The petitioner after fulfilling the requirements as per the advertisement for the post of assistant teacher at primary institutions in the state of Uttar Pradesh applied for the post. For the post the Petitioner, having possession of Graduation degree and two years Bachelor Training Certificate (BTC) Course, applied according to the said advertisement and was selected under General category and interim appointment letter was issued dated 28.6.2016 by the Basic Shiksha Adhikari, Bijnor. The petitioner joined as an Assistant Teacher at Primary Institution, Pittahedi, District Bijnor.
On 13.3.2018, petitioner was placed under suspension by the District Basic Education Officer, Bijnor on the allegation that he had simultaneously pursued BTC course and M.Sc. (first year), as a regular student in the academic session 2014-15. The order was challenged by the petitioner before the civil Court, which was disposed of with the observation that the authority concerned shall conclude the departmental proceedings within a period of three months from the date of production of a certified copy of the order according to the reply of the petitioner. The petitioner submitted his reply to the charges contained in the charge sheet. After completion of the proceedings an ex-parte inquiry report dated 10.9.2018 was submitted by the Block Development Officer to the District Basic Education Officer. Relying upon the said ex-parte inquiry report dated 10.9.2018, the services of the petitioner were terminated and this order was challenged before the court. The writ petition was filed by the petitioner before the single judge bench in the Allahabad High Court, for which the order was given on the date 20 September 2019. The case majorly dealt with the question of the application of the Natural justice doctrine that is enshrined in the Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950.
The petitioner alleged that the opportunity of the right to be heard was not given to him before passing the order as he was not provided with any relevant documents including the copy of inquiry report, and was neither afforded an opportunity of an oral hearing. The court upon deliberation concluded that the deletion of the second opportunity under Article 311(2) of the Indian Constitution corroborated with the fact of non-granting of inquiry report would be a clear denial and violation of the principle of ‘Natural Justice’. The single bench comprising of Hon’ble Justice Vivek Varma took the reference to the judgement of the Supreme Court in Mazharul Islam Hashmi v. State of U.P. (1979) 4 SCC 537 and quoted that "Every person must know what he is to meet and he must have the opportunity of meeting that case. The legislature, however, can exclude the operation of these principles expressly or implicitly. But in the absence of any such exclusion, the principle of natural justice will have to be proved." The court’s pointing out of the judgement enunciates the court’s stance on the importance of the principle of natural justice in the Indian Legal System. The judicial pronouncement in the famous case of Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India 1978 AIR 597 was also taken in a reference where court enunciated that the principle of Natural justice is an important part of Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution even though there is no use of the expression in the Indian Constitution but any violation of principles of Natural Justice would also violate Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution.
The judicial pronouncement also lays light over another important contemporary issue where there needs to be an executive administrative system provided that every decision taken by that authority cannot be expected to be followed by the same procedural fairness as the judicial proceedings take place. The principles of natural justice become an important protective layer for individual rights since the role and jurisdiction of administrative agencies is increasing at a rapid pace and conferment of administrative discretion has become the need of an hour. With the expansion in the scope of the discretionary power of administrative authority, the regulatory measures are to be equipped with sufficient power to prevent abuse of discretion. In this regard component of natural law, i.e. fair play in action must be found and proclaimed again and again by the judiciary to keep intact the supremacy of the rule of law in India. The rules of natural justice can operate not only in areas where the power and scope of any legal functionality are not well defined but also in the laws that are questioned on the ground of their validity and constitutionality to sustain the law with the interest of justice so that the basic structure of the constitution remains intact with the changes with time.