Statute enacted by Legislation will not be effective once it is declared Ultra Vires
Supreme Court while giving judgement in The State of Manipur and others Versus Surjakumar Okaram and Others on Tuesday explained the Importance of Doctrine of Prospective Overruling, saving clause in the repealing act and the competence of legislature to include saving clause in the repealing act.
The Court upheld the Repealing Act,2018 enacted by the Manipur Parliament and struct down the saving clause included in the Repealing Act,2018. By Applying Prospective Ruling court held that structing down saving clause will not affect the acts, deeds and decision’s duly undertaken by the Parliamentary Secretaries under the 2012 Act till discontinuation of their appointments.
The Manipur legislation is not competent to enact the saving clause in the Repealing act 2018 because Manipur legislation itself declared the law as unconstitutional and enacting saving clause would be like infusing life into the legislations which is already declared as unconstitutional.
Facts of the Case
- The Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Profession) Act 2012 was enacted by the legislature of Manipur to provide for appointment, salary and allowances of Parliamentary sector in Manipur.
- Assam Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Profession) Act 2004 known as “Assam Act 2004” includes similar provisions and subject matter as of Manipur Parliamentary Secretary Act, 2012.
- A Writ Petition was filed before the Gauhati High Court challenging the validity of Assam Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Profession) Act 2004.
- The Writ Petition in the high court was transferred to Supreme Court and Supreme Court in Bimolangshu Roy v. State of Assam and Anr declared that the legislature of Assam lack competence to enact the Assam Act 2004.
- The Manipur Assembly passed The Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Profession) Repealing Act,2018 and it was mentioned in the preamble of the Repealing Act,2018 that the 2012 Act was being repealed in the light of the judgement of this court in Bimolangshu Roy.
- The Repealing Act,2018 contained one saving Clause stating that the repeal of The Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Profession) Act 2012 shall not affect the previous operations of the repealed act or anything duly done in pursuance of the act so repealed including anything done in official discharge of their duties by the Parliamentary Secretaries or any right, privilege or obligation incurred under the Repealed Act.
- Public Interest Litigations was filed in the Manipur High Court challenging the validity of the Manipur parliament secretary act 2012 and writ petition was filed in high court challenging the validity of the repealing act, 2018 that the saving clause is included in the repealing act to is a devious method used by the Manipur Legislators to justify its illegal appointments made by the virtue of 2012 Act.
- Manipur High court heard both the cases together and dismissed the cases by declaring both the acts i.e., Manipur parliament secretary act 2012 and writ repealing act, 2018 as unconstitutional. The High Court was Of the View that if the state legislature lacked legislative competence to enact the 2012 Act, the state legislature did not have power to repeal the same by way of Repealing Act 2018.
- Aggrieved by the Manipur High Court Judgement, the state of Manipur and the members of the Manipur Legislative Assembly who were appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries have filed the Appeal Petition in Supreme Court.
- Petitioners contended that under Article 164(5),186,194,195 legislature has all the right to enact a statute and these Articles deals with powers, privileges and immunities of the house of the legislature but on the contrary Supreme Court held that the creation of new office by legislation would be outside the scope of Article 194.
- Supreme court held that A statute which is made by a competent legislature is valid till it is declared unconstitutional by a court of law and after declaration of a statute as unconstitutional by a court of law it is non est for all purposes and there is no question of repeal of a statute which has been declared unconstitutional by court. The very declaration by a court that a statute is unconstitutional obliterates the statute entirely as though it had never been passed.
To conclude Justice L Nageswara Rao held that the Manipur legislature was competent to enact the Repealing Act 2018 and struck down the saving clause included in the Repealing Act, 2018.