This legal maxim means “No men should be condemned unheard“. Audi alteram partem is derived from a Latin phrase “audiatur et altera pars”. In other words, it means no party should be punished without a fair trial.


This legal maxim is based on the principle of natural justice and fair play and it is followed in judicial proceedings.

The only exception to the legal maxim is the legislative intention to the contrary. It can be overlooked if the legislature has expressly or impliedly conferred an authority to act without that necessary principle.

In the case of N.K. Prasad v. Government of India, the Supreme Court of India held that the rule of “audi alteram partem” cannot be put in a straight jacket formula Its application will depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case. Hence if a contesting party after having proper notice chose not to appear that party at a later stage cannot be permitted to say that he was not given a proper opportunity of being heard.