Case Comment: N.B. Jeejeebhoy v. Assistant Collector Thane (AIR 1965 SC 1906) with Application of Principle of Natural Justice

Case Comment with Application of Principle of Natural Justice

N.B. Jeejeebhoy v. Assistant Collector Thane (AIR 1965 SC 1906)

Overview

The facts, circumstances, issue and judgment discussed in this case is very crucial in terms of administration law. The reason behind the scene is that “Justice Gajendragadkhar” has liberated himself from the bench because “he was also the member of the corporative society and this corporative society is one of the members of the present case.

The judgment and decision given in this case gives very much importance to the Principle of Natural Justice (Rule against Bias). “Natural justice can be defined as a weapon to prevent miscarriage of justice and to ensure equity and fair play.”

The present case aims to answer the questions as to what entitle something as bias? Is the absolute bias is obligated to determine? To answer the above question the benches use already rooted precedent and laws.

Facts

The facts of the present case are as follows:-

  1. Land of the appellant was captured by the virtue of “Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act.”
  2. The reimbursement which had to be compensated was awarded by the district court according to the provisions mentioned in the act[1]
  3. The High Court on the appeal held that the provision of the above mentioned acts “violate the Article 14 of the Indian Constitution and it was not cured by the virtue of Article 31 A.”
  4. The High Court further stated that section 299 of the Government of India act, 1935 which is administered by the Amending Act, the amount for the compensation/reimbursements shall not be same to the amount of the property holder has been the deprive of.
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Issues

  1. Is the amending act was null and void by the virtue that it does not satisfied with the provision mentioned under Section 299 of the Act[2] ?
  2. Is the amending act is cured by Article 31 (5) (a) of the Constitution?
  3. The amending act is conserved by Article 31A of the Constitution?

Petitioner’s Argument

  1. The amending act being a pre Constitution was administered by section 299 of the Government of India Act, 1935” as it does not laid down any law in regard to the payment of compensation for the property captured.
  2. Second argument put forward by the petitioner is that above-mentioned act breach “Article 14 of the Constitution.”
  3. It was not cured under section 31A of the Constitution, as nevertheless the land acquired was an “estate”under the context of said provision.

Respondent’s Argument

  1. The above mentioned act was under the shade of Article 31 of the Constitutionand hence its effectiveness cannot be challenged on the ground that it is in conflict with Article 31 or Article 14 of the Constitution.
  2. The amending act was covered by Article 31 of the Constitution and hence its validity of compensation shall not be challenged in the court.
  3. The “doctrine of classification”would protect the act.

Judgment

  1. In deciding the Issue 1 in the present case, the Honorable Supreme Court referred to the case of“The State of Bengal V. Mrs. Bela Banerjee[3] . In this case compensation was seen of similar nature, the act on account of being permanent act was struck down by the court in holding the compensation to be comply with Article 31(2) and it must be just equal and of what owner has deprived off.”
  2. In regard to the Issue 2, the court held that the “act could not be saved by the virtue of article 31 (5) (a) read with article 31 (6) of the Constitution.”
  3. For the Issue 3, the court rejected the argument that, Article 31 B is administered by Article 31A.
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Hence after concluding all the answers of the above mentioned issues the court reach on its decision and held that the act is pre-constitutional and void law” and Article 31A cannot cure it and the act was stated as “void ab initio.

 Conclusion

Hence, in this case we can conclude that Principle of Natural Justice has to protect in all case as if we see in above mentioned judgment the “Chief Justice reconstituted the bench when it was found that one of the party of the case is also the member of the Corporative Society of which the land has been seized.

In the present case Rule against Bias can be seen the bias can be of various types.

Pecuniary Bias –

It is well settled that as regard to pecuniary bias, the least pecuniary interest in the subject matter of litigation will disbarred any person from acting as a judge, Griffith and Street rightly stated that a pecuniary interest however slight will disqualify even though it is not proved that the decision is an any way affected.

Some of the common cases of this kind of bias are mentioned below.

In Manakla v. Prem Chand Singhvi[4], “SC stated that it is obvious that pecuniary interest however small it maybe in a subject matter of the proceedings would disqualifies a member form acting as a judge.”

 Another case, “Visakhapatnam Motor Transport Co. Td v. G[5] A corporate society had asked for a permit The collector was  the president of the society and also a chairman of regional transport authority who had granted the permit in favor of the society. The court set aside the decision as being against the principle of natural justice of Constitution of India.

 In “J. Mohaoatra v. State of Orissa[6] The SC held that the possibility of bias could not be ruled out. It is not actual in favor of the author member that is material but the possibility of such bias.”

Personal Bias –

The second type of bias is a personal bias that happens to take place in special circumstances such as when the decision-making authority has an existing relationship with the parties that compels him to deliver a favorable judgment for one party and unfavorable judgment in the account of the other party. The deciding authority may have some personal grudges or resentment against one party.

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Bias as to the subject matter of official policy Bias

The official matter bias takes place when the supreme deciding authority is either directly or indirectly linked to the subject matter of the respective case. Most importantly, this is considered as an impersonal category of bias.

Judicial Obstinacy Bias –

The court of India has come across a new type of bias which is believed to arise from unreasonable obstinacy. In other words, obstinacy signifies unreasonable and steady perseverance. This type of bias arose out of a situation when a judge of Calcutta high court stood by his own verdict while deciding a case against his judgment. In such a case, the deciding authority does not take no as an answer.

Apparently, the direct breach of the rule that a judge cannot sit in the appeal against his judgment is not acceptable and thus, it should be noted that this can be infringed indirectly.

 At last we can say that Principle of Natural Justice plays a significant role as it controls all the actions of the public authority by applying the reasonable laws and ensures justice, equity, fair play and good conscience.

References:

[1] Land Acquisition (Bombay Amendment) Act, 1948

[2] Government of India Act,1935

[3] 1954 AIR 170, 1954 SCR 558

[4] AIR 1957 SC 425

[5] AIR 1953 Madras 709

[6] AIR 1984 SC 1572

Author: Shubham Sharma,
Delhi Metropolitan Education, 2nd Year, IP University

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