The Test of Sustenance of Public Confidence in the Justice Dispensation System

There can be a conflict between two individuals qua their right under Article 21 of the Constitution and in such a situation, to weigh the balance, the test that is required to be applied is the test of larger public interest and further that would, in certain circumstances, advance public morality of the day. To put it differently, the ‘greater community interest’ or ‘interest of the collective or social order’ would be the principle to recognize and accept the right of one which has to be protected.

When there is intra-conflict of the right conferred under the same Article, the test that is required to be applied would be ‘paramount collective interest’ or ‘sustenance of public confidence in the justice dispensation system’. It will require studied scanning of facts, the competing interests and the ultimate perception of the balancing that would subserve the larger public interest and serve the majesty of rule of law.”

Hon’ble Justice Dipak Misra, Asha Ranjan v. State of Bihar, [Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 132 of 2016].