Principles of Natural Justice VI

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 the futility of giving relief is a matter of consideration. The validity 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 [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].