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REPEAL OF STATUTES
Meaning Repeal means to revoke, abrogate or cancel particularly a statute. Any statute may repeal any Act in whole or in part, either expressly or impliedly by enacting matter contrary to and inconsistent with the prior legislation. Thus a statute frequently states that certain prior statutory provisions are thereby repealed. The courts will treat matter as repealed by implication only if the earlier and later statutory provisions are clearly inconsistent. When a repealing provision is itself repealed, this does not revive any provision previously repealed by it, unless intent to revive is apparent, but it may allow common law principles again to apply.1 Under General Clauses Act, 1897, Section 6 "Repeal" connotes abrogation or obliteration of one statute by another, from the statute book as completely "as if it had never been passed." When an Act is repealed "it must be considered (except as to transactions past and closed) as if it had never existed." Right of Repeal Inherent in Legislation Just as the Legislature has the power to enact laws, similarly it has the power to repeal laws. The efficacy of the Legislature depends upon the possession of the power to repeal the existing law, for without this attribute the power to enact would be a nullity, and the body of the law a series of contradictory enactments. Consequently the legislative power to repeal prior laws is not inhibited by any constitutional prohibitions, but exists as a necessary part and increment of the legislative power and function.2 No statute can make itself secure against repeal. There is nothing to prevent any Parliament from enacting that a particular statute shall never in any circumstances be altered or abrogated, and at certain troubled periods of history this seems to have been the intention of the legislators. It is within the power of any Parliament to repeal any of the Acts passed by its predecessors and that it is not within the power of any Parliament to prevent the repeal of any of its own Acts, or to bind its successors.3 Object of “Repealing Acts” Repealing and amending Acts have no legislative effect, but are designed for editorial revision, being intended only to excise dead matter from the statute book and to reduce its volume. Mostly, they expurgate amending Acts, because having imparted the amendments to the main Acts, those Acts have served their purpose and have no further reasons for their existence. At times, inconsistencies are also removed by repealing and amending Acts. The only object of such Acts, which in England are called Statute Law Revision Acts, is legislative spring-cleaning and they are not intended to make any change in the law.4
Walker: Oxford Companion to Law, (1980), p. 1059. Sutherland : Statutory Construction, Vol. 1(3rd Ed.), Art. 2003 at pp. 449-450. 3 Wilberforce : Statute Law, at p. 309.Craies : Statute Law, 4th Ed. at p. 292. 4 Khudi Bux v. Manager, Caledonian Press, A. I. R. 1954 Cal. 484.
Perpetual and Temporary Statutes A statute is either perpetual or temporary. It is perpetual when no time is fixed for its duration,5 and such a statute remains in force until its repeal which may be express or implied. A perpetual statute is not perpetual in the sense that it cannot be repealed; it is perpetual in the sense that it is not abrogated by efflux of time or by non-user. A statute is temporary when its duration is only for a specified time, and such a statute expires on the expiry of the specified time unless it is repealed earlier. Simply because the purpose of a statute, as mentioned in its preamble, is temporary, the statute cannot be regarded as temporary when no fixed period is specified for its duration. The Finance Acts which are annual Acts are not temporary Acts and they often contain provisions of a general character which are of a permanent operation. A cessation of transitional legislative power has also no effect on the continuance of a perpetual Act enacted during the continuance of that power. The duration of a temporary statute may be extended by a fresh statute or by exercise of a power conferred under the original statute.6 When the life of a temporary Act is merely extended, it cannot be said that a new law has been enacted; but if the extension is accompanied by any substantial amendment, it would not be a case of mere extension.7 It appears that after a temporary statute expires, it cannot be made effective by merely amending the same. The only apt manner of reviving the expired statute is by re-enacting a statute in similar terms or by enacting a statute expressly saying that the expired Act is herewith revived.
