:
- “Even an administrative order which involves civil consequences must be consistent with the rules of natural justice. This Court has elaborated the expression `civil consequence’ by observing that it encompasses infraction of not merely property or personal rights but of civil liberties, material deprivations and non-pecuniary damages. This Court has further stated, that, in its wide umbrella comes everything that affects a citizen in civil life.”
Violation of the Principles of Natural Justice
Our Apex Court, in Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Vs. K S Gandhi observed that the applicability of the principles of natural justice is not a rule of thumb or a straight jacket formula as an abstract proposition of law; and that whether omission to record reasons by a domestic tribunal vitiates the impugned order or is in violation of the principles of natural justice depends on the facts of the case, nature of the inquiry and the effect of the order/decision on the rights of the person and attendant circumstances. In this decision, following the ratio in Ghazanfar Rashid v. Board, H.S. and I. Edn., U.P Full Bench, it is observed that, though it is open to the High Court to interfere with the order of the quasi judicial authority if it is not supported by any evidence or if the order as passed in contravention of the statutory provisions of the law or in violation of the principles of natural justice, the court has no jurisdiction to quash the order merely on the ground that the evidence available on record is insufficient or inadequate or on the ground that different view could possibly be taken on the evidence available on the record. Court should be slow to interfere with the decisions of domestic tribunal. Authority’s appreciation of the problem must be respected.
In All Saints High School Hyderabad Vs. Government of Andhra Pradesh our Apex Court held pointed out that the decision of a domestic tribunal can be interfered with if there is want of good faith or when there is victimisation or when the management has been guilty of basic error or violation of principles of natural justice or when the material findings are completely baseless or perverse.
Natural Justice: Strict Compliance
Removal of a member or an office bearer of a society on the basis of proved misconduct is a quasi-judicial proceeding in nature. Therefore, the principles of natural justice are required to be given full play and strict compliance should be ensured, even in the absence of any provision providing for the same. Principles of natural justice require a fair opportunity of defense to such member or office bearer.
In Board of High School and Intermediate Education, UP Vs. Ghanshyam Das Gupta the Supreme Court observed as follows:
- “If a statutory authority has power to do any act which will prejudicially affect the subject then, although there are not two parties apart from the authority and the contest is between the authority proposing to do the act and the subject opposing it, the final determination of the authority will yet be a quasi-judicial act provided the authority is required by the Statute to act judicially. The statute is not likely to provide in so many words that the authority passing the order is required to act judicially; that can only be inferred from the express provisions of the statute in the first instance in each case and no one circumstance alone will be determinative of the question whether the authority set up by the statute has the duty to act judicially or not. The inference whether the authority acting under a statute where it is silent has the duty to act judicially will depend on the express provisions of the statute read along with the nature of the rights affected, the manner of the disposal provided the objective criterion if any to be adopted, the effect of the decision on the person affected and other indicia afforded by the statute. A duty to act judicially may arise in widely different circumstances which it will be impossible and indeed inadvisable to attempt to define exhaustively.”
Any breach of a bye-law would not result into automatic cessation of membership but the procedure for removal or expulsion from membership would be required to be followed even in case of breach of bye-laws of a society.
When a committee of an association continues to exercise powers even after cessation of their period of office opportunity of being heard should be given to the members of the committee concerned. It is well settled that principles of natural justice must be read into the byelaws and the statute, unless there is a clear directive to the contrary.
PART – III
Natural Justice: Additional Rules on Bias:
- Quasi-judicial actions must be in good faith, without bias
- Right to get reasons in administrative actions
Our Apex Court expounds the purport and extent of principles of natural justice in A.K. Kraipak Vs. Union of India as under:
- “The aim of the rules of natural justice is to secure justice or to put it negatively to prevent miscarriage of justice. These rules can operate only in areas not covered by any law validly made. In other words they do not supplant the law of the land but supplement it. The concept of natural justice has undergone a great deal of change in recent years. In the past it was thought that it included just two rules namely:
- (1) no one shall be a judge in his own case (Nemo debetesse judex propria causa) and
- (2) no decision shall be given against a party without affording him a reasonable hearing (Audi alteram partem).
- Very soon thereafter a third rule was envisaged and that is that quasi-judicial enquiries must be held in good faith, without bias and not arbitrarily or unreasonably. But in the course of years many more subsidiary rules came to be added to the rules of natural justice.
- Right to reasons is an indispensable part of a sound system of judicial review. Under our Constitution an administrative decision is subject to judicial review if it affects the right of a citizen, it is therefore desirable that reasons should be stated.”
The rule against bias contained in three maxims.
- 1. No man shall be a judge in his own cause
- 2. Justice should not only be done, but manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to done.
- 3. Judges like Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion.
Principles of Law as to Enquiry
It is observed in Sur Enamel and Stamping Works Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Their Workmen:
“… An enquiry cannot be said to have been properly held unless,
- the employee proceeded against has been informed clearly of the charges leveled against him,
- the witnesses are examined ordinarily in the presence of the employee in respect of the charges,
- the employee is given a fair opportunity to cross-examine witnesses,
- he is given a fair opportunity to examine witnesses including himself in his defense if he so wishes on any relevant matter, and
- the inquiry officer records his findings with reasons for the same in his report.”
In Chamoli District Co-Operative Bank Ltd. Vs. Raghunath Singh Rana (2016) our Apex Court laid down that the following principles would emerge as to the enquiry against a workman:
- “(i) The enquiries must be conducted bona fide and care must be taken to see that the enquiries do not become empty formalities.
- (ii) If an officer is a witness to any of the incidents which is the subject matter of the enquiry or if the enquiry was initiated on a report of an officer, then in all fairness he should not be the Enquiry Officer. If the said position becomes known after the appointment of the Enquiry Officer, during the enquiry, steps should be taken to see that the task of holding an enquiry is assigned to some other officer.
- (iii) In an enquiry, the employer/department should take steps first to lead evidence against the workman/delinquent charged and give an opportunity to him to cross-examine the witnesses of the employer. Only thereafter, the workman/delinquent be asked whether he wants to lead any evidence and asked to give any explanation about the evidence led against him.
- (iv) On receipt of the enquiry report, before proceeding further, it is incumbent on the part of the disciplinary/punishing authority to supply a copy of the enquiry report and all connected materials relied on by the enquiry officer to enable him to offer his views, if any.”
In this case (Chamoli District Co-operative Bank Ltd. Vs. Raghunath Singh Rana) our Apex Court referred to the following decisions:
- (i) Sur Enamel and Stamping Works Pvt. Ltd. Vs.Their Workmen.
- (ii) State Bank of India Vs. R.K. Jain. It is held: “……As emphasised by this Court in Ananda Bazar PatrikaVs.. Its Workmen, (1964) 3 SCR 601, the termination of an employee’s service must be preceded by a proper domestic inquiry held in accordance with the rules of natural justice. Therefore, it is evident that if the inquiry is vitiated by violation of the principles of natural justice or if no reasonable opportunity was provided to a delinquent to place his defense, it cannot be characterized as a proper domestic inquiry held in accordance with the rules of natural justice ……”
- (iii) State of Uttranchal Vs. Kharak Singh. It is held: “… … If an officer himself sees the misconduct of a workman, it is desirable that the enquiry should be left to be held by some other person who does not claim to be an eye-witness of the impugned incident. As we have repeatedly emphasised, domestic enquiries must be conducted honestly and bona fide with a view to determine whether the charge framed against a particular employee is proved or not, and so, care must be taken to see that these enquiries do not become empty formalities. … ….. It is necessary to emphasise that in domestic enquiries, the employer should take steps first to lead evidence against the workman charged, give an opportunity to the workman to cross-examine the said evidence and then should the workman be asked whether he wants to give any explanation about the evidence led against him. It seems to us that it is not fair in domestic enquiries against industrial employees that at the very commencement of the enquiry, the employee should be closely cross-examined even before any other evidence is led against him……” Followed Associated Cement Co. Ltd. Vs.The Workmen.
- (iv) ECIL Vs. B. Karunakar.It is held: “(1) Where the enquiry officer is other than the disciplinary authority, the disciplinary proceedings break into two stages. The first stage ends when the disciplinary authority arrives at its conclusions on the basis of the evidence, enquiry officer’s report and the delinquent employee’s reply to it. The second stage begins when the disciplinary authority decides to impose penalty on the basis of its conclusions. If the disciplinary authority decides to drop the disciplinary proceedings, the second stage is not even reached. While the right to represent against the findings in the report is part of the reasonable opportunity available during the first stage of the inquiry viz., before the disciplinary authority takes into consideration the findings in the report, the right to show cause against the penalty proposed belongs to the second stage when the disciplinary authority has considered the findings in the report and has come to the conclusion with regard to the guilt of the employee and proposes to award penalty on the basis of its conclusions. The first right is the right to prove innocence. The second right is to plead for either no penalty or a lesser penalty although the conclusion regarding the guilt is accepted.
