Administrative fairness is a legal concept that guarantees equal decision-making. It has evolved over time as a result of decisions made by the courts in regulatory situations. Any decision-making processes, such as the Code of Conduct, have codified procedural or administrative equity obligations that ensure that administrative fairness is specifically endorsed under the law. On the other hand, the principle of natural justice are those laws which have been set down by the Courts as the basic security of the rights of the person against unreasonable proceedings which may be taken by a judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative body and which, at the same time, render an order concerning those rights. Substantial changes have happened in the last twenty years to the procedures adopted by the branches of government and to the exercise of their assigned rights by executive bodies. Over the past years, the application of administrative fairness and principle of natural justice has evolved in a significant way. In early twenty first century application of the administrative fairness and principle of natural justice was rare then gradually the application of the same becomes visible.
Recently a judgement conceded by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Bangladesh where Zubayer Rahman Chowdhury, J gave the verdict that the rule was made absolute and the impugned order of expulsion of the petitioners was declared to be made without lawful authority and it will not hold any legal effect on the ground of lack of administrative fairness which is the violation of the principles of natural justice.
In Md. Shamsujjaman and others Vs Bangladesh, represented by the Secretary, Ministry of Education, Ramna, Dhaka and others, 13 SCOB  HCD 65 the writ petition concerned whether there is a violation of the principle of natural justice as well as the denial of the due process of laws to the petitioners, that has been guaranteed under the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The contention of the petitioners was that mere issuance of a show cause notice will not amount to fulfillment of the legal requirement of notifying if the said notice does not specify the time, place and manner of occurrence, or discloses the extent of damage or the number of persons who suffered injuries on account of the incident. Due to the vagueness and unspecified allegations of the university authorities petitioners were prevented from giving a proper reply to the show cause notice. Though the show cause notice refer to the report prepared by the inquiry committee on the basis of which the said notice was issued, the copy of the report was never provided to the petitioners. Subsequent thereto the syndicate of the University took a decision approving the temporary suspension order of the petitioners. However, the syndicate also passed the order of expulsion of the petitioners. With the impugned order petitioners were expelled from the University, without giving them any opportunity of a personal hearing.
Several aspects of the case such as -the vague and unspecific show cause notice, the non-service of the inquiry report to the petitioners and the admitted failure of the University Authority to give personal hearing to the petitioners before passing the impugned order is as good as a gross violation of the principle of natural justice.
While taking a decision that affects the right of a person, the administrative fairness or procedural fairness has to be ensured. Moreover authority must act fairly in accordance with the law. In the recent case there has been a gross violation of well settled principle of natural justice which leads to arbitrariness which successively vitiates the impugned order. Consequently the apex court of the country has held that to treat a person in violation of the principle of natural justice would amount to arbitrariness and discriminatory treatment in violation of the right guaranteed by Article 27 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh which asserts that “All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law”.
The University being in a position of “loco parentis, basically in the custody of the students” is obliged not only to observe the well-established principle of natural justice, but it must also act in accordance with law. According to English Law, natural justice means the technical terminology for the rule against bias and the right to a fair hearing. The term natural justice normally refers to “duty to act fairly”. Regrettably, in the instant case, not only did the University Authority fail to observe the due process of law, as guaranteed by the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, but the impugned orders of expulsion were passed in gross violation of the principles of natural justice. Consequently, the same is not acceptable in the eye of law.