Effect of Expiry of Temporary Repeal When a temporary Act expires, section 6 of the General Clauses Act, 1897,8 which in terms is limited to repeals, has no application9. The effect of expiry, therefore, depends upon the construction of the Act itself. The leading authority on the point is the dicta of Park, B, in Steavenson v. Oliver.10 "The extent of the restrictions imposed and the duration of its provisions, are matters of construction." a. Legal Proceedings under Expired Statute A question often arises in connection with legal proceedings in relation to matters connected with a temporary Act, whether they can be continued or initiated after the Act has expired. The answer to such a question is again dependent upon the construction of the Act as a whole.1 The Legislature very often enacts in the temporary Act a saving provision similar in effect to section 6 of the General Clauses Act, 1897. But in the absence of such a provision the normal rule is that proceedings taken against a person under a temporary statute ipso facto terminate as soon as the statute expires. A person, therefore, cannot be prosecuted and convicted for an offence against
Jotindranath v. Province of Bihar, AIR 1949 FC 175. Inder Singh v. State ofRajasthan, AIR 1957 SC 510 : 1957 SCR 605. 7 Kaiser-l-Hind Pvt. Ltd. v. National Textiles Corporation, AIR 2002 SC 3404 p. 3426 : (2002) 8 SCC 182. 8 Corresponding to section 38(2), Interpretation Act, 1899 (52 & 53 Vict c 63). 9 Wicks v. Director of Public Prosecutions, (1947) 1 All ER 205 10 (1841) 151 ER 1024
the Act after its expiration in the absence of a saving provision; and if a prosecution has not ended before the date of expiry of the Act, it will automatically terminate as a result of the termination of the Act.11
Certain State Acts imposed cess or other taxes on minerals which were declared void in different cases by the Supreme Court. Thereafter Parliament enacted the Cess and other Taxes on Minerals (Validation) Act, 1992 which included the said Acts in a Schedule. Section 2 of the Validation Act provides: 'The laws specified in the Schedule to this Act shall be, and shall be deemed always to have been, as valid as if the provisions contained therein relating to cess or other taxes on minerals had been enacted by Parliament and such provisions shall be deemed to remain in force up to the 4th day of April 1991". The question before the Supreme Court in District Mining Officer v. Tata Iron and Steel Co.12 was whether because of the Validation Act the States were entitled to retain only the cess and taxes already collected before 4th April, 1991 or whether they were also entitled to collect the cess and taxes due upto 4th April 1991 but not collected till that date. In holding that the Validation Act did not enable the States to collect the cess and taxes not collected till 4th April 1991, one of the reasons given by the Court was that the effect of section 2 was that the Acts invalidated became temporary statutes expiring on 4th April, 1991 and as there was no saving clause in the Validation Act and as section 6 of the General Clauses Act had no application to expiry of a temporary statute there could not be recovery and collection of cess and taxes which may have become due but were not collected till 4th April, 1991.21 Article 352 of the Constitution provides for proclamation of emergency in case of war or external aggression or armed rebellion. Article 358 suspends the fundamental rights under Article 19 and Article 359 enables the President to suspend enforcement of other fundamental rights except Articles 20 and 21 during the period of emergency. The result is that a law made during the emergency even if violative of any fundamental right (except Articles 20 and 21) is not open to challenge on that ground. But such laws 'cease to have effect-except as respects things done or omitted to be done' during their operation after the proclamation of emergency is withdrawn. During the period of emergency, when the fundamental right under Article 22 was suspended by an order of the President under Article 359, Parliament added section 12A in the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Act, 1974 (COFEPOSA). This section which was to have effect only during the period of emergency enabled detention in violation of clauses (4) and (5) of Article 22. Detention orders passed under section 12A of COFEPOSA were withdrawn after the Emergency when the section itself expired. But such orders were made the foundation for taking action under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, 1976 (SAFEMA). In proceedings to challenge the notices under SAFEMA it was contended that the detention orders under section 12A of COFEPOSA were void being violative of fundamental right under Article 22 and could not be relied upon for SAFEMA. This contention was negatived on the ground that the detention orders under section 12A COFEPOSA were 'things done' under that section and could not be treated to
