Rajasthan State Haj Committee & anr. V. Mubeen Khan
Mr.Justice Sunil Kumar Garg-President
Shri Vijay Pal Singh,counsel for the appellants
Shri P.K.Khetan,counsel for respondent
Date of judgement: 24.4.2009
This appeal has been filed by the appellants which were op before the District Forum,Jodhpur against the order dated 19.11.08 passed by the District Forum,Jodhpur in complaint no.705/07by which the complaint of the complainant respondent was allowed against the appellants exparte in the manner that the appellants were directed to pay Rs.42,800/- with interest @ 9% p.a interalia holding that the appellants were under legal obligation to retun the amount of Rs.42,800/- to the complainant respondent and by not doing so,deficiency in service on the part of the appellants was found.
It has been submitted by the learned counsel appearing for the appellants that the impugned order was passed exparte and since it affected the rights of the appellants,therefore, before passing such order, opportunity to put thier case should have been given to the appellants by the District Forum. Hence it was prayed that in the interest of justice,an opportunity to put their case may be given to the appellants and the matter may be remanded back to the District Forum after setting aside the impugned order with the directions to decide the same afresh in
accordance with law after hearing both the parties.
The learned counsel appearing for the respondent has submitted that it was not a fit case for remand as the appellants have not appeared before the District Forum intentionally as notices,which were sent to them,were returned with the remaks “refused.”
Whatever may be the reasons,but the fact is that the impugned order was passed exparte.
It may be stated here that the maxim 'Audi Alteram Partem' (hear the other side) has now been universally acknowledged as a principle of natural justice. The principle of audi alteram partem has been elevated to the status of a constitutional right. This principle requires that no one shall be condemned unheard. The purpose of following the principles of natural justice is prevention of miscarriage of justice and hence the observance thereof is the pragmatic requirement of fair play in action. The requirement of natural justice is applicable not only to judicial or quasi judicial orders but also to administrative orders affecting a party prejudicially,unless it is expressly excluded by a law which is otherwise valid.
Thus,looking to the above principles and looking to the entire facts and circumstances of the case and looking to the fact that the impugned order was passed exparte affecting the rights of the appellants,it is just and proper and in the interest of justice to give one opportunity to the appellants to put their case and to remand the matter to the District Forum,after setting aside the impugned order,with the directions to decide the same afresh on merits in accordance with law after hearing both the parties.
Hence,this appeal filed by the appellants deserves to be allowed and
it is hereby allowed in the following manner:-
(i)that the impugned order dated 19.11.08 passed by the District Forum,Jodhpur in complaint case no.705/07 is quashed and set aside and the matter is remanded back to the District Forum,Jodhpur with the directions to decide the same afresh on merits in accordance with law after hearing both the parties.
(ii)that the parties are directed to appear before the District Forum,Jodhpur on 28.5.09.
(iii)that the amount deposited by the appellants before the District Forum shall not be given to the appellants or to the complainant respondent till final disposal of the complaint.
(iv)that the appellants are directed to file reply before the District Forum,Jodhpur on or before 28.5.09.
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