Yates In my view it was contrary to the fundamental principles of justice which

Yates in my view it was contrary to the fundamental

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Report of the Board of Inquiry presided over by Mr. Yates. In my view, it was contrary to the fundamental principles of justice which govern a fair trial that the Adjudicating Officer should have had before him, both before and during those
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Page 15 of 25 GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION OF MALAYA v SURINDER SINGH KANDA disciplinary proceedings, the wholly adverse Report of the Board of Inquiry against the accused person whom he was then trying on these charges. But the matter does not end there. Whilst the Adjudicating Officer had before him a copy of these Findings no such copy had been supplied to the plaintiff even though they most materially and injuriously affected him not only in relation to the disciplinary charges which he was then facing, but also as to the matter of sentence upon his conviction on those charges. He had no opportunity to deal with the Findings contained in that Report or to refute or challenge them in any way. In my view, the furnishing of a copy of the Findings of the Board of Inquiry to the Adjudicating Officer appointed to hear the disciplinary charges, coupled with the fact that no such copy was furnished to the plaintiff, amounted to such a denial of natural justice as to entitled this Court to set aside those proceedings on this ground. It amounted, in my view, to a failure to afford the plaintiff a reasonable opportunity of being heard in answer to the charge preferred against him which resulted in his dismissal". I fully appreciate the learned trial Judge's anxiety to ensure that justice should not only be done but should appear to be done, but in the final result it is the reality not the appearance that is the ultimate aim. In this instance it is to be observed that the respondent did not base his claim on bias or prejudice on the part of the Adjudicating Officer nor did he produce any evidence to suggest such a state of mind. The respondent's case was that in breach of the provision of Article 135(2) of the Constitution he had been dismissed without being given a reasonable opportunity of being heard (a) before conviction, and (b) after conviction and before sentence. It is possible that the Adjudicating Officer was unconsciously prejudiced owing to the procedure adopted, but there is no evidence that he was. On the contrary, with reference to two witnesses who the Adjudicating Officer was instructed to call after the termination of his inquiry on 10th May, 1958, he had this to say (page 82 of record): "In considering which witnesses should be called at the Defaulter Report proceedings I had deliberately omitted calling these two witnesses since I realised that their evidence might be very prejudicial to the accused". To my mind such a statement indicated a complete lack of bias on the part of the Adjudicating Officer. It is to be remembered too that the proceedings adopted were the usual Police proceedings and in conformity with the Police Regulations. Such proceedings could invariably result in unconscious bias in the mind of any or all Adjudicating Officers as a result of knowledge of the proceedings before and the findings of Boards of Inquiry.
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