UPSC Prelims 2023 Question:
In essence, what does 'Due Process of Law' mean?
a) The principle of natural justice
b) The procedure established by law
c) Fair application of law
d) Equality before law
Correct Answer: Option c) Fair application of law
The difference between “procedure established by law” and “due process of law” is that under the former only the decisions of the executive will be tested by the courts with the touchstone of fairness but under the latter, the courts will examine the fairness of not only the decisions of the executive but also that of a law passed by the legislature.
Due Process of Law
- Due process of law is a legal principle that requires governments to follow fair and reasonable procedures when depriving individuals of their life, liberty, or property. It also requires governments to pass laws that are just, fair, and reasonable.
- The Supreme Court of India has the power to declare laws unconstitutional if they violate due process of law. This means that the Court can strike down laws that are unfair, unjust, or unreasonable.
- The phrase "due process of law" is not mentioned explicitly anywhere in the Indian Constitution, but it has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to be a fundamental right. This means that the government cannot deprive individuals of their life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
- The concept of due process of law is borrowed from the US Constitution, but it has been adapted to the Indian context. In India, due process of law is not only a protection against arbitrary executive action, but also against arbitrary legislative action. This means that the Supreme Court can strike down laws that it finds to be unfair, unjust, or unreasonable.
Therefore, option (c) is the correct answer.
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