Should the requirement of natural justice be satisfied before a man is deprived of life or personal liberty?
In Maneka Gandhi v. Union of
India the Supreme Court liberally interpreted the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. It held that under Article 21, the procedure must satisfy certain requisites in the sense of being fair and reasonable. The procedure cannot be arbitrary, unfair or unreasonable. It must satisfy the requirement of natural justice which is an essential component of fair procedure under Article 21. “Natural justice is a distillate of due process”. The concept of natural justice and due process which were rejected in A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras, forming part of our constitutional scheme have not been held to be an essential part of the constitutional scheme guaranteeing Fundamental Rights.