Due Process of Law Vs Procedure Established by Law
In the Indian legal system, the concepts of Procedure Established by Law and Due Process of Law hold significant importance in safeguarding fundamental rights and ensuring just and fair legal procedures. Procedure Established by Law focuses on the validity of laws passed through the correct legislative procedure, while Due Process of Law evaluates the fairness and non-arbitrariness of laws.
The Supreme Court plays a crucial role in interpreting and enforcing these doctrines, shaping the interpretation of fundamental rights and expanding the scope of personal liberty. This article delves into the differences, similarities, and evolution of these doctrines, along with their impact on the Indian legal system.
Note: Both doctrines are important concepts in the Indian polity segment of the UPSC IAS Exam.
II. Procedure Established by Law
A. Definition and meaning
- Procedure Established by Law refers to a doctrine in Indian constitutional law.
- It states that a law is considered valid if it has been enacted by the legislature through the correct procedure. copyright©iasexpress.net
B. Article 21 of the Indian Constitution
- Article 21 of the Indian Constitution guarantees the protection of life and personal liberty.
- It specifies that no person shall be deprived of their life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.
C. Explanation of Procedure Established by Law
Validity of laws based on correct procedure
- According to this doctrine, the validity of a law is determined solely by whether it has followed the correct procedure during enactment.
- If a law has been duly passed by the Parliament or relevant authority, it is considered valid.
Deprivation of life and personal liberty according to established procedure
- Under this doctrine, a person’s life or personal liberty can be taken away if it is done according to the provisions and procedures laid out in the law.
- If Parliament passes a law, the provisions and procedures within that law can be used to deprive an individual of their life or personal liberty.
Flaw of the doctrine: Lack of consideration for fairness and justice in laws
- The major flaw of the Procedure Established by Law doctrine is that it does not consider whether the laws made by the legislature are fair, just, and not arbitrary. copyright©iasexpress.net
- The doctrine focuses solely on whether the correct procedure has been followed, without taking into account the principles of justice and equity.
- This strict adherence to the procedure established by law may lead to the compromise of individual rights and liberties due to unjust laws enacted by the legislative authorities.
III. Due Process of Law
A. Definition and meaning
- Due Process of Law is a doctrine that originated in the United States and is followed in American constitutional law.
- It ensures that laws are not only evaluated based on procedural aspects but also on their fairness, justice, and absence of arbitrariness.
B. Comparison with Procedure Established by Law
- Due Process of Law and Procedure Established by Law differ in their scope and considerations.
- While Procedure Established by Law focuses solely on the correct procedure of enacting laws, Due Process of Law evaluates both the procedural and substantive aspects of legislation to determine its validity.
C. Explanation of Due Process of Law
Evaluation of the fairness and justness of laws
- Under the Due Process of Law doctrine, the judiciary assesses whether a law is fair, just, and reasonable.
- It examines the content and intent of the law to ensure it upholds principles of fairness and justice. copyright©iasexpress.net
Nullification of unfair laws
- If the Supreme Court finds a law to be unfair or unjust, it has the power to declare it null and void.
- This nullification ensures that laws that infringe upon individual rights or lack fairness are not upheld.
Protection of individual rights and fair treatment
- Due Process of Law aims to safeguard the rights of individuals and ensure fair treatment.
- It requires the state to respect the legal rights owed to a person, including principles of fairness, fundamental rights, and liberty.
Scope and significance in recent Supreme Court judgments
- In recent years, the concept of Due Process of Law has gained significance in Indian Supreme Court judgments.
- The judiciary has recognized the importance of evaluating laws based on fairness, justice, and liberty, in addition to the procedural aspects.
- Due Process of Law has been invoked to protect individual rights and ensure a more just treatment under the law.
IV. Historical Context
A. History of Due Process of Law
Origin in the Magna Carta and divergence of English and American law
- The concept of Due Process of Law can be traced back to clause 39 of the Magna Carta in England.
- Over time, English and American law gradually diverged, with Due Process of Law not being upheld in England but becoming incorporated into the United States Constitution. copyright©iasexpress.net
Incorporation in the United States Constitution
- Due Process of Law is a fundamental concept in American constitutional law, embedded in the United States Constitution.
- It ensures that laws are fair and that the deprivation of a person’s liberty is carried out in accordance with just procedures.
B. Change of situation in India: Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India case (1978)
Liberal interpretation by the judiciary
- In India, the judiciary adopted a liberal interpretation of constitutional principles after the landmark case of Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India in 1978.
- This interpretation sought to protect individual rights and expand the scope of Article 21, which guarantees the protection of life and personal liberty.
Shifting towards the concept of Due Process of Law
- The Maneka Gandhi case marked a shift in India towards aligning the term “Procedure Established by Law” with the concept of Due Process of Law.
- The judiciary emphasized that the procedure established by law must be fair, just, and reasonable, and not arbitrary or oppressive.
