Tag Archives: Procedural Lapse

Due Course of Law

In the case of East India Hotels Ltd. v. Syndicate Bank, 1992 Supp (2) SCC 29, Hon’ble Supreme Court observed as under:

“What is meant by due course of law? Due course of law in each particular case means such an exercise of the powers by duly constituted Tribunal or Court in accordance with the procedure established by law under such safeguards for the protection of individual rights. A course of legal proceedings according to the rules and principles which have been established in our system of jurisprudence for the enforcement and protection of private rights. To give such proceedings any validity, there must thus be a Tribunal competent by its constitution, that is by law of its creation, to pass upon the subject matter of the suit or proceedings; and, if that involves merely a determination of the personal liability of the defendant, it must be brought within its jurisdiction by service of process within the State, or his voluntary appearance. Due course of law implies the right of the person affected thereby to be present before the Tribunal which pronounces judgment upon the question of life, liberty or property in its most comprehensive sense; to be heard, by testimony or otherwise, and to have the right determination of the controversy by proof, every material fact which bears on the question of fact or liability be conclusively proved or presumed against him. This is the meaning of due course of law in a comprehensive sense.”   Sawwad Ali v. Rajesh Kumar, 2019 (135) ALR 927.

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Non-Service of Notice and Procedural Lapse in Service of Notice – Distinction Between

There lies a distinction between non-service of notice and a notice though served but with some kind of procedural irregularities in serving. In the case of former category of cases, all consequential action, if taken would be rendered bad in law once the fact of non-service is proved whereas in the case of latter category of cases, the consequential action, if taken would be sustained. It is for the reason that in case of former, since the notice was not served on the person concerned he was completely unaware of the proceedings which were held behind his back thereby rendering the action “illegal” whereas in the case of latter he was otherwise aware of the proceedings having received the notice though with procedural irregularity committed in making of such notice on him. If a person has a knowledge of the action proposed in the notice, then the action taken thereon cannot be held as being bad in law by finding fault in the manner of effecting service unless he is able to show substantial prejudice caused to him due to procedural lapse in making service on him. It, however, depends upon individual case to case to find out the nature of procedural lapse complained of and the resultant prejudice caused. Prabin Ram Phukan v. State of Assam, (2015) 3 SCC 605.

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