A lot of noise but no music! The present case is a classic one where multiple proceedings have been initiated but have resulted in no culmination over a period just short of a decade.
1. Principles of Natural Justice requires only a substantial compliance and not every miniscule violation would spell illegality [Chairman, Board of Mining Examination v. Ramjee, (1977) 2 SCC 256].
2. A mere denial of adjournment would not always be violative of Principles of Natural Justice, i.e., adjournment is not a birthright [Titaghur Paper Mills Co. Ltd. v. State of Orissa, (1983) 2 SCC 433; Cement Workers Karamchari Sangh v. Jaipur Udyog Limited, (2008) 4 SCC 701].
3. Principles of Natural Justice cannot be applied in a straitjacket formula and, at times, futility of giving relief is a matter of consideration. The validity has to be decided on touchstone of prejudice. The ultimate test is always same, viz., test of prejudice or test of fair hearing [Dharampal Satyapal Ltd. v. Deputy Commissioner of Central Excise, Gauhati, (2015) 8 SCC 519].
– Hon’ble Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Indian Commodity Exchange v. Neptune Overseas Limited, [Civil Appeal No. 9037 of 2019].
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