The Hon'ble Courts have time and again ruled that natural principles of justice form the golden thread of jurisprudence in any developed society. Courts have also held that natural principles of justice cannot be bye-passed even if there is no explicit provision reflecting the same in the rule book. The Chandigarh Bench of the AFT took a call on the subject in an administrative matter earlier this year in Atul Batra Vs UOI when a sailor ordered to be discharged from service on the basis of 'Services No Longer Required' (SNLR) was ordered to be re-instated since no show-cause notice was issued to him. The plea that the rules did not provide for the issuance of a show-cause notice was rejected by the Tribunal.
The Chennai Bench has now settled another issue in a landmark decision which should go a long way in bringing about a change in the manner in which we view such cases. The decision based on the interpretation of Regulation 30 of the Regulations for the Navy (Part II, Statutory) can be accessed by clicking here.
Interestingly, while the Rules and Regulations in the Army and the Air Force have their inherent checks and balances, the same is lacking at places on the Naval side. But with proactive decisions of various Benches of the AFT, I am sure things would change for the better and perhaps even rules would be promulgated to bring the existing provisions in line with the Constitution of India and well settled principles of law.