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Principles of natural justice not mantras, but guidelines ensuring fairness in procedures: Delhi HC

IANS | December 04, 2023 04:41 PM

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has said that the principles of natural justice are not mere "mantras" but fundamental guidelines ensuring fairness in procedures and the right of individuals to respond to allegations.

Justices Yashwant Varma and Shailender Kaur, on a division bench, made this observation while dismissing a petition by Kiran Juneja challenging an order upholding the confiscation of gold bars.

Juneja contended that her right to a fair hearing was violated, saying that she was only given two opportunities to present her case when she was entitled to one additional hearing.

However, the court rejected this argument, noting that despite being notified twice, no one appeared on her behalf, leading to the competent authority proceeding ex parte.

The bench said that the determination of whether a violation of natural justice has tainted the procedure is a factual matter that guides the courts in deciding the need for interference. Hence, the court found no justification to intervene in the impugned order.

The court also dismissed a submission relying on other orders permitting the re-export of gold bars carried by passengers of foreign origin.

It clarified that these orders did not address the Baggage Rules, 2016, which govern the importation of gold, and were therefore not relevant to the present case.

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