- It is the second right exercisable at the second stage which was taken away by the Forty-second Amendment. The second stage consists of the issuance of the notice to show cause against the proposed penalty and of considering the reply to the notice and deciding upon the penalty. What is dispensed with is the opportunity of making representation on the penalty proposed and not of opportunity of making representation on the report of the enquiry officer. The latter right was always there. …..
- Article 311(2) says that the employee shall be given a “reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of the charges against him”. …. Hence, when the enquiry officer is not the disciplinary authority, the delinquent employee has a right to receive a copy of the enquiry officer’s report before the disciplinary authority arrives at its conclusions with regard to the guilt or innocence of the employee with regard to the charges levelled against him. That right is a part of the employee’s right to defend himself against the charges levelled against him. A denial of the enquiry officer’s report before the disciplinary authority takes its decision on the charges, is a denial of reasonable opportunity to the employee to prove his innocence and is a breach of the principles of natural justice.”
- (v) RadheyShyam Gupta Vs. U.P. State Agro Industries Corporation.It is held in this decision: “34. But in cases where the termination is preceded by an enquiry and evidence is received and findings as to misconduct of a definitive nature are arrived at behind the back of the officer and where on the basis of such a report, the termination order is issued, such an order will be violative of the principles of natural justice inasmuch as the purpose of the enquiry is to find out the truth of the allegations with a view to punish him and not merely to gather evidence for a future regular departmental enquiry. In such cases, the termination is to be treated as based or founded upon misconduct and will be punitive. ….”
- (vi) Syndicate Bank Vs. Venkatesh Gururao Kurati.It is held: “18. In our view, non-supply of documents on which the enquiry officer does not rely during the course of enquiry does not create any prejudice to the delinquent. It is only those documents, which are relied upon by the enquiry officer to arrive at his conclusion, the non-supply of which would cause prejudice, being violative of principles of natural justice. Even then, the non-supply of those documents prejudice the case of the delinquent officer must be established by the delinquent officer. It is well-settled law that the doctrine of principles of natural justice are not embodied rules. It cannot be put in a strait jacket formula. It depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case. To sustain the allegation of violation of principles of natural justice, one must establish that prejudice has been caused to him for non-observance of principles of natural justice.”
No order can be passed behind the back of a person adversely affecting him; and such an order if passed, is liable to be ignored being not binding on such a party as the same has been passed in violation of the principles of natural justice. Failure to supply the delinquent the documents, on the basis of which charges were framed, along with the charge-sheet, amounts to non observance of natural justice.
PART – IV
Natural Justice: Courts Generally Read-Into the Provisions
Even if the statute does not provide for notice, it is incumbent upon the quasi-judicial authority to issue a notice to the concerned persons disclosing the circumstances under which proceedings are sought to be initiated against them, failing which the conclusion would be that principle of natural justice are violated. Courts generally read into the provisions of the relevant sections a requirement of giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard before an order is made which would have adverse civil consequences for the parties affected.
It is held in C.B. Gautam Vs. Union of India:
- “The observance of principles of natural justice is the pragmatic requirement of fair play in action. In our view, therefore, the requirement of an opportunity to show cause being given before an order for purchase by the Central Government is made by an appropriate authority under Section 269 -UD must be read into the provisions of Chapter XX -C. There is nothing in the language of Section 269 -UD or any other provision in the said Chapter which would negate such an opportunity being given. Moreover, if such a requirement were not read into the provisions of the said Chapter, they would be seriously open to challenge on the ground of violations of the provisions of Article 14 on the ground of non-compliance with principles of natural justice.”
Natural Justice: Recognized as part of Article 14
In Union of India Vs. Tulsiram Patelthe Supreme Court declared that principles of natural justice have now come to be recognised as being a part of the constitutional guarantee contained in Article 14 of the Constitution.
Hearing: Must be a Genuine Hearing
The Supreme Court, in Maneka Gandhi Vs. Union of India, has held that the person affected must have a reasonable opportunity of being heard and the hearing must be a genuine hearing and not an empty public relations exercise.
Authority has to Apply its Mind
In Ravi Yashwant BhoirVs. Chief Minister the Supreme Court observed:
- ”34. In a democratic institution like ours, the incumbent is entitled to hold the office for the term for which he has been elected unless his election is set aside by a prescribed procedure known to law or he is removed by the procedure established under law. The proceedings for removal must satisfy the requirement of natural justice and the decision must show that the authority has applied its mind to the allegations made and the explanation furnished by the elected office-bearer sought to be removed.”
Natural Justice: Requirements Depend Upon the Circumstances
Principles of natural justice are neither treated with absolute rigidity nor as imprisoned in a straight-jacket. It has many facets. Sometimes, this doctrine is applied in a broad way, sometimes in a limited or narrow manner.
Applicability and requirements of natural justice depend upon the circumstances of the case  and it is not possible to lay down rigid rules as to when the principles of natural justice are to apply; nor as to their scope and extent. Everything depends on the subject-matter. Whether an order in violation of natural justice is bad or not is depended on facts and circumstances of each case. Its essence is good consciousness in a given situation; nothing more but nothing less.
In Keshav Mills Co Ltd. Vs. Union of India, AIR 1973 SC 389 it is held:
- “… We do not think it either feasible or even desirable to lay down any fixed or rigorous yard-stick in this manner. The concept of Natural Justice cannot be put into a straight-jacket. It is futile, therefore, to look for definitions or standards of Natural Justice from various decisions and then try to apply them to the facts of any given case. The only essential point that has to be kept in mind in all cases is that the person concerned should have a reasonable opportunity of presenting his case and that the administrative authority concerned should act fairly, impartially and reasonably…”
Natural Justice: Not Unruly Horse & Doctrine of ‘Straight-Jacket’
The Supreme Court in Maharashtra State Financial Corporation v. Suvarna Board Mills (1994), it has been observed that natural justice is not an unruly horse, no lurking landmine, nor a judicial cure-all. It is well settled that natural justice cannot be placed in a straight-jacket; its rules are not embodied and they do vary from case to case and from one fact-situation to another.
It was pointed out by our Apex Court in Suresh Koshy George Vs. University of Kerala that the rules of natural justice are not embodied rules. What particular rule of natural justice should apply to a given case must depend to a great extent on the facts and circumstances of that case, the framework of the law under which the enquiry is held and the constitution of the Tribunal or body of persons appointed for that purpose. Whenever a complaint is made before a court that some principle of natural justice had been contravened the court has to decide whether the observance of that rule was necessary for a just decision on the facts of that case.
In Chairman, Board of Mining Examination Vs. Ramjee, V.R. Krishna Iyer, J. observed as under:
- “Natural justice is no unruly horse, no lurking land mine, nor a judicial cure-all. If fairness is shown by the decision-maker to the man proceeded against, the form, features and the fundamentals of such essential processual propriety being conditioned by the facts and circumstances of each situation, no breach of natural justice can be complained of. Unnatural expansion of natural justice without reference to the administrative realities and other factors of a given case, can be exasperating. We can neither be financial nor fanatical but should be flexible yet firm in this jurisdiction. No man shall be hit below the belt – that is the conscience of the matter.”
In Union of India Vs. P K Roy, V. Ramaswami, J. observed:
- “But the extent and application of the doctrine of natural justice cannot be imprisoned within the straight jacket of a rigid formula. The application of the doctrine depends upon the nature of the jurisdiction conferred on the administrative authority, upon the character of the rights of the persons affected, the scheme and policy of the statute and other relevant circumstances disclosed in the particular case.”
PART – V
Natural Justice & Principle of ‘No Prejudice’ in Disciplinary Action
As detailed above, denial of natural justice ‘itself causes prejudice’ was the uniformly followed legal concept in early times. The prejudice-doctrine has ‘taken a firm root’. In PD Agrawal Vs. State Bank of India AIR 2006 SC 2064 it was pointed out [relying on Ajit Kumar Nag vs. General Manager (PJ), Indian Oil Corpn. Ltd., Haldia, and Charan Lal Sahu v. Union of India (Bhopal Gas Disaster) etc.] that the principles of natural justice cannot be put in a straight jacket formula; it must be seen in circumstantial flexibility; it has separate facets; and it has in recent time also undergone a sea change.
