“Even if a statute is silent and there are no positive words in the Act or Rules made thereunder there could be nothing wrong in spelling out the need to hear the parties whose rights and interest are likely to be affected, by the orders that may be passed, and making it a requirement to follow a fair procedure before taking a decision, unless the statute provides otherwise.
The principles of natural justice must be read into unoccupied interstices of the statute, unless there is clear mandate to the contrary. No form or procedure should ever be permitted to exclude the presentation of a litigant’s defence or stand. Even in the absence of a provision in procedural laws, power inheres in every Tribunal/Court of a judicial or quasi-judicial character, to adopt modalities necessary to achieve requirements of natural justice and fair play to ensure better and proper discharge of their duties. Procedure is mainly grounded on principles of natural justice irrespective of the extent of its application by express provision in that regard in given situation. It has always been a cherished principle. Where the statute is silent about the observance of the principles of natural justice, such statutory silence is taken to imply compliance with the principles of natural justice where substantial rights of parties are considerably affected. The application of natural justice becomes presumptive, unless found excluded by express words of statute or necessary intendment. (See Swadesi Cotton Mills etc. etc. v. Union of India etc. etc., AIR 1961 SC 818). Its aim is to secure justice or to prevent miscarriage of justice. Principles of natural justice do not supplant the law, but supplement it. These rules operate only in areas not covered by any law validly made. They are means to an end and not an end in themselves. The principles of natural justice have many facets. Two of them are: notice of the case to be met, and opportunity to explain.
Mangilal v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2004 (2) SCC 447
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