R. v. Wicks, supra, pp. 531, 532. AIR 2001 SC 3134.
be void after expiry of section 12A because of the saving clause 1A of Article 359 'as respects things done or omitted to be done' during the period section 12A was in operation.13 b. Notifications, Orders, Rules, etc. made under temporary statute When a temporary Act expires, the normal rule is that any appointment, notification, order, scheme, rule, form or bye-law made or issued under the Act will also come to an end with the expiry of the Act and will not be continued even if the provisions of the expired Act are reenacted; the reason being that section 24 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, does not apply to such a situation.14 Similarly, a person's detention under a temporary statute relating to preventive detention will automatically come to an end on the expiry of the statute. c. Expiry does not make the statute dead for all purposes But a temporary statute, even in the absence of a saving provision like section 6 of the General Clauses Act, is not dead for all purposes. As already stated the question is essentially one of construction of die Act. The nature of the right and obligation resulting from the provisions of the temporary Act and their character, may have to be regarded in determining whether the said right or obligation is enduring or not. Thus, a person who has been prosecuted and sentenced during the continuance of a temporary Act for violating its provisions cannot be released before he serves out his sentence, even if the temporary Act expires before the expiry of full period of the sentence. Under section 4 of VI Geo. 4, c. 133, every person who held a commission or warrant as surgeon or assistant surgeon became entitled to practice as an apothecary without having passed the usual examination. This statute was temporary and expired on 1st August, 1826. It was held that a person who had acquired a right to practice as an apothecary under the Act without passing the usual examination was not deprived of that right on expiration of the Act.15 d. Repeal by a temporary statute When a temporary statute affects a repeal of an existing statute, a question arises whether the repealed statute revives on the expiry of the repealing statute. Section 11(1) and section 38(2)(a) of the Interpretation Act, 1899, in terms are limited to cases of repeals of a repealing enactment and have no application to a case of expiry of a repealing Act. As regards the General Clauses Act, 1897, section 6(a), which corresponds to section 38(2)(a) of the Interpretation Act, is also in terms limited to repeals; and therefore has no application on expiry of a repealing statute. 55 But in section 7 of the General Clauses Act, which corresponds to section 11(1) of the Interpretation Act, the language is slightly different. However, having regard to the context and the setting of the section it appears also to be inapplicable to a case of expiry of a repealing statute. The answer, therefore, to the question, whether a statute which is repealed by a temporary statute revives on the expiry of the repealing statute, will depend upon the construction of the repealing statute. As regards the effect of the repealing of an earlier Act made by a temporary Act, observed Gajendragadkar, J. "the intention of the temporary Act in repealing the earlier Act
Attorney General for India v. Amratlal Prajivandas, JT 1994(3) SC583. Trust Mai Lachhmi Sialkoti Bradari v. Amritsar Improvement Trust, AIR 1963 SC 976 15 Steavenson v. Oliver, (1841) 151 ER 1024.
Page |5 will have to be considered, and no general or inflexible rule in that behalf can be laid down." 56 As was stated by Ellenborough, C.J.: "A law, though temporary in some of its provisions, may have a permanent operation in other respects. The statute 26 Geo. 3, c. 108 professes to repeal the statute 19 Geo. 2, c. 35, absolutely, though its own provisions, which it substituted in place of it, were to be only temporary." Following these principles, it was held that the Jind State Civil Service Regulations, 1945 which were repealed by Pepsu Ordinance No. 16 of Samvat 2005 did not revive after six months when the Ordinance expired for the intention in repealing the Regulations was to repeal them absolutely.16 Similarly Rule 49 of the U.P. Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply and Purchase) Rules substituted by the Amendment Rules 1992 (which were to have effect from 1-10-1991 to 30-9- 1992) in place of the then existing rule 49 was held to repeal the existing rule absolutely which was not revived after the expiry of the substituted rule. If the repealing section in a temporary statute on construction, is held to expire with the expiry of the Act, the repeal will be construed only as a temporary repeal. Section 1 of Statute 46 Geo. 3 repealed the provisions of Statute 42 Geo. 3 and substituted some other provisions. Section 14 of the repealing Act provided that the Act shall continue in force till a certain period. It was held that 'the Act' referred to in section 14 included whole of the Act and incorporating section 1 with section 14, the repeal expired with the expiry of the Act reviving the operation of the earlier Act.17 The Privy Council observed to the same effect in Gooderham & Worts case18 when it said that the repeal effected by the temporary legislation was only a temporary repeal. When by the fiat of Parliament the temporary repeal expired, the original legislation automatically resumed its full force. No enactment of it was required.