Test of prejudice or the test of fair hearing
In Managing Director ECIL Hyderabad Vs. B Karunakar II it is held:
- “The next question to be answered is what is the effect on the order of punishment when the report of the enquiry officer is not furnished to the employee and what relief should be granted to him in such cases. The answer to this question has to be relative to the punishment awarded. When the employee is dismissed or removed from service and the inquiry is set aside because the report is not furnished to him, in some cases the non-furnishing of the report may have prejudiced him gravely while in other cases it may have made no difference to the ultimate punishment awarded to him. Hence to direct reinstatement of the employee with back-wages in all cases is to reduce the rules of justice to a mechanical ritual. The theory of reasonable opportunity and the principles of natural justice have been evolved to uphold the rule of law and to assist the individual to vindicate his just rights. They are not incantations to be invoked nor rites to be performed on all and sundry occasions. Whether in fact, prejudice has been caused to the employee or not on account of the denial to him of the report, has to be considered on the facts and circumstances of each case. Where, therefore, even after the furnishing of the report, no different consequence would have followed, it would be a perversion of justice to permit the employee to resume duty and to get all the consequential benefits. It amounts to rewarding the dishonest and the guilty and thus to stretching the concept of justice to illogical and exasperating limits. It amounts to an “unnatural expansion of natural justice” which in itself is antithetical to justice.”
- “Hence, in all cases where the enquiry officer’s report is not furnished to the delinquent employee in the disciplinary proceedings, the Courts and Tribunals should cause the copy of the report to be furnished to the aggrieved employee if he has not already secured it before coming to the Court/ Tribunal and given the employee an opportunity to show how his or her case was prejudiced because of the non-supply of the report. If after hearing the parties, the Court/Tribunal comes to the conclusion that the non-supply of the report would have made no difference to the ultimate findings and the punishment given, the Court/Tribunal should not interfere with the order of punishment. The Court/ Tribunal should not mechanically set aside the order of punishment on the ground that the report was not furnished as it regrettably being done at present. The courts should avoid resorting to short cuts. Since it is the Courts/Tribunals which will apply their judicial mind to the question and give their reasons for setting aside or not setting aside the order of punishment, (and not any internal appellate or revisional authority), there would be neither a breach of the principles of natural justice nor a denial of the reasonable opportunity. It is only if the Court/Tribunal finds that the furnishing of the report would have made a difference to the result in the case that it should set aside the order of punishment.”
The Supreme Court has, in Uma NathPandeyVs. State of UP, held as follows:
- “The crucial question that remains to be adjudicated is whether principles of natural justice have been violated and if so, to what extent any prejudice has been caused, it may be noted at this juncture that in some cases it has been observed that where grant of opportunity in terms of principles of natural justice do not improve the situation, ‘useless formality theory’ can be pressed into service.”
In Dharampal Satyapal Ltd Vs. Deputy Commissioner of Central Excise, Gauhati our Apex Court held:
- “Even if it is found by the Court that there is a violation of principles of natural justice, the Courts have held that it may not be necessary to strike down the action and refer the matter back to the authorities to take fresh decision after complying with the procedural requirement in those cases where non-grant of hearing has not caused any prejudice to the person against whom the action is taken. Therefore, every violation of a facet of natural justice may not lead to the conclusion that order passed is always null and void. The validity of the order has to be decided on the touchstone of ‘prejudice’. The ultimate test is always the same, viz., the test of prejudice or the test of fair hearing.”
But, in this decision our Apex Court held that the administrative authority cannot jump over the compliance of the principles of natural justice on the ground that even if hearing had been provided it would have served no useful purpose and dispense with the requirement of issuing notice by itself deciding that no prejudice will be caused to the person against whom the action is contemplated.
- “At the same time”, our Apex Court pointed out “it cannot be denied that as far as Courts are concerned, they are empowered to consider as to whether any purpose would be served in remanding the case keeping in mind whether any prejudice is caused to the person against whom the action is taken.”
In A.S. Motors Pvt. Ltd Vs. Union of India our Apex court observed:
- “What the Courts in essence look for in every case where violation of the principles of natural justice is alleged is whether the affected party was given reasonable opportunity to present its case and whether the administrative authority had acted fairly, impartially and reasonably. The doctrine of audi alteram partem is thus aimed at striking at arbitrariness and want of fair play. Judicial pronouncements on the subject have, therefore, recognised that the demands of natural justice may be different in different situations depending upon not only the facts and circumstances of each case but also on the powers and composition of the Tribunal and the rules and regulations under which it functions. A Court examining a complaint on violation of rules of natural justice is entitled to see whether the aggrieved party had indeed suffered any prejudice on account of such violation”.
Compliance of Substantive and Procedural Provisions
It is observed in KL Katyal Vs. Central Secretariat Club (RC Lahoti, J.)that the court may not interfere except in a clear case of violation of the provisions of the constitution or of the principles of natural justice.
In State Bank of India at Patialia Vs. SK Sharma it is held:
- “(1) An order passed imposing a punishment on an employee consequent upon a disciplinary/departmental enquiry in violation of the rules/ regulations/ statutory provisions governing such enquiries should not be set aside automatically. The Court or the Tribunal should enquire whether (a) the provision violated is of a substantive nature or (b) whether it is procedural in character.”
The court held further:
- “(2) A substantive provision has normally to be complied with as explained herein before and the theory of substantial compliance of the test of prejudice would not be applicable in such a case.
- (3) In case of violation of a procedural provision, the position is this: procedural provisions are generally meant for affording a reasonable and adequate opportunity to the delinquent officer/ employee. They are, generally speaking, conceived in his interest. Violation of any and every procedural provision cannot be said to automatically vitiate the enquiry held or order passed. Except cases falling under -“no notice”, “no opportunity” and “no hearing” categories, the complaint of violation of procedural provision should be examined from the point of view of prejudice, viz. whether such violation has prejudiced the delinquent officer employee in defending himself properly and effectively. If it is found that he has been so prejudiced, appropriate orders have to be made to repair and remedy the prejudice including setting aside the enquiry and/ or the order of punishment. If no prejudice is established to have resulted therefrom, it is obvious, no interference is called for. In this connection, it may be remembered that there may be certain procedural provisions which are of a fundamental character, whose violation is by itself proof of prejudice in such cases. As explained in the body of the judgment, take a case where there is a provision expressly providing that after the evidence of the employer/ government is over, the employee shall be given an opportunity to lead defense in his evidence, in a case, the enquiry officer does not give that opportunity in spite of the delinquent officer/ employee asking for it. The prejudice is self-evident. No proof of prejudice, i.e., whether the person has received a fair hearing considering all things. Now, this very aspect can also be looked at from the point of view of directory and mandatory provisions, if one is so inclined. The principle stated under (4) hereinbelow is only another way of looking at the same aspect as is dealt with herein and not a different or distinct principle.
- (4)(a) In the case of a procedural provision which is not of a mandatory character, the complaint of violation has to be examined from the standpoint of substantial compliance. Be that as it may, the order passed in violation of such a provision can be set aside only where such violation has occasioned prejudice to the delinquent employee.
- (b) In the case of violation of a procedural provision, which is of a mandatory character, it has to be ascertained whether the provision is conceived in the interest of the persons proceeded against or in public interest. If it is found to be the former, then it must be seen whether the delinquent officer has waived the said requirement either expressly or by his conduct. If he is found to have waived it, then the order of punishment cannot be set aside on the ground of the said violation. If, on the other hand, it is found that the delinquent officer/ employee has not waived it or that the provision could not be waived by him, then the Court or Tribunal should make appropriate directions (include the setting aside of the order of punishment), keeping in mind the appropriate adopted by the Constitution Bench in B. Karunakar. The ultimate test is always the same, viz., test of prejudice or the test of fair hearing, as it may be called.
- (5) Where the enquiry is not governed by any rules/ regulations/ statutory provisions and the only obligation is to observe the principles of natural justice or, for that matter, wherever such principles are held to be implied by the very nature and impact of the order/ action – the Court or the Tribunal should make a distinction between a total violation of natural justice (rule of audi alteram partern) and violation of a facet of the said rule, as explained in the body of the judgment. In other words, a distinction must be made between “no opportunity” and no adequate opportunity, i.e., between “no notice”/ “no hearing” and “no fair hearing”, (a) In the case of former, the order passed would undoubtedly be invalid (one may call it ‘void’ or a nullity if one chooses to). In such cases, normally, liberty will be reserved for the Authority to take proceedings afresh according to law, i.e., in accordance with the said rule (audi alteram partem). (b) But in the later cases, the effect of violation (of a facet of the rule of audi alteram partem) has to be examined from the standpoint of prejudice; in other words, what the Court or Tribunal has to see is whether in the totality of the circumstances, the delinquent officer/ employee did or did not have a fair hearing and the orders to be made shall depend upon the answer to the said query. (It is made clear that this principle (No. 5) does not apply in the case of rule against bias, the test in which behalf are laid down elsewhere.)
