Natural Justice Case Study

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1. Whether the power to select officers to the Indian Forest Services is an administrative power or quasi-judicial power?
2. Whether principles of natural justice could be applied to administrative powers and if yes then in what instance?

Rationale: The Hon’ble Court found that for testing the validity of the selection it was necessary to determine if the power exercised was an administrative or quasi-judicial one. The court here determined that power exercised by the selection board is an administrative one. The court further held that if the instrumentalities of the State are not charged with the duty of discharging their functions in a fair and just manner then the whole concept of rule of law would lose its importance. The administrative
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Here, as Naquishbund was a part of the selection board has violated this principle of natural justice. Even if he has not participated when his selection was being discussed, being a Chairman in the selection board has its own value and has a great significance on the decision. The time when his rivals were being considered, he was taking active part in the board and this consideration cannot be left aside. Along with this, he was also present when the list of selected candidates was being made and he was on top of that list.

Therefore it can be easy found out that there is a conflict between interest and duty by having a look at the way the selection process was taking place. Further, under these circumstances it is hard for the court to believe that Naquishbund might not have any biases.

The main question here is whether is there any reasonable ground for believing if he is biased or not? And not whether Naquishbund was biased or not. In another case Manakalal v. Dr. Prem chand the court had clearly said that the test was of a reasonable apprehension of bias and not actual
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Kraipak there have been many instances where the principle mentioned in the case has been cited in cases related to service. It has a huge impact on the way natural justice is applied. There are many cases, which can be seen that have used the judgment of A.K. Kraipak. An example of this is the case of S.N. Mukherjee vs. UOI. In this case there was a question of service termination and the part of Kraipak used in this was of the second principle of natural justice, which talks about hearing the arguments of the other side and to know the reason why the decision was made to ascertain if there was any bias or not . This is one of the ways in which Kraipak has been used in a case. Another case is Managing Director, ECIL, Hyderabad,etc. vs. Karunakar. This case talks about right to representation and Kraipak was used in figuring out whether the power was an administrative power or quasi-judicial power and also that what part of principle of natural justice must be applied depends on the facts of the circumstances . Another important case, which is based on Kraipak is UOI vs Tulsiram Patel. This case is about reasonable opportunity under Article 311 of the Constitution of India. Kraipak was used to say that what part of principle of natural justice must be applied depends on the facts of the circumstances and “the principles of natural justice can be modified but in exceptional cases and they can even be excluded”
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