What is Natural justice?

natural juticeThe word Natural justice denotes that under the given circumstances reasonability and principles of non- arbitrainess have been followed, means what a reasonable person would have done in the given circumstances, that is the Natural justice. It is a principle of Common law, however in India there is written law so there is no application of principles of Natural justice but where any law is silent about natural justice then courts will apply principles of natural justice on their own.

Traditionally,there are two types of natural justice;Rule against Bias, Rule of Fair hearing.

Rule of Bias

The rule of bias  means to exclude any kind of undue favour to a particular person. This principle is derived from the maxim nemo judex in re sua which literally means that a man cannot be a judge in his own cause. This is known as the rule against bias. That bias disqualifies an individual from acting as a judge flows from two principles:

  • No one should be a judge in his own cause
  • Justice must not only be done but seen to be done

Bias is usually of three types:

  1. Pecuniary bias
  2. Personal bias
  3. Bias as to subject matter or policy bias

Pecuniary bias

A direct pecuniary interest, howsoever small or significant, will disqualify a person from acting as a judge buy there must be direct interest no far fetched interest.

Personal bias

It happens when adjudicator has some relationship with one of the party of the case.

Bias as to subject matter

It happens when adjudicator interest is involved in the subject matter.

Audi Alteram Partem:- Rule of fair hearing

The Audi Alteram partem rule ensures that no one should be condemned  unheard. It is the first principle of civilized jurisprudence that a person against whom any action is sought to be taken, or whose right or right is being affected, should be given a reasonable opportunity to defend himself.

Thus rules of natural justice ensures  fairness in all actions. It embodies rules of reasonability and non-arbitrariness, which is the spirit of every administrative action. Every legal system  is based on this principle, this is the foundation of every legal system. No legal system can exist by excluding this principle.