- (6) While applying the rule of audi alteram partem (the primary principle of natural justice) the Court/ tribunal/authority must always bear in the ultimate and overriding objective underlying the said rule, viz., to ensure a fair hearing and to ensure that there is no failure of justice. It is this objective which should guide them in applying the rule to varying situations that arise before them.
- (7) There may be situations where the interests of State or public interest may call for a curtailing of the rule of audi alteram partem. In such situations, the court may have to balance public/ State interest with the requirement of natural justice and arrive at an appropriate decision.”
Non-supply of documents by the enquiry officer
In Syndicate Bank Vs. Venkatesh Gururao Kurati, (2006) 3 SCC 150 it is held that the non-supply of documents on which the enquiry officer did not rely during the course of enquiry did not create any prejudice to the delinquent; and it was pointed out that to sustain the allegation of violation of principles of natural justice, one must establish that prejudice has been caused to him for non-observance of principles of natural justice.”
Natural Justice: Laxity in Disciplinary Action
In HiraNath Mishra Vs. The Principal, Rajendra Medical College, Ranchi the Supreme Court examined the application of principles of natural justice in the context of an order that was passed by the Principal of a College expelling certain male students against whom grave misbehaviour towards the girls had been alleged. The Enquiry Committee had not recorded the statements of the girl students in the presence of the male students. After making necessary enquiry, the Committee found that the male students were guilty of misconduct and recommended that they should be expelled. Acting on this report, the Principal passed the order of expulsion. The Supreme Court held that in such circumstances, the requirement of natural justice was fulfilled.
In Avinash Nagra Vs. Novodaya Vidyalaya Samiti also the Supreme Court upheld dispensing with a regular enquiry in the matter of misbehaviour of a teacher against a girl student and observed that the denial of cross-examination did not vitiate the enquiry on the ground of violation of principles of natural justice.
Natural Justice: Laxity in Disciplinary Action of a Voluntary Association
The executive committee of a voluntary association cannot be put on par with a Court or a Tribunal when dealing with the disciplinary matters concerning the membership of the Body. They have very wide latitude in deciding as to when disciplinary action is warranted. The procedure to be followed by such an association also cannot be that which is normally expected to be followed in a Court, or a Tribunal. Even principles of natural justice are not required to be applied with the same degree of rigour as they would be in the case of adjudication before a Court or a Tribunal.
In Daman Singh Vs. State of Punjab and Haryana it is observed:
- “So if the statute which authorises compulsory amalgamation of Co-operative Societies provides for notice to the societies concerned, the requirement of natural justice is fully satisfied. The notice to the society will be deemed as notice to all its members. That is why S. 13(9)(a) provides for the issue of notice to the societies and not to individual members. S.13(9)(b), however, provides the members also with an opportunity to be heard if they desire to be heard. Notice to individual members of a Co-operative society, in our opinion, is opposed to the very status of a Co-operative society as a body corporate and is, therefore, unnecessary. We do not consider it necessary to further elaborate the matter except to point out that a member who objects to the proposed amalgamation within the prescribed time is given, by S. 31(11), the option to walk-out, as it were, by withdrawing his share, deposits or loans as the case may be.”
Natural Justice: Laxity in Deptl. Proceedings & Domestic Tribunal
It is well settled law that strict rules of the Evidence Act, and the standard of proof envisaged therein, do not apply to departmental proceedings or domestic tribunal. A domestic tribunal is free to evolve its own procedure.
But in Bareilly Electricity Supply Co. Ltd. Vs. The Workmen, the Supreme Court observed that the application of the principles of natural justice does not imply that what is not evidence can be acted upon. It was pointed out that the minutes of the meeting could not have been relied upon when neither the original was produced nor was any justification put forth for the absence of the signed copy of the original.
Natural Justice: Violation and Alternate Remedy:
Courts will not delve in the internal disputes of an association unless it is shown that the aggrieved parties have worked out and exhausted their remedies (but, failed to resolve disputes) under the bye laws, before: (a) the machinery or body (domestic tribunals), if any, provided in its bye laws, or (b) the body or authority which has to take cognisance of the matter, under the scheme of its bye laws, or (c) the authorities under the statute, if any, holds the field. But, the rule of exhaustion of alternate remedy does not apply if there is violation of principle of natural justice, as action in violation of natural justice is void.
In Titaghur Paper Mills Company Ltd. Vs. State of Orissa though the appellant pleaded that there was violation of natural justice and the impugned order was without jurisdiction, the Supreme Court held that the petitioner should avail his alternate remedy of appeal.
In Shaji K. Joseph Vs. V. Viswanath it is held:
- “In our opinion, the High Court was not right in interfering with the process of election especially when the process of election had started upon publication of the election program on 27th January, 2011 and more particularly when an alternative statutory remedy was available to Respondent No.1 by way of referring the dispute to the Central Government as per the provisions of Section 5 of the Act read with Regulation 20 of the Regulations.”
With respect to election to the office of Chairman of a Panchayat Union under the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act, 1958 it was held in S.T. Muthusami Vs. K. Natarajan that election petition is an effective alternative remedy. Umesh Shivappa AmbiVs. Angadi Shekara Basappa is a case relating to election of the President, Vice – President and Chairman, etc. under the Karnataka Co-operative Societies Act, wherein our Apex Court reversed the judgment with the observation:
- “Once an election is over, the aggrieved candidate will have to pursue his remedy in accordance with the provisions of law and the High Court will not ordinarily interfere with the elections under Article 226. The High Court will not ordinarily interfere where there is an appropriate or equally efficacious remedy available, particularly in relation to election disputes.”
Natural Justice: Administrative Process & Urgency
The maxim audi alteram partem cannot be invoked if the import of such maxim would have the effect of paralysing the administrative process or where the need for promptitude or the urgency so demands. In Ajit Kumar Nag v. General Manager (PJ), Indian Oil Corpn. Ltd., Haldia it is held that the approach of the Court in dealing with such cases should be pragmatic rather than pedantic, realistic rather than doctrinaire, functional rather than formal and practical rather than precedential. The concept of natural justice sometimes requires flexibility in the application of the rule.
Natural Justice: Inordinate Delay in Disciplinary Proceedings
Unexplained and unjustifiable long delay in initiating and in conducting departmental disciplinary proceedings will result in causing great prejudice to the person against whom such a proceeding is initiated and it will be a ground for quashing the proceedings.
Right of Appeal: Not an Ingredient of Natural Justice
Right of Appeal is a creation of statute. Right to appeal is neither an absolute right nor an ingredient of natural justice. It must be conferred by statute and can be exercised only as permitted by statute.If the legislature provides for no appeal in a particular case, or provides for an appeal subject to certain conditions, it is a piece of proper legislation. Even if a statute denied right of appeal, the same cannot be said to be a bad legislation.
Charges Should Not be Vague
The charges should be specific, definite and giving details of the incident which formed the basis of charges and no enquiry can be sustained on vague charges.In Surath Chandra Chakravarty Vs. The State of West Bengal our Apex Court held that it is not permissible to hold an enquiry on vague charges, as the same do not give a clear picture to the delinquent to make out an effective defense as he will be unaware of the exact nature of the allegations against him, and what kind of defense he should put up or rebuttal thereof.
The Court observed as under:
- “The grounds on which it is proposed to take action have to be reduced to the form of a definite charge or charges which have to be communicated to the person charged together with a statement of the allegations on which each charge is based and any other circumstance which it is proposed to be taken into consideration in passing orders has to be stated. This rule embodies a principle which is one of the specific contents of a reasonable or adequate opportunity for defending oneself. If a person is not told clearly and definitely what the allegations are on which the charges preferred against him are founded, he cannot possibly, by projecting his own imagination, discover all the facts and circumstances that may be in the contemplation of the authorities to be established against him.”
In Sawai Singh Vs. State of Rajasthan our Apex Court found that charges were vague and it was difficult to meet the charges. Therefore although the concerned delinquent had participated in the inquiry, the Court opined that participation by itself does not exonerate the department to bring home the charge.
