No one should be made a judge in his own case, i.e., no one should be made a judge in his own case. The rule prohibiting bias is what it’s called. The authority making the judgement must be comprised of impartial personnel acting fairly, without prejudice or bias, as a minimum criterion of natural justice. In regard to a party or an issue, bias refers to an operating prejudice, whether conscious or unconscious, as a result of some preconceived opinion or tendency.
The term “bias,” according to the dictionary, refers to anything that causes a person to make a decision based on factors other than evidence. The rule against bias prohibits variables from inappropriately influencing a judge’s decision in a specific case.This rule is founded on the assumption that deciding a case against one’s own interests is against human psychology. The primary goal of this rule is to maintain public trust in the administrative adjudicatory process’s impartiality. A judgement made because of bias is void, and the trial is “Coram non judice.”
The Supreme Court has identified a new type of bias originating from irrational obstinacy. This new type of bias was identified in a case when a Calcutta High Court judge affirmed his own decision despite hearing an appeal against it. This was a clear violation of the norm that no judge can hear an appeal of his own decision. This law can only be broken in a roundabout way. The judge in this instance upheld his own ruling in an earlier writ petition that had been overturned by the Division Bench in a new writ petition. What pertains to the legal system can also be applied to the administrative system.
The Evolution of the Necessity Doctrine
The term “doctrine of necessity” refers to the legal foundation upon which administrative actions meant to restore order are deemed to be lawful. The maxim on which the idea is based can be found in the writings of mediaeval jurist Henry de Bracton, and more recent legal authors, such as William Blackstone, have given comparable arguments for this type of administrative action.
In modern times, the word was first used in a contentious 1954 ruling by Pakistani Chief Justice Muhammad Munir, who upheld the Governor General’s extra-constitutional exercise of emergency powers.The Chief Justice used Bracton’s maxim, “that which is not otherwise lawful is made lawful by necessity,” in his decision, creating the moniker that would come to be associated with the decision and the philosophy it established.
The Doctrine of Necessity has been used to legitimise administrative acts in a many of Commonwealth countries, including Nepal in 2010.
What is problematic is not whether the decision is truly tainted with bias, but rather that the circumstance is such that others have a reasonable suspicion that bias may have influenced the conclusion. ‘Justice should not only be done, but also seem to be done,’ says the primary precept that underpins this notion.
Nemo judex in causa sua is an exception to the doctrine of necessity.
Decisions of the Courts
In Gullapali Nageshwar Rao v State of Andhra Pradesh
As a result of the Gullapali 1 case, fresh notifications were issued to invite the affected parties to come forward with new issues about their objections about the bus route’s nationalisation policy, which would be reviewed by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, who was also a transport minister. The Chief Minister heard the complaints, dismissed them, and directed that the policy be implemented. The order was overturned on the newly discovered grounds of ‘official bias,’ as well as the precedent set by Gullapali1. The claim of official bias was dismissed by the High Court. The ruling of the High Court was supported by the Supreme Court. The Secretary was considered a member of the Ministry, although the Minister was not.In this scenario, the Chief Minister is empowered by statute to hear the grievances and issue required instructions, and the question is who else would do it if he did not. The Supreme Court implicitly provides for the Doctrine of Necessity in this major decision, but does not directly state it.
“Ministerial and Departmental policy cannot be viewed as a disqualifying bias,” Wade says.
The Supreme Court rejected the doctrine of necessity argument in In this scenario, the Chief Minister is empowered by statute to hear the grievances and issue required instructions, and the question is who else would do it if he did not. The Supreme Court implicitly provides for the Doctrine of Necessity in this major decision, but does not directly state it.
“Ministerial and Departmental policy cannot be viewed as a disqualifying bias,” Wade says.
J. Mahopatra and Co. v State of Orrisa
The Supreme Court rejected the doctrine of necessity argument in J. Mahopatra and Co. v State of Orrisa on the grounds that, while members of the subcommittee were appointed by virtue of their official positions, they were also holding positions in the government of Orrisa’s secretary education department and the director higher education etc.on the grounds that, while members of the subcommittee were appointed by virtue of their official positions, they were also holding positions in the government of Orrisa’s secretary education department and the director higher education etc.There really was, however, nothing stopping those whose books had been offered for selection from informing the state government of this information, allowing it to amend its decision and choose a substitute or substitutes as needed. Nothing prevented such non-official writer members from resign from the committee due to their personal interest in the subject.
Chartered Accountants v. L.K. Ratna
The court held in Institute of Chartered Accountants v. L.K. Ratna that the principles of need do not apply in the absence of statutory force.
Tata Cellular v Union of India
The government of India issued invites to all mobile carriers to develop network in the four metro cities in Tata Cellular v Union of India. The Director General of Telecommunication was a member of the Evaluation Committee, which was tasked with evaluating tenders under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). At the conclusion of the evaluation procedure, his son’s tender was chosen. In this case, the Supreme Court found no breach of ‘Nemo judex in causa sua’ because no tender can be selected and no review can be done without the Director General of Communication. Because there was no option for substitution, the decision could not be overturned. The Supreme Court broadly used the Doctrine of Necessity in this decision.In Election Commission of India v. Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, the Supreme Court established strict guidelines.
Electoral Commission of India v. Dr. Subramaniam Swamy
The Supreme Court of India held in Electoral Commission of India v. Dr. Subramaniam Swamy that when the chief election commission is proved to be biased, his involvement is not mandatory and the idea of necessity does not apply. For him, the right course of action was to hold a meeting and then withdraw, leaving the decision to the other participants. The doctrine of necessity would apply if there was any distinction between them. In this case, the Supreme Court renamed the “Doctrine of Necessity” to “Doctrine of Absolute Necessity,” implying that it can only be used in extreme circumstances ‘absolute’ necessity.
One of the fundamental principles of jurisprudence is that no one can be a judge in his own cause, and that if there is a realistic risk of bias, the judge should be handicapped from sitting “in conformity with natural justice and common sense.” The point isn’t whether or not the judge is biased; it’s whether or not there’s a real possibility of bias. What is problematic is not whether the decision is truly tainted with bias, but rather that the circumstance is such that others have a reasonable suspicion that bias may have influenced the conclusion.’Justice must not only be done, but also appear to be done,’ says the primary precept that underpins this notion. This idea has been recognised by the Supreme Court in a number of cases.
The doctrine of necessity is an exception to the rule of “Nemo judex in causa sua.” If no one else is qualified to act in his place, bias would not prevent an officer from acting. This exemption is founded on a notion that would otherwise be considered impermissible under the standard of judicial propriety. The notion of necessity makes it necessary for the authority to make a decision, and judicial propriety must take a back seat. It can be used in circumstances of bias where no one has the authority to make a decision. If the theory of necessity is not fully applied in some inevitable situations, it will obstruct the progress of justice and benefit the defaulting side. If the alternative is between allowing a biased person to act or suppressing action entirely, the former must be chosen because it is the only way to foster decision-making. However, the Supreme Court has made it plain that the Doctrine of Necessity cannot be applied on a regular basis, as doing so could lead to the abolition of the Rule of Law in society. As a result, the Doctrine of Necessity must be referred to as the “Doctrine of Absolute Necessity.”
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