HIGH COURTS CAN INTERFERE WITH FLAWED DISCIPLINARY INQUIRY

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The aim of the Rule of Natural Justice is to secure justice. The principles of natural justice are the rules laid down by the courts for minimum protection of the rights of the individual against the arbitrary procedure that may be adopted by a judicial or quasi-judicial authority.

Disciplinary inquiry is clearly based on the principles of Natural Justice and fair play. However, the Apex Court said that in a case where the disciplinary authority arrives at a finding that is unsupported by evidence or records a finding which no reasonable person could have arrived at, then the writ court is justified in examining the matter.

Where the disciplinary authority records a finding that is unsupported by evidence or a finding which no reasonable person could have arrived at, the writ court would be justified, if not duty bound, to examine the matter and grant relief in appropriate cases.

Non-application of mind by the inquiry officer or authority, non-recording of reasons in support of the conclusion arrived at by them are also grounds on which the writ courts are justified in interfering with the orders of punishment.

The Supreme Court has said in Allahabad Bank vs. Krishna Narayan Tewari 2017 SCC 2 that a High Court can interfere with disciplinary inquiry or orders passed by the competent authority if the investigation itself is corrupted on account of violation of principles of natural justice.

This decision of the Supreme Court shall act as a boon for the society at large.

 

Sanchayeeta Das

Legal Associate

The Indian Lawyer

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