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Rule against bias

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Bias is defined as an operative prejudice (partiality or preference) in relation to a party or issue. The bias could be conscious or unconscious.

Personal bias

  • Also includes real likelihood of bias / reasonable suspicion of bias
  • Personal bias occurs when there exists some relationship between the deciding authority and the parties which incline him favorably or unfavorably on the side of one of the parties before him.
  • Relationship with the parties could occur by way of hostility or friendship.

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Pecuniary bias

  • Pecuniary bias is a bias in which any financial interest, however small, with or related to the parties, would vitiate administrative action.

Subject-matter bias

  • The deciding officer is directly or indirectly related to the subject-matter of the case

Departmental bias / Institutional bias

  • The Department / Institution itself becoming the adjudicating authority would negate the concept of fairness in the administrative proceeding.

Preconceived notion bias

  • The deciding officer has a per-conceived notion, feeling, liking or disliking in regard to the subject matter which forces him to give a specific judgement.

Bias on account of obstinacy / Doctrine of necessity

  • Obstinacy means unreasonable and unwavering persistence and the deciding officer would not a 'no' for the answer.
  • Doctrine of necessity: Bias would not disqualify an officer from taking an action if no other person is competent to act in his place.

Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Law

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