Civil Court has Jurisdiction when Expulsion in Violation of Natural Justice
Where a member of an association is expelled without observing the principles of natural justice, or where a club had followed a procedure not warranted by the Rules of the Club, the civil court will have the jurisdiction to interfere.
In State of Kerala Vs. M/s N. RamaswamiIyer and Sons the Supreme Court held:
- “It is true that even if the jurisdiction of the Civil Court is excluded, where the provisions of the statute have not been complied with or the statutory tribunal has not acted in conformity with the fundamental principles of judicial procedure, the Civil Courts have jurisdiction to examine those cases.”
Halsbury’s Laws of England reads:
- “Where the rules providing for expulsion have been strictly observed and the Committee or the members have otherwise acted properly, the court has no jurisdiction to interfere even though it considers that the Committee or the members voting for expulsion have, in fact, come to a wrong conclusion. The burden of proving want of good faith lies on the person who alleges that he has been wrongfully expelled.”
Court’s Jurisdiction in Expulsion of a Member from a Political Party
Whether a Civil Court has a jurisdiction to entertain a suit relating to expulsion from membership of a political party, particularly when an appeal against such order of expulsion was pending before the appellate authority was the question came up for consideration in Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee Vs. Kalikho Pul. In this case no notice was ever served upon the member giving him an opportunity to defend himself and explain before expelling him from the party. The party could not say about the procedure to be followed by the appellate authority and/or when such appeal was going to be disposed. The court upheld the contentions of the expelled member observing that that the Civil Court had jurisdiction to examine whether the expulsion was in good faith, in conformity with the Constitution and whether notice as required under the Constitution of the Party was served and the established principles of law of natural justice was followed by giving the member a chance of defense and explanation.
Exclusion of Natural Justice
- Emergency or situation that rial or hearings cannot be conveniently held: Eg. large number or of applicants – R v. Aston University Senate: (1969) 2 QB 538; cancellation of entrance tests for defect in procedure: Radhakrishnan v. Osmania University: (2000) (4) ALD 558
- Strictly procedural matters, and no civil right is infringed or no prejudice caused: Eg. Procedure empty formality: Punjab National Bank v. Manjeet Singh: (2004) III LLJ 46 (P H).
- In Karnataka Public Service Commission v. BM Vijay Shanker, AIR 1992 SC 952, the Supreme Court had to consider whether the rule of natural justice had no exception. It was found that once direction not to write roll number on answer book was violated the issue of bonafide and honest mistake did not arise.
Domestic Tribunal – Court Does Not Sit in Appeal
It is trite law that the Court does not sit in appeal over the findings of the enquiry officer as observed by our Apex Court, in UP State Road Transport Corpn. Vs. Musai Ram. It is held in Board of Control for Cricket in India Vs. Cricket Association of Bihar:
- “We are at any rate not sitting in appeal against the findings of a domestic tribunal set up to enquire into the allegations of misconduct leveled against a team official of a participating team. We are not, therefore, reappraising the material that has been assembled by the probe committee and relied upon to support its finding. The finding is by no means without basis or perverse to call for our interference with the same.”
The Supreme Court in TP Daver Vs. Lodge Victoria, held that jurisdiction of courts to interfere in cases involving expulsion of a member from the organization is extremely limited, and the Court’s enquiry is confined to find out whether the decision making is within the four corners of the rules, and the Courts cannot sit in appeal over the decisions of the organization.
In Leo Francis Xaviour Vs. The Principal, Karunya Institute of Technology, Coimbatore it is held as under:
- “26. As it is found on the facts that there was an enquiry satisfying the requirements of the principles of natural justice, this Court cannot interfere with the finding of the Enquiry Committee and the consequential order of expulsion passed against the petitioner. The plea taken by the first respondent that it is a private college and the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India cannot be invoked by the petitioner against the said College is well founded. Inasmuch as the principles of natural justice have been complied with, this Court has no jurisdiction to interfere with the order of expulsion passed against the petitioner.”
In Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Vs. KS Gandhi it is observed that the power of judicial review in case of student indiscipline is very limited and in such cases this Court does not sit in appeal over decisions of the school authorities.
Since General Body of a society or club is supreme, the properly convened General Body has the right to remove any one or all of the elected-office-bearers (subject to the fundamental principles of substantive justice, including observance of natural justice) unless no clause in the bye laws restricts the same.
Removal of Earlier Committee
When a committee of an association continues to exercise powers even after cessation of their period of office, it is within the competence of the General Body of the Association to take up the matter,if provisionsof the byelaws or the enactment concerned do not, expressly or impliedly, mandates otherwise. In proper cases, the members can approach the civil court also.
In any event, opportunity of being heard should be given to the members of the committee concerned. It is well settled that principles of natural justice must be read into the byelaws and the statute, unless there is a clear directive to the contrary.
It is also held that the Rule of the Society which declared a person would cease to be a member merely on his default to make the subscription, without even providing him an opportunity to show cause for not making the payment within a specified period appeared “to be very harsh” and that “confiscatory and deprivatory provisions made, resulting in civil consequences, should not have been allowed” to be incorporated in the bye laws. It is on the principle that rules of natural justice require that that no person can be condemned unheard
The Division Bench struck down the impugned Rule it being contrary to the provisions of the Act.
No expulsion for arrears if no notice
The rules of natural justice requires notice calling upon a member of a society to pay the arrears, before he be expelled for nonpayment.
 2001-1 Bom CR 390: 2000-3 Bom LR 741: 2001 1 MhLJ 63
 AIR 1978 SC 597
 AIR 2006 SC 2064
 (1996) 3 SCC 364
 (1996) 5 SCC 460
 (1988) 2 SCC 602
 See also: Board of Control for Cricket Vs. Cricket Association: AIR 2015 SC 3194; Capt. DK Giri Vs. Secunderabad Club: AIR 2018 AP 48.
 AIR 1981 SC 136
 Narinder Mohan Arya Vs. United India Insurance Co. : AIR 2006 SC 1748; Rajasthan STC Vs. BalMukundBairawa: (2009) 4 SCC 299 : (2009)5 SCJ 757; FirstoneTyre and Rubber Company Vs. Employees’ Union: AIR 1981 SC 1626; Union of India Vs. Gyan Chand Chatter: (2009) 12 SCC 78. Sawai Singh Vs. State of Rajasthan: AIR 1986 SC 995; State of Andhra Pradesh Vs. S. Sree Rama Rao; AIR 1963 SC 1723; U.P.S.R.T.C. Vs. Ram Chandra Yadav: AIR 2000 SC 3596; Union of India Vs. Gyan Chand Chattar, (2009) 12 SCC 78; Anil Gilurker Vs. Bilaspur Raipur KshetriaGraminBank : (2011) 14 SCC 379.
 Workmen Vs. Hindustan Steel Ltd. : AIR 1985 SC 251; Rajastan STC Vs. BalMukundBairawa: (2009) 4 SCC 299: (2009)5 SCJ 757; MV Bijlani Vs. Union of India : 2006 SC 3475; Roop Singh Negi Vs. Punjab National Bank – AIR 2008 SC (Sup.) 921; Vijay Singh Vs. State of U.P. – AIR 2012 SC 2840; M.S. Bindra Vs. Union of India – AIR 1998 SC 3058; Registrar Vs. Uday Singh – AIR 1997 SC 2286; Zora Singh Vs. JM Tandon – AIR 1971 SC 1537; State of Uttaranjal Vs. Kharak Singh: 2008 AIR (SCW) 7507; Union of India Vs. Naman Singh Sekhawat: 2008 AIR (SCW) 2813.
 TP Daver Vs. Lodge Victoria No. 363 SC Belgaum, 1963 AIR SC 1144; High Court of Judicature at Bombay Vs. Shashikant S. Patil: (2000) 1 SCC 416; JagmohanDalmia Vs. BCCI: AIR 2008 Cal. 227.
 AyaaubkhanNoorkhanPatan Vs. State of Maharashtra: AIR 2013 SC 58
 ILR 1997 Kar 3127
 Sarbjit Singh Vs. All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society: ILR 1989-2 Del 585.
 AIR 1969 Cal 224; Referred to in GegongApang Vs. SanjoyTassar: AIR 2001 Gau 1
 Dr. BK Mukherjea, J. On the Hindu Law of Religious and Charitable Trusts, Tagore Law Lectures: Page:411.
 Ex Armymen’s Protection Service Vs. Union of India: AIR 2014 SC 1376;
A.S. Motors Pvt. Ltd Vs. Union Of India: 2013 AIR (SCW) 3830;
MuhammedYunus Khan Vs. State of UP: 2010-10 Scale 2867.
