Principles of Natural Justice IX

Rights are not absolute in a constitutional democracy.

The sealed cover practice places processes by which a decision is arrived at, beyond scrutiny [Commander Amit Kumar Sharma v. Union of India, (2022) SCC OnLine SC 1570]. This case presents Court with an opportunity. State must satisfy Court, national security concerns are involved. A claim cannot be made out of thin air without material backing such a conclusion.

It would be beyond scope to lay down possible situations when the sealed cover procedure can be used. Digi Cable Network (India) Private v. Union of India, AIR 2019 SC 455 held, Principles of Natural Justice may be excluded when on facts, national security concerns overweigh duty of fairness.    

Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, Hon’ble Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, Madhyamam Broadcasting Limited v. Union of India, [Civil Appeal No. 8129 of 2022].