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Aakritu   21 January 2022

Legal maxim

What is the scope of the maxim "Audi Alteram Partem"?


 1 Replies

Aarushi   21 January 2022

The maxim Audi Alteram partem means “listen to the other side”. This means that during any trial or any other circumstance, it is a right of both the parties to be heard and defend themselves before the court of law. This includes, the right to notice, present case, know the evidence adducted against, cross examine, legal representation and reasoned decision. Audi alteram partem comes from a latin phrase “audiatur et altera pars”, which means the same as Audi alteram partem. In this maxim the principles of justice and equity hold the maximum value.

The concept of Natural Justice revolves around this maxim. Natural Justice is a concept of Civil Law that states that equity and equality have to be maintained while a trial and that the judgement given by the Court should be reasonable and fair.

The principle of Natural Justice can be traced to Article 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. Article 14 defines equity before law, which means that the laws of India are same for all, no matter what. While 21 talks about our Right to Life and Personal Liberty.

Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India

In this case, when it was proved that Maneka Gandhi was wrongfully detained at the airport and her passport was seized without hearing any explanation from her side, the Court contented that, it was necessary to hear both the sides in any matter and that the procedure which is followed by law should be fair and just.

Fateh Singh v State of Rajasthan

In this case, it was held that both the parties should get a reasonable opportunity to be heard for this is the main principle of Audi Alteram Partem. This includes an oral or written hearing up to the discretion of the authority, unless it is stated otherwise by the law.

Krishna Chandra v Union of India

In this case, it was held that any refusal of legal representation to a party is violation of Natural Justice, because the party was not able to understand the proper provision of laws and thus, they should get a chance to be heard again.


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