The Doctrine of Fairness

The word ‘laches’ is derived from French, meaning “remissness and slackness”. A defence of laches can only be allowed when there is no statutory bar. The question as to whether there exists a clear case of laches is one of fact and so also of prejudice. The said principle may not have any application when existence of fraud is pleaded.

The word ‘acquiescence’ would mean a tacit or passive acceptance. It is an implied and reluctant consent to an act. Thus, when acquiescence takes place, it presupposes knowledge against a particular act.

Doctrine of Fairness is inbuilt in every employer and employee relationship. Doctrine of Fairness has to be applied with more vigor when it involves an instrumentality of State. State is not expected to act adversely to interest of employee and any discrimination should be a valid one.

Hon’ble Justice M.M. Sundresh, Union of India v. N. Murugesan, [Civil Appeal Nos. 2491-2492 of 2021].


Also see, Chariman, State Bank of India v. M.L. James, [Civil Appeal No. 8223 of 2009] decided on 16.11.2021.