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Charles Bowles (Not employed)     11 December 2017

Principles of natural justice in private employment

Dear Experts:

(1) Is Termination in private employment under the  Indian Contract Act, 1872 open to attack if the principles of natural justice are violated in the dismissal of the employee-workman?

Please share information about the applicability of the rules of natural justice to a Termination Letter made by a private employer in terminating the employment contract of an employee in the Information Technology sector (in Karnataka)

In para (39) in Hindustan Steel Ltd. vs R.N. Banerjee, the Hon'ble Calcutta High Court observed:-

"Barring the decision in (1982) 1 C.H.N. page 427, I have not come across any other decisions directly on this point regarding the applicability of the rules of natural justice to order made by a private employer in terminating the contract of employment"

(2.) Can an impugned Termination Letter be void on the ground of "breach of implied covenant to deal fairly"?

Can the ground of "breach of implied covenant to deal fairly" be taken up in Civil Courts under "breach of contract" rather than Industrial Courts under the provisions of the ID Act?

In D.K. Yadav v. J.M.A. Industries, the Supreme Court held that the right to life enshrined in Art. 21 includes right to livelihood and therefore before terminating the service of a workman, on the ground of fair play, it is necessary for the management to provide a reasonable opportunity to a workman to explain his case.

Violation of Principles of Natural Justice under the state has led to Reinstatement by Courts.

Sigillary, will violation of Principles of Natural Justice in the dismissal of an employee-workman in Private IT sector lead to Reinstatement by courts?

The law laid down in Premier Automobiles Ltd. and other decisions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court pertain to companies that were either state or were already bound by the ID Act. The IT companies are exempt from the Standing Orders.

Since the Principles of Natural Justice are not statutory rules, will "principle 1" and/or "principle 2" that provide Civil Court jurisdiction to adjudicate a labour dispute, apply as in the law laid down in Premier Automobiles Ltd.



 3 Replies

Siddharth Srivastava (Advocate)     11 December 2017

Priciple of natural justice is also apllicable in private employment. There is no specification that this principle applies only on govt. offices. The civil court has the jurisdiction where you can get relief by way of declaration and mandatory and permanent injunction. Consult a lawyer with details.

1 Like

Charles Bowles (Not employed)     13 December 2017

Thank you.

(3) Does violation of principles of natural justice need to be pleaded specifically in the plaint?

(4) If it is not specifically pleaded in the plaint, Can it be adduced with evidence and argued orally?


Kumar Doab (FIN)     22 December 2017

Is employee a workman?

Denial of natural justice may be raked from the  very 1st representation made to authority in establishment.

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