Some boy students were dismissed from a college for their misbehaviour with some girl inmates of the hostel. The contention of the boy students were that the statements of the girl students were recorded in their absence and no opportunity to cross examine the witnesses or peruse the Committee’s report was given to them. Will be succeed?
Though it is a mandatory rule that in every enquiry, before an order against the accused is passed, the principles of natural justice must be complied with. However, in certain circumstances, the principles of natural justice may be waived. Art. 311(2) of the Indian Constitution specifically excludes ‘opportunity of being heard’ in disciplinary matters, where the nature of enquiry is such that it is not practicable to hold an enquiry.
The facts of the case resemble Hiranath Misra Vs. Rajendra Medical College, Ranchi, (1973) 1 SCC 805, wherein the Supreme Court observed – to make the molested girl students face a strict enquiry, put them to cross examination, etc., may not be correct at all especially in sensitive circumstances. The fact that the female students’ clear identity of the petitioners, the oral hearing of each male student by the enquiry authority etc., are sufficient steps to satisfy the principles of natural justice.