Administrative Law and Principle of Fair Hearing
Volume II – Issue I, 2020
The present piece of work deals with the Principle of fair hearing in Administrative Law. Public authorities should justify the action, assailed on the touchstone of justness, fairness, reasonableness and as a prudent owner. The landmark case of Re Haughey laid down strict natural justice requirements where fundamental rights, including the constitutional right to good name, are affected. Any action taken in contravention of natural justice is violative of fundamental right guaranteed by Art. 21 of the Constitution. The aim of principles of natural justice is the prevention of miscarriage of justice. One of the principles of natural justice is to hear the other side or the party. Therefore, a mandate on the adjudicator to adhere to the principles of natural justice emanates from a requirement of the substantive right of the parties to the proceeding, to be dealt with fairly and impartially. Hearing the other party takes care of fairness of the procedure adopted by the adjudicatory authority. What constitutes a fair hearing, how notice is relevant and why the notice should not be vague are the principle issues which are addressed in the work. The effect of failure to comply with the principle has also been discussed. The right of legal representation and the situations, if any, where violation of the principle won’t affect the proceedings, have also touched upon.