 U P State Road Transport Corpn. Vs. Musai Ram:1999-3 SCC 372.
 AIR 1973 SC 389
 (1978) 1 SCC 405
 AIR 1970 SC 150
 (2009) 12 SCC 40
 1991 AIR-SCW 879
 AIR 1970 All 209
 AIR 1980 SC 1042
 See as to labour dispute: Management of Travancore Knitting Co Tiruppur Coimbatore Vs. K Muthuswamy: AIR 1962 Mad 398; Regional Manager, U.P.S.R. T.C. Etawah v. HotiLal AIR 2003 SC 1462; DamohPannaSagar Rural Regional Bank Vs. MunnaLal Jain AIR 2005 SC 584;
 AIR 2003 SC 2041: (2003) 4 SCC 557
 Quoted in Poonam Vs. State of U.P. 20016-2 SCC 779.
 See: D.K. Yadav Vs. J.M.A. Industries Ltd. AIR 1992 SC 1795
 AIR 2003 SC 2041. Referred to in PrakashRatanSinha Vs. State of Bihar: 2009-14 SCC 690.
 Indian National Congress (I) Vs. Institute of Social Welfare: AIR 2002 SC 2158; Bachhitar Singh V. State of Punjab: AIR 1963 SC 395; Union of India v. H.C. Goel: AIR 1964 SC 364; JyotiBasu Vs. Debi Ghosal: AIR 1982 SC 983; Mohan LalTripathi Vs. District Magistrate, Raebareli: AIR 1993 SC 2042; Ram BetiVs. District PanchayatRajadhikari: AIR 1998 SC 1222.
 Chamoli District Co-Op. Bank Ltd.. Vs. Raghunath Singh Rana: 2016 AIR (SCW) 2510
 AIR 1962 SC 1110
 Quoted in K Chelliah Vs. Chairman Industrial Finance Corporation: AIR1973 Mad 122.
 HreeVitthalSahakari Vs. WadikuroliVividhKaryakariSeva Society: 2011-4 BCR 290
 AwariDevannaVs Divisional Co Operative Officer: 1994-1 ALT 363; K. Srinivas VS Commissioner of Fisheries: 2009 3 ALD 1; 2009 2 ALT 604.
 Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Vs. L.K. Ratna: AIR 1987 SC 71; C.B. GautamVs. Union of India: (1993) 1 SCC 78.
 AIR 1970 SC 150. Quoted in: Mohinder Singh Gill Vs. Election Commissioner: (1978) 1SCC 405
 (1964) 3 SCR 616
 2016 AIR (SCW) 2510
 (1964) 3 SCR 616
 (1972) 4 SCC 304.
 (2008) 8 SCC 236.
  3 SCR 652
 AIR 1994 SC 1074.
 (1999) 2 SCC 2.
 (2006) 3 SCC 150.
 J.S. Yadav Vs. State of U.P.: (2011) 6 SCC 570
 Bilaspur Raipur KshetriyaGramin Bank Vs. MadanlalTandon: AIR 2015 SC 2876.
 East India Commercial Company Vs. The Collector of Customs: 1962 AIR SC 1893; U.O.I. Vs. MadhumilanSyntex 1988-3 SCC 348; MorarjiGoculdas Vs. U.O.I. 1995 Supp3 SCC 588; Metal Forgings Vs. U.O.I. 2003 2 SCC 36. S.P. Malhotra Vs. Punjab National Bank” AIR 2013 SC 3739; Manohar Vs. State of Maharashtra: AIR 2013 SC 681; Punjab National Bank Vs. KunjBehariMisra, AIR 1998 SC 2713; Yoginath D. Bagde Vs. State of Maharashtra : AIR 1999 SC 3734; State Bank of India Vs. K.P. Narayanan Kutty: AIR 2003 SC 1100; J.A. Naiksatam Vs. Prothonotary: AIR 2005 SC 1218; P.D. Agrawal Vs. State Bank of India : AIR 2006 SC 2064; Ranjit Singh Vs. Union of India : AIR 2006 SC 3685; Canara Bank Vs. ShriDebasis Das: AIR 2003 SC 2041; KanwarNutwar Singh Vs. Director of Enforcement: 2010 AIR (SCW) 6427.
 C.B. GautamVs. Union of India (1993) 1 SCC 78. Referred: Union Union of India Vs. Col. J. N. Sinha (1970) 2 SCC 458; Olga TellisVs. Bombay Municipal Corporation (1985) 3 SCC 545.
 Quoted in: Arcot Textile Mills Vs. Regional Provident Fund: AIR 2014 SC 295.
 AIR 1985 SC 1416; referred to in Board of Control for Cricket in India Vs. Cricket Association of Bihar: AIR 2015 SC 3194.
 See also: Central Inland Water Trans. Corpn. Vs. BrojoNathGanguly: AIR 1986 SC 1571.
 (1978) 1 SCC 248
 (2012) 4 SCC 438
 Arcot Textile Mills Vs. Regional Provident Fund: AIR 2014 SC 295
 Ajit Kumar Nag v. General Manager, Indian Oil Corpn.: AIR 2005 SC 4217;
 Natwar Singh Vs. Director of Enforcement (2010) 13 SCC 255
 Ex Armymen’s Protection Service Vs. Union of India: AIR 2014 SC 1376; A.S. Motors Pvt. Ltd Vs. Union Of India: 2013 AIR (SCW) 3830; MuhammedYunus Khan Vs. State of U.P.: 2010-10 Scale 2867.
 Mohinder Singh Gill Vs. Election Commissioner: (1978) 1SCC 405; A.K. KraipakVs. Union of India: AIR 1970 SC 150.
 Maharashtra State Financial Corpn. Vs. M/s. Suvarna Board Mills: 1994-5 SCC 566.
 AIR 1969 SC 198
 AIR 1977 SC 965
 AIR 1968 SC 850
 Zakraiah T Vs. APSC Cooperative Finance Corporation Ltd. (S.B. Sinha, V.V.S. Rao, JJ.) 2001- 6 ALD 549; 2001-6 ALT 514; 2002-4 LLJ 116.
 See also: A.S. Motors Pvt. Ltd Vs. Union of India: 2013 AIR (SCW) 3830.
 AIR 2005 SC 4217: (2005) 7 SCC 764.
 (1990) 1 SCC 613: AIR 1990 SC 1480.
 AIR 1994 SC 1074
 (2009) 12 SCC 40
 2015 AIR (SCW) 3884: 2015 (8) SCC 519. Followed, Managing Director ECIL Hyderabad Vs. B Karunakar II: AIR 1994 SC 1074.
 2013 AIR (SCW) 3830
 1994-30 DRJ 669
 AIR 1996 SC 1669; (1996) 3 SCC 364
 (1973) 1 SCC 805
 (1997) 2 SCC 534
 Chennai KancheepuramTiruvelore District Film Distributors Association Vs. Chinthamani S. Murugesan: 2001 (3) CTC 349: 2001-Supp. Mad LJ 48; A C MuthiahVs. Board of Control for Cricket in India: (2011) 6 SCC 617: 2010 (2) CTC 429.
 AIR1985 SC 973
 Maharashtra State Board of Secondary Edn. Vs. K.S. Gandhi: (1991) 2 SCC 716. See also: Executive Engineer Vs. Sri Seetaram Rice Mill: (2012)2 SCC 108; Harekrishna K. Vadhwani Vs. VasupujyaSmruti Co -op. Hsg. Soc.: 2004(1) GLH 257; Banaskantha District Co -op. Union Ltd. Vs. State of Gujarat 2011(2) GLR 1707; State of U.P. Vs. C.O.D. Chheoki Employees’ Co-op. Society Ltd : AIR 1997 SC 1413; B.C. ChaturvediVs. Union of India: AIR 1996 SC 484.
 Kurukshetra University Vs. Vinod Kumar: AIR 1977 Pj&Hr 21
 AIR 1972 SC 330
 Especially, in discretionary reliefs: Madras Gymkhana Club Vs. Sukumar 2010-1 CTC 199
 See: A. Venkatasubbiah Naidu Vs. S. Chellappan: 2000 (7) SCC 695: AIR 2000 SC 3032; Superding Engineer Periyar Electricity Vs. Pavathal: 2002-2 CTC 544; 2002-1 Mad LJ 515.