Significance of the Maneka Gandhi case in expanding the scope of Article 21
- The Maneka Gandhi case played a significant role in expanding the scope of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
- The Court ruled that the procedure established by law must be more than just following the prescribed process; it must also be fair, just, and reasonable. copyright©iasexpress.net
- This elevated the importance of procedural due process and linked Articles 19, 14, and 21 together.
- As a result, the term “procedure established by law” acquired the same significance in India as the “due process of law” clause in the United States.
|Procedure Established by Law||Due Process of Law|
|Meaning and scope of both doctrines||Focuses on the correct procedure of enacting laws||Evaluates both procedural and substantive aspects of legislation to determine validity|
|Origin and constitutional provisions||Indian constitutional doctrine – Article 21||American constitutional concept|
|Evaluation of laws based on procedure||Validity determined by following the correct procedure||Evaluates fairness, justice, and reasonableness of laws|
|Evaluation of laws based on fairness and justness||Does not consider the fairness and justness of laws||Examines laws for fairness, justice, and absence of arbitrariness|
|Power of the judiciary and protection of rights||Limited power to evaluate the procedure used by the legislature||Broad power to evaluate the procedure and substance of laws|
|Impact on individual freedom and potential risks||Risk of compromising individual rights and liberties due to unjust laws||Emphasis on protecting individual rights, ensuring fair treatment, and upholding fundamental fairness, justice, and liberty|
VI. Similarities between Procedure Established by Law and Due Process of Law
A. Fundamental elements in Indian democracy
- Both Procedure Established by Law and Due Process of Law are fundamental elements within the Indian democratic system. copyright©iasexpress.net
- They play a crucial role in upholding the rule of law and protecting individual rights and liberties.
B. Role of the Supreme Court in determining the legitimacy of legislation
- In both doctrines, the Supreme Court has a significant role in determining the legitimacy of legislation.
- The Court acts as the highest judicial authority to interpret and apply these doctrines in determining the validity of laws.
C. Recent reevaluation of the legal process in Indian judiciary
- The Indian judiciary has recently reevaluated the legal process, giving greater importance to concepts such as fairness, justice, and individual rights.
- Both Procedure Established by Law and Due Process of Law have been subject to this reevaluation, leading to a broader interpretation of the principles involved.
VII. Evolution of Procedure Established by Law and Due Process of Law in India
A. Key judicial cases and their impact
- A.K. Gopalan v. Government of India (1965)
- This case involved the detention of AK Gopalan under the Preventive Detention Act of 1950.
- The Supreme Court ruled that as long as the legal process was followed, the deprivation of life and personal liberty did not violate the Indian Constitution.
- This case applied a constrained interpretation of Article 21 and Procedure Established by Law. copyright©iasexpress.net
- Satwant Singh Sawhney v. D. Ramarathnam (1967)
- In this case, the Supreme Court stated that the procedure established under Article 21 must be examined under Article 14 to ensure its validity and fairness.
- This decision marked a shift towards evaluating the procedural aspects of laws in relation to individual rights.
- R.C. Cooper v. Union of India (1970)
- The Supreme Court upheld the previous judgments and emphasized that the procedure established by law must be reasonable.
- This case reinforced the importance of fair and reasonable procedures in safeguarding individual rights.
- Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India (1978)
- The landmark Maneka Gandhi case significantly expanded the scope of Article 21.
- The Supreme Court ruled that the procedure established by law must not be arbitrary, oppressive, or unreasonable.
- This case brought a shift towards incorporating due process principles and linking Articles 19, 14, and 21 together.
B. Widening the scope of Article 21 and incorporation of due process principles
- The Maneka Gandhi case played a pivotal role in widening the scope of Article 21.
- It emphasized that the procedure established by law must be fair, just, and reasonable, aligning it with the concept of Due Process of Law.
- This incorporation of due process principles brought about a more comprehensive evaluation of legislation and its impact on individual rights. copyright©iasexpress.net
C. Threefold test for evaluating legislation’s impact on individual freedom
- Following the Maneka Gandhi case, the Indian judiciary adopted a threefold test for evaluating the impact of legislation on individual freedom.
- This test assesses whether there is a law empowering the state to deprive an individual of life and freedom, whether the legislature has the authority to enact the law, and whether the law was enacted following the correct procedure.
- This test aligns with the principles of procedural due process and ensures a thorough evaluation of legislation.
In conclusion, the concepts of Procedure Established by Law and Due Process of Law have played significant roles in shaping the Indian judicial system. While Procedure Established by Law focuses on the correct procedure of enacting laws, Due Process of Law expands the evaluation to include fairness, justice, and the absence of arbitrariness. The Maneka Gandhi case of 1978 marked a turning point, as it widened the scope of Article 21 and incorporated due process principles in India. This evolution has led to a more comprehensive protection of individual rights and a reevaluation of the legal process in ensuring fairness and justness in legislation.