Mode of Repeal
Express Repeal and Repeal by implication Repeal of a statute may be express or by necessary implication. There is no reason to restrict the meaning of the word ‘repeal’ merely to an express repeal and to exclude the implied one.19 Express repeal of a statute is usually made by stating that the earlier statute or a particular provision therein is thereby repealed. Usually enactments repealed are mentioned in a schedule attached to the repealing statute. Such express repeal needs no construction of the later statute. The use of any particular form of words is not necessary to bring about an express repeal. All that is necessary is that the words used show an intention to abrogate the Act or provision in
State of Haryana v. Amarnath Bansal, 1997 (1) scale 434, pp. 351,352. R. v. Rogers, (1809) ER891. 18 Gooderham & Worts v. C.B. Corpn., AIR 1949 PC 90, 94. 19 Ambala Ex-Servicemen T. Co-operative Society v. Punjab State, A. I. R. 1959 Punj.
question. The usual form is to use the words 'is or are hereby repealed' and to mention the Acts sought to be repealed in the repealing section or to catalogue them in a Schedule. The use of words 'shall cease to have effect', is also not uncommon. When the object is to repeal only a portion of an Act words 'shall be omitted' are normally used. The legislative practice in India shows that 'omission' of a provision is treated as amendment which signifies deletion of that provision and is not different from repeal.20 It has been held that "there is no real distinction between repeal and an amendment." It has also been held that "where a provision of an Act is omitted by an Act and the said Act simultaneously re-enacts a new provision which substantially covers the field occupied by the repealed provision with certain modification, in that event such re-enactment is regarded having force continuously and the modification or changes are treated as amendment coming into force with effect from the date of enforcement of re-enacted provision." When a Central Act has been adopted under Article 252 by a State by a resolution passed by the House or Houses of the Legislature of the State, the amendment or repeal of the Central Act by Parliament does not affect its continuance as a State Act unless the Central amending or repealing Act is also adopted under Article 252 by the State by a resolution of the House or Houses of the Legislature.21 Substitution of a provision results in repeal of the earlier provision and its replacement by the new provision.22 Substitution thus combines repeal and fresh enactment. Sometimes the expression used in the later statute runs : a. "all provisions inconsistent with the Act are repealed," or b. "all Acts and parts of Acts in conflict with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed,"or c. ''all laws and parts of laws in conflict herewith are expressly repealed". Provisions of this character leave the question open as to what laws are inconsistent and are intended to be so repealed. One view therefore is that here is a case not of express repeal but by implication and therefore all rules of law which apply to implied repeals generally will be applicable to repeals brought about in the aforesaid manner. The question naturally arises in such cases as to the extent or scope of the repeal. Thus where a repealing clause expressly refers to a portion of the prior Act, the remainder of such Act will not usually be repealed, as a presumption is raised that no further repeal is necessary, unless there is irreconcilable inconsistency between them. In like manner, if the repealing clause is by its terms confined to a particular Act, quoted by title it will not be extended to an Act upon a different subject. And a general Act repealing all Acts inconsistent therewith, will usually apply to general Acts and not to special or local laws. The reason behind this rule, according to Crawford5 finds its foundation in two premises : the special Act is not repealed because it is not named, or because there is no absolute inconsistency between the general Act and the special Act. Consequently, if the repealing Act named the
BhagatRamSharmav. Union of India. AIR 1988 SC 740 p. 746 State of West Bengal v. PronobKr. Sur, AIR2003 SC2313,p. 2319 : (2003) 9 SCC 490. 22 State ofRajasthan v. Mangilal Pindwal