 Supreme Court Bar Association Vs. BD Kaushik: (2011) 13 SCC 774
 G. BalaSubrahmanyam Vs. Bar Council of AP: 2014 (2) ALD 101; 2014 (1) ALT 264; AP AryaVysyaMahasabha Vs. MutyapuSudershan: 2015 (5) ALD 1: 2015 (6) ALT 227
 A.V. Venkateswaran, Collector Vs. RamchandSobhrajWadhwani : AIR 1961 SC 1506; SatwatiDeswal Vs. State of Haryana:  1 SCC 126 ; State of H.P. Vs. Gujarat Ambuja Cement Ltd.: AIR 2005 SC 3936; Dhulabhai Vs. State of M P : AIR 1969 SC 78; Whirlpool Corporation Vs. Registrar of Trade Marks, Mumbai: AIR 1999 SC 22.
 Rajasthan STC Vs. BalMukundBairawa: (2009) 4 SCC 299 : (2009)5 SCJ 757;
 AIR 1983 SC 603
 AIR 2016 SC 1094
 AIR 1988 SC 616
 AIR 1999 SC 1566
 Quoted in: Avtar Singh Hit Vs. Delhi Sikh GurdwaraMgent. Comte. (2006) 8 SCC 487. Similar view in: Harnek Singh Vs. Charanjit Singh: AIR 2006 SC 52. Also see: Supreme Court Bar Association Vs. BD Kaushik: (2011) 13 SCC 774; NP PonnuswamiVs. Returning Officer: AIR 1952 SC 64.
 AIR 2005 SC 4217.
 See also: Arcot Textile Mills Vs. Regional Provident Fund: AIR 2014 SC 295.
 State of Madhya Pradesh Vs. Bani Singh : 1990 (Supp) SCC 738, (more than 12 years); State of Punjab Vs. ChamanLalGoyal: (1995) 2 SCC 570 (5½ years); M. Balakrishnan Vs. The Corporation of Madurai: 1995 (II) CTC 589; The Commr, SankarapuramPanchayat Vs. S.A. Abdul Wahab: 1996 Writ L.R.677, State of Andhra Pradesh Vs. N. Radhakishan: (1998) 4 SCC 154, B. Loganathan Vs. The Union of India: 2000 (III) CTC 351 (SC) (15 years); Union of India Vs. Central Administrative Tribunal: 2005 (2) CTC 169(20 years); .V. Mahadevan Vs. M.D., Tamil Nadu Housing Board: 2005 (4) CTC 403(SC) (20 years); M.V. Bijlani Vs. Union of India: (2006) 5 SCC 88, (13 years) P. Anand Vs. The Principal Commissioner: 2006 (5) CTC 723; K. Kumaran Vs. The State of Tamil Nadu: 2007 (3) CTC 763 (18 years); Ranjeet Singh Vs. State of Haryana 2008 (3) CTC 781 (SC) (9 years).
UshaUdyog Vs. Customs, Excise and Gold: 2000-86 DLT 667: 2000-71 ECC 416, Mohan LalSaraf Vs. Chairperson, Debts Recovery: 2013-2 ADJ 497, 2013-3All LJ 99
SatyaNidhanBanerji Vs. Mdhazabbur Ali Khan: AIR 1932 All 47; GadagotluSitaramaiah Vs. Collector Of Central Excise Hyderabad: AIR1960 AP 294; Iddesh Tours And Travels Vs. Comrof Service Tax Mumbai: 2019-367 ELT 235
 Vijay Prakash D. Mehta Vs. Collector of Customs: AIR 1988 SC 2010; Unicipal Committee Hoshiarpur Vs. Punjab State Electricity Board: AIR 2011 SC 209, TecnimontPvt Ltd Vs. State of Punjab: 2019-12 SCALE 562, UshaUdyog Vs. Customs, Excise and Gold: 2000-86 DLT 667: 2000-71 ECC 416; Shyam Kishore Vs. Municipal Corporation of Delhi: AIR 1991 Del 104.
UshaUdyog Vs. Customs, Excise and Gold: 2000-86 DLT 667: 2000-71 ECC 416; Discharged Servicemens Assn. Vs. State of Kerala: 1999-2 KerLJ 1133: 2000-1 KerLT 281.
NathamaniGounder Vs. State of Tamil Nudu: 1986-2 LLJ 423
 State of Andhra Pradesh Vs. S. Sree Rama Rao; AIR 1963 SC 1723; Sawai Singh Vs. State of Rajasthan: AIR 1986 SC 995; U.P.S.R.T.C. Vs. Ram Chandra Yadav: AIR 2000 SC 3596; Union of India Vs. Gyan Chand Chattar, (2009) 12 SCC 78; Anil Gilurker Vs.Bilaspur Raipur KshetriaGraminBank : (2011) 14 SCC 379 .
 AIR 1971 SC 752.
 See also: Narinder Mohan Arya Vs. United India Insurance: AIR 2006 SC 1748; Rajastan STC Vs. BalMukundBairawa: (2009) 4 SCC 299: (2009)5 SCJ 757; Anil Gilurkarvs.Bilaspur Raipur Kshetria Bank 2011 AIR (SCW) 5327; FirstoneTyre and Rubber Company Vs. Employees’ Union: AIR 1981 SC 1626; Union of India Vs. Gyan Chand Chatter: (2009) 12 SCC 78.
 AIR 1986 SC 995
 Ambalal Sarabhai Vs. Phiros H. Antia: AIR 1939 Bom. 35. See also: C.D. Sekkilar Vs. R. Krishnamoorthy: AIR 1952 Mad 151. HuseinMiyaDosumiya vs. ChandulalJethabhai: AIR 1954 Bom 239; Rajasthan State Road Trant.Corpn. Vs. BalMukundBairawa: (2009) 4 SCC 299. Personal hearing necessary: Mumbai Cricket Asson. Vs. Ratnakar: (2014) 2 Mah LJ 726. Action on report of enquiry officer based on ‘no evidence’: Roop Singh Negi Vs. Punjab National Bank : AIR 2008 SC (Sup.) 921;JagmohanDalmiaVs. BCCI: AIR 2008 Cal. 227.Narinder Mohan Arya Vs. United India Insurance Co. : AIR 2006 SC 1748T.P. Daver Vs. Lodge Victoria AIR 1963 SC 1144; Central Inland Water Transport Corporation Vs. BrojoNathGanguly: AIR 1986 SC 1571; Institute of Chartered Accounts of India Vs. L.K. Ratna, 1986 (4) SCC 537; Delhi Transport Corp. Vs. DTC Mazdoor Congress 1991 (Supp.1) SCC 600; LIC of India Vs. Consumer Education and Research Centre 1995(5) SCC 482; Escorts Farms Vs. Commissioner Kumaon Division (2004) 4 SCC 281; SM KambleVs. Jt. Registrar, Co-Op. Societies: (2008) 1 AIR Bom R 274.
 Kalyan Kumar Dutta Gupta Vs. B.M. Verma: AIR 1995 Cal. 140 (DB). Also see: Deepak R MehtraVs. National Sports Club of India: ILR 2009-19 Dlh 216.
 T.P. Daver v. Lodge Victoria No. 363 S.C. Belgaum: AIR 1963 SC 1144.
 AIR 1966 SC 1738.
 See: Firm Seth Radhakishan Vs. Administrator, Muni. Committee: AIR 1963 SC 1547; Secretary of State Vs. Mask & Co.: AIR 1940 PC 43; Premier Automobiles Ltd. Vs. KamlakarShantnram: AIR 1975 SC 2238: Rajasthan STC Vs. BalMukundBairawa: (2009) 4 SCC 299 : (2009)5 SCJ 757: Referred to: Narinder Mohan Arya Vs. United India Insurance Co. : AIR 2006 SC 1748; Roop Singh Negi Vs. Punjab National Bank : AIR 2008 SC (Sup.) 921; Dhulabhai Vs. State of M P : AIR 1969 SC 78. See also: ShridharMisra Vs. JaichandraVidyalankar: AIR 1959 All 598; K K Jain Vs. Federation Of Indian Export Organisations: AIR 2002 Del 408; GegongApang Vs. SanjoyTassar: AIR 2001 Gau 1; SardarKanwaldeep Singh Vs. Assistant Registrar Firms: AIR 1994 All 161; Gaurav A Jain Vs. M P University of Agriculture And Technology, AIR 2004 Raj 247.
 4thEdnVol 6: Para 241: Quoted in K.L. Katyal Vs. Central Secretariat Club (Regd):1994-30 DRJ 669 .
 AIR 2015 Gau 179.
 See also: M. Sekar Vs. The Tamil Nadu State Council of the CPI: 2015-7 MLJ 689
 1999-3 SCC 372.
