[Landmark Judgement] Prakash Ratan Sinha V. State of Bihar (2009) 

Landmark Judgment Law Insider (1)

Published on: February 18, 2024 at 13:56 IST

Court: Supreme Court of India

Citation: Prakash Ratan Sinha V. State of Bihar (2009) 

Honourable Supreme Court of India has held that under “Doctrine of Futile Exercise”, the Hon’ble Court can-not Right to Natural Justice which might adversely impact the rights of the Litigant to the Lis. It is held that an opportunity of hearing is a sacred right under judicial principles and thus Hon’ble Courts must not take the administrative decision unilaterally without opportunity of being heard. Thus, Hon’ble Courts must not proceed under the “Useless Formality Theory” without compliance of the Natural Justice.

19. The Division Bench of the Court does not dispute the fact of passing of the impugned order without hearing the appellant, but condones the procedural irregularity by bringing it under the “doctrine of futile exercise”. According to the Court, even if an opportunity of showing cause was afforded to the appellant, it would not have made any difference.

21. However, it is the case of the respondents that the Circle Promotion Committee had only recommended the change of nomenclature from that of daily wager to that of accounts clerk and that it is not a case of regular promotion. It is their further case, even assuming it is a case of promotion, the same has been done without following the prescribed procedure and also by ignoring the claim of several other employees and therefore, the respondents were justified in cancelling the order passed by the incharge Chief Electrical Engineer.

22. In our view, these are all disputed facts and the respondents without affording an opportunity of hearing, could not have taken any administrative decision unilaterally. Therefore, the Division Bench of the High Court is not justified in concluding that under the “useless formality theory” the rules of natural justice need not have been followed by the respondents.

Drafted By Abhijit Mishra

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