special Act or if the two were irreconcilably inconsistent, the special Act would also be terminated. Where there is direct reference in the repealing clause to a particular Act, it is a case of express repeal. But where there is no direct reference, the matter will have to be determined by taking into account the exact meaning and scope of the words contained in the repealing clause and the principles of law which govern the interpretation of the same. Principles governing the cases of implied repeal can in such a case be called in aid to determine whether there is effective repeal of the earlier statute. Court has to suppose that the Government have a consistent design and policy and intend nothing that is inconsistent or incongruous. Prior statutes are held to be repealed by implication by subsequent statutes if the prior enactment is special and the subsequent one is general. This rule must not be pressed too far. If a special enactment and a subsequent general enactment are absolutely repugnant and inconsistent with one another, the Courts have no alternative but to declare the prior special enactment as repealed by the subsequent general Act. In all such cases the legislative intention, rather than grammar or letter of the enactment, is the determining factor. If the intention is found to be to sweep away all previous orders and to establish one rule for all belonging to a class of persons that will be sufficient to get rid of any previous special provision.23 There is no doubt that a repeal by implication is just as effective as by express words. The general rule is that when you have an Act of Parliament enacting particular provisions and in a subsequent Act there are provisions which are inconsistent with the provisions of the first Act both enactments cannot stand together. The enactment in the second Act stands and repeals the enactment in the first Act. Of course from the necessity of the case it is an implied and not an express repeal. Where two statutes passed in the same year appear to be repugnant, that which was passed latest must prevail. A repeal by implication is only effected when the provisions of a later enactment are so inconsistent with or repugnant to the provision of an earlier one that the two cannot stand together. A prior general Act may be affected by a subsequent particular or special Act if the subjectmatter of the particular Act prior to its enforcement was being governed by the general provisions of the earlier Act. In such a case the operation of the particular Act may have the effect of partially repealing the general Act, or curtailing its operation, or adding conditions to its operation for the particular cases. The distinction may be important at times for determining the applicability of those provisions of the General Clauses Act, 1897, (Interpretation Act, 1889 of U.K. now Interpretation Act, 1978) which apply only in case of repeals. In Municipal Board, Bareilly v. Bharat Oil Co.,24 the State Government had framed rules regulating the levy of octroi in general by all municipalities. Thereafter, rules were framed by the State Government for levy of octroi by the Bareilly municipality expressly providing that the new rules will apply in supersession of the existing rules. It was held that there was deemed repeal of the earlier rules in respect of Bareilly municipality.
Ramji v. Dt. Superintendent, W. R., A. I. R. 1957 Madh. Bh. 155, 158. AIR 1990 SC548.
Presumption against Repeal There is a presumption against a repeal by implication. The reason for the presumption is that the legislature while enacting a law has a complete knowledge of the existing laws on the subjectmatter and therefore when it does not provide a repealing provision, it gives out an intention not to repeal the existing legislation. The burden to show that there has been a repeal by implication lies on the party asserting it. Courts can lean against implied repeal. If by any fair interpretation both the statutes can stand together, there will be no implied repeal. If possible, implied repeal shall be avoided.25 Where two enactments are entirely affirmative and identical no question of inconsistency can arise. Where the operative terms of the two enactments are identical, and the enactments run parallel to each other there can be so to speak no scope for the application of the doctrine of implied repeal. But if a later statute describes an offence created by an earlier one and provides for a different punishment, or varies procedure, the earlier statute is repealed by implication. Similarly where a latter statute expresses in affirmative language its applicability to whole of India, that would imply the repeal of an earlier statute or colonial law on the same subject.
Cases of repeal by necessary implication Hence a statute is repealed by implication in the following cases, namely: 1) If its provisions are plainly repugnant to those of the subsequent statute. 2) If the two standing together would lead to wholly absurd consequences. 3) If the entire subject-matter of the first is taken away by the second.