 AIR 2015 SC 3194
 General Manager (P), Punjab Sind Bank Vs. Daya Singh: (2010) 11 SCC 233
 AIR 1963 SC 1144
 See: All India Hockey Federation Vs. Indian Olympic Association: (1994) 55 DLT 607, Ashok Kumar Vs. SBI Officers Association: (2013) 201 DLT 433. See also: Meghal Homes Pvt Ltd Vs. NiwasGirni K KSamiti: AIR 2007 SC 3079; CaptKailashNath Harsh Vs. D C Patel: AIR 1999 Bom 133.
 AIR 1993 Mad 233
 (1991) 2 SCC 716
 See also: BC ChaturvediVs. Union of India: AIR 1996 SC 484. Bhagat Ram Vs. State of Himachal Pradesh: AIR 1983 SC 454.
 Supreme Court Bar Association Vs. Registrar of Societies: ILR 2012-22 Del 1031; GirishMulchand Mehta Vs. Mahesh S. Mehta. 2010 (1) Bom. C.R 31
 AwariDevannaVs Divisional Co Operative Officer: 1994-1 ALT 363;
K. Srinivas VS Commissioner of Fisheries: 2009 3 ALD 1; 2009 2 ALT 604.
 Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Vs. L.K. Ratna: AIR 1987 SC 71;
C.B. GautamVs. Union of India: (1993) 1 SCC 78.
 Sarbjit Singh Vs. All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society: ILR 1989-2 Del 585.
 ShriSarbjit Singh Vs. All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society: ILR (1989) II Delhi 585
Read in this cluster (Click on the topic):
Civil Suits: Procedure & Principles
- Relevant provisions of Kerala Land Reforms Act (on Purchase Certificate, Plantation-Exemption & Ceiling Area) in a Nutshell
- Kerala Land Reforms Act – Provisions on Plantation-Tenancy and Land-Tenancy
- Civil Rights and Jurisdiction of Civil Courts
- Production of Documents in Court: Order 11, Rule 14 CPC is not independent from Rule 12
- Best Evidence Rule in Indian Law
- Pleadings Should be Specific; Why?
- Order II, Rule 2 CPC – Not to Vex Defendants Twice for the Same Cause of Action
- Modes of Proof of Documents
- EFFECT OF MARKING DOCUMENTS WITHOUT OBJECTION
- PRODUCTION, ADMISSIBILITY & PROOF OF DOCUMENTS
- Does Alternate Remedy Bar Civil Suits and Writ Petitions?
- Void, Voidable, Ab Initio Void, Order Without Jurisdiction and Sham Transactions
- Res Judicata and Constructive Res Judicata
- When ‘Possession Follows Title’; When ‘Title Follows Possession’?
- Adverse Possession: Burden to Plead Sabotaged in Nazir Mohamed v. J. Kamala
- Can Courts Award Interest on Equitable Grounds?
- Notary Attested Power-of-Attorney is Sufficient for Registration of a Deed
- Sec. 91 CPC and Suits Against Wrongful Acts
- The Law and Principles of Mandatory Injunction
- Declaration and Injunction
- Natural Justice – Not an Unruly Horse, Cannot be Placed in a Straight-Jacket & Not a Judicial Cure-all.
- Unstamped & Unregistered Documents and Collateral Purpose
- Interrogatories: When Court Allows, When Rejects?
- Can a Party to Suit Examine Opposite Party, as of Right?
- Is Permission of Court Mandatory when a Power of Attorney Holder Files Suit
- Adverse Possession: An Evolving Concept
- EFFECT OF MARKING DOCUMENTS WITHOUT OBJECTION
- Sec. 65B Evidence Act Simplified
- Oral Evidence on Contents of Document, Irrelevant
- ‘STATEMENTS’ alone can be proved by ‘CERTIFICATE’ under Sec. 65B Evidence Act.
- OBJECTIONS TO ADMISSIBILITY & PROOF OF DOCUMENTS
- Sections 65A & 65B, Evidence Act and Arjun Panditrao: in Nutshell
- Sec. 65B, Evidence Act: Arjun Paditrao Criticised.
- Expert Evidence and Appreciation of Evidence
- How to Contradict a Witness under Sec. 145, Evidence Act
- Rules on Burden of proof and Adverse Inference
- Presumptions on Documents and Truth of its Contents
- Best Evidence Rule in Indian Law
- Sec. 65B, Evidence Act: Certificate for Computer Output
- Notary-Attested Documents: Presumption, Rebuttable
- Significance of Scientific Evidence in Judicial Process
- Certificate is Required Only for ‘Computer Output’; Not for ‘Electronic Records’: Arjun Panditrao Explored.
- Presumptions on Registered Documents & Collateral Purpose
- Substantive Documents, and Documents used for Refreshing Memory and Contradicting Witnesses
- Polygraphy, Narco Analysis and Brain Mapping Tests in Criminal Investigation
- Mullaperiyar Dam: Disputes and Adjudication of Legal Issues
- Why No Reservation to Muslim and Christian SCs/STs (Dalits)? What are the Counter Arguments?
- Sabarimala Review Petitions & Reference to 9-Judge Bench
- Secularism and Art. 25 & 26 of the Indian Constitution
- Judicial & Legislative Activism in India: Principles and Instances
- Maratha Backward Community Reservation Case: Supreme Court Fixed Upper Limit at 50%.
- Separation Of Powers: Who Wins the Race – Legislature, Executive or Judiciary ?
- ‘Is Ban on Muslim Women to Enter Mosques, Unconstitutional’ Stands Tagged-on with Sabarimala Revision-Reference Matter
- Is Excommunication of Parsi Women for Marrying Outside, Unconstitutional
- Article 370: Is There Little Chance for Supreme Court Interference
- M. Siddiq Vs. Mahant Suresh Das –Pragmatic Verdict on Ayodhya Disputes
- Kesavananda Bharati Case: Effect and Outcome – Never Ending Controversy
- CAA Challenge: Divergent Views
- Secularism & Freedom of Religion in Indian Panorama
- Can Legislature Overpower Court Decisions by an Enactment?
- ‘Sound-mind’ and ‘Unsound-Mind’ in Indian Contract Act and other Civil Laws
- Forfeiture of Earnest Money and Reasonable Compensation
- Who has to fix Damages in Tort and Contract?
- What is Easement? Does Right of Easement Allow to ‘Enjoy’ After Making a Construction?
- What is “period ending within two years next before the institution of the suit” in Easement by Prescription?
- Is the Basis of Every Easement, Theoretically, a Grant
- Extent of Easement (Width of Way) in Easement of Necessity, Quasi Easement and Implied Grant
- Village Pathways and Right to Bury are not Easements.
- Custom & Customary Easements in Indian Law
- ‘Additional Burden Loses Lateral Support’ – Incorrect Proposition
- State-Interference in Affairs of Societies & Clubs
- Election & Challenge in Societies and Clubs
- Rights & Liabilities of Members of Clubs and Societies
- Suits By or Against Societies, Clubs and Companies
- How to Sue Societies, Clubs and Companies
- Court’s Jurisdiction to Interfere in the Internal Affairs of a Club or Society
- Vesting of Property in Societies and Clubs
- Legal Personality of Trustees and Office Bearers of Societies
- Incidents of Trust in Clubs and Societies.
- Management of Societies and Clubs, And Powers of General Body and Governing Body
- Court Interference in Election Process
- Clubs and Societies, Bye Laws Fundamental
- Juristic Personality of Societies and Clubs
- Societies and Branches
- Effect of Registration of Societies and Incorporation of Clubs
- Clubs and Societies: General Features
- Philosophy of Idol Worship
- Vesting of Property in Public Trusts
- Dedication of Property in Public Trusts
- Is an Idol a Perpetual Minor?
- Legal Personality of Temples, Gurudwaras, Churches and Mosques
- Public & Private Trusts in India.
- What is Trust in Indian Law?
- Incidents of Trust in Clubs and Societies
- Vesting of Property in Trusts
- Indian Law of Trusts Does Not Accept Salmond, as to Dual Ownership
- M. Siddiq Vs. Mahant Suresh Das –Pragmatic Verdict on Ayodhya Disputes
- Sabarimala Review Petitions & Reference to 9-Judge Bench
- Secularism and Art. 25 & 26 of the Indian Constitution
- Secularism & Freedom of Religion in Indian Panorama
- ‘Is Ban on Muslim Women to Enter Mosques, Unconstitutional’ Stands Tagged-on with Sabarimala Revision-Reference Matter
- Is Excommunication of Parsi Women for Marrying Outside, Unconstitutional.