Consequences of Repeal
General Under the common law rule the consequences of repeal of a statute are very drastic. Except as to transactions past and closed, a statute after its repeal is as completely obliterated as if it had never been enacted. The effect is to destroy all inchoate rights and all causes of action that may have arisen under the repealed statute. Therefore, leaving aside the cases where proceedings were commenced, prosecuted and brought to a finality before the repeal, no proceeding under the repealed statute can be commenced or continued after the repeal.26 Another result of repeal under the common law rule is to revive the law in force at the commencement of the repealed statute. Thus if one statute is repealed by a second which in turn is repealed by a third, the effect is to revive the first statute unless a contrary intention is indicated in the third statute. The confusion resulting from all these consequences gave rise to the practice of inserting saving clauses in
Harshad S. Mehta v. State of Maharashtra, (2001) 8 SCC 257: (2001) SCC (Cri) 1447. Keshavan v. State of Bombay, supra.
repealing statutes, and later on, to obviate the necessity of inserting a saving clause in each and every repealing statute a general provision was made in section 38(2) of the Interpretation Act, 1889. Similar provision is made in India in section 6 of the Central General Clauses Act, 1897 (Act X of 1897) as also in corresponding State legislations. Since repeal of a law takes effect from the date of repeal and the law repealed remains in operation for the period before its repeal without assistance of any saving clause for transactions past and closed, it can be retrospectively amended to affect such transactions even after its repeal. Thus when Rule B made under Article 309 of the Constitution substitutes Rule A, which in effect means that A is repealed and B is enacted in its place, A can be amended retrospectively for the period during which it was in operation to validate transactions past and closed. In the case27 from which the above principle is deduced, a rule permitted compulsory retirement of a Government servant by paying three months salary. This rule was later repealed by substituting another rule in its place. During the period the earlier rule was in operation, a Government servant was retired on payment of an amount as salary but which was found on calculation later to be a little short of three months salary making the retirement invalid. The rule was after its repeal retrospectively amended for the period it was in operation to enable the Government to retire a Government servant forthwith without paying him three months salary but entitling him to claim three months salary after retirement. This amendment was held to be valid and effective to validate the retirement of the Government servant concerned. S. 6 Effect of Repeal.—Where this Act, or any central Act or Regulation made after the commencement of this Act, repeals any enactment hitherto made or hereafter to be made, then unless a different intention appears, the repeal shall not— a. revive anything not in force or existing at the time at which the repeal takes effect; b. affect the previous operation of any enactment so repealed or anything duly done or suffered thereunder, or c. affect any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued or incurred under any enactment so repealed; or d. affect any penalty, forfeiture or punishment incurred in respect of any offence committed against any enactment so repealed; or e. affect any investigation, legal proceeding or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment as aforesaid; and any such investigation, legal proceeding or remedy may be instituted, or continued or enforced and any such penalty, forfeiture or punishment may be imposed as if the repealing Act or Regulation had not been passed. Section 6 of the General Clauses Act applies to all types of repeals. The section applies whether the repeal be express or implied, entire or partial or whether it be repeal simpliciter or repeal accompanied by fresh legislation. The section also applies when a temporary statute is repealed before its expiry, but it has no application when such a statute is not repealed but comes to an end by expiry.
State ofRajasthan v. Mangilal Pindwal, AIR 1996 SC 2181, p. 2183 : 1996 (5) SCC60
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Saving of rights acquired The effect of clauses (c) to (e) of section 6, General Clauses Act is, speaking briefly, to prevent the obliteration of a statute in spite of its repeal to keep intact rights acquired or accrued and liabilities incurred during its operation and permit continuance or institution of any legal proceedings or recourse to any remedy which may have been available before the repeal for enforcement of such rights and liabilities. Thus, offences committed during the continuance of a statute can now be prosecuted and punished even after its repeal^ a course which would not have been possible under the common law rule of complete obliteration of a repealed statute. It must, however, be noticed that 'any investigation, legal proceeding or remedy' saved by clause (e) is only in respect of any right and privilege 'acquired' or 'accrued' and any obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment 'incurred' within the ambit of clauses (c) and (d) of section 6. In respect of other matters though 'anything done' under the statute will not be invalidated after its repeal by virtue of clause (b) of section 6, but it will be rendered abortive if no right was acquired or had accrued and no liability had been incurred prior to repeal. Further, the saving of rights and liabilities is in respect of those rights and liabilities which were acquired or incurred under a repealed statute and not under the general law which is modified by a statute. In respect of rights and liabilities acquired or incurred under the general law which is modified by a statute the inquiry should be as to how far the statute is retrospective. And when a Code dealing with procedure is repealed and replaced by a new Code, the new Code would speaking generally apply for investigations or trials pending under the old Code for no person has a vested right in any matter of procedure, unless the new Code by an express saving clause preserves the continuance of the old Code for pending investigations and trials. The distinction between what is, and what is not a right preserved by the provisions of section 6, General Clauses Act is often one of great fineness. What is unaffected by the repeal of a statute is a right acquired or accrued under it and not a mere "hope or expectation of', or liberty to apply for, acquiring a right. A distinction is drawn between a legal proceeding for enforcing a right acquired or accrued and a legal proceeding for acquisition of a right. The former is saved whereas the latter is not. The question whether a right was acquired or a liability incurred under a statute before its repeal will in each case depend on the construction of the statute and the facts of the particular case. The central issue in considering this question in a controversial case will generally be whether the steps that remained to be taken under the repealed statute were steps necessary for acquiring a right or incurring a liability or whether they were steps required merely for enforcing a right or liability (at least contingent) that had come into existence. The right of an injured third party to recover damages against the insurers of a motor vehicle will be an accrued right on the happening of the accident resulting in the injury and will be enforceable against them even after repeal of the enactment creating the liability, even though the process of quantification is not complete before the repeal.
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Under the English Common Law when a repealing enactment was repealed by another statute, the repeal of the second Act revived the former Act. But this rule does not apply to repealing Acts passed since 1850, and now if an Act repealing a former Act is itself repealed, the last repeal does not revive the Act before repealed unless words are added reviving it. The present rule is the result of the statutory provisions introduced by the Interpretation Act of 1889, but though we are not bound by the provisions of any English Statute, we can still apply the English Common Law if it appears to be reasonable and proper. But it may be noted that even according to the Common Law doctrine, the repeal of the repealing enactment would not revive the original Act if the second repealing enactment manifests an intention to the contrary.28 The common law rule of revival has been abrogated by sections 6(a) and 7 of the General Clauses Act, 1897. The result, therefore, is that if one Act is repealed by a second which again is repealed by a third, the first Act is not revived unless the third Act makes an express provision to that effect. As regards revival of enactments section 6(a) covers what is more emphatically declared by section 7, but the latter is limited in operation to enactments; whereas the former is wider in operation and will prevent the revival of many other matters, e.g. the revival of a void contract or of common law. When a provision is repealed by substitution of another provision in its place and the Act making the substitution is declared invalid, the question of revival of the original provision requires consideration of whether the Act has been declared invalid for want of legislative competence or on other grounds. When a temporary statute affects a repeal of an existing statute, a question arises whether the repealed statute revives on the expiry of the repealing statute. Section 11(1) and section 38(2)(a) of the Interpretation Act, 1899, in terms are limited to cases of repeals of a repealing enactment and have no application to a case of expiry of a repealing Act. As regards the General Clauses Act, 1897, section 6(a), which corresponds to section 38(2)(a) of the Interpretation Act, is also in terms limited to repeals; and therefore has no application on expiry of a repealing statute. But in section 7 of the General Clauses Act, which corresponds to section 11(1) of the Interpretation Act, the language is slightly different. However, having regard to the context and the setting of the section it appears also to be inapplicable to a case of expiry of a repealing statute. The answer, therefore, to the question, whether a statute which is repealed by a temporary statute revives on the expiry of the repealing statute, will depend upon the construction of the repealing statute. As regards the effect of the repealing of an earlier Act made by a temporary Act, observed Gajendragadkar, J. "the intention of the temporary Act in repealing the earlier Act will have to be was held that the Jind State Civil Service Regulations, 1945 which were repealed by Pepsu Ordinance No. 16 of Samvat 2005 did not revive after six months when the Ordinance expired for the intention in repealing the Regulations was to repeal them absolutely.29 Similarly Rule 49 of the U.R Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply and Purchase) Rules substituted by the Amendment Rules 1992 (which were to have effect from 1-10-1991 to 30-9- 1992) in place of
Ameerunnissa Begum v. Mahboob Begum, AIR 1955 SC 352, 356. State of Haryana v. Amarnath Bansal, 1997 (1) Scale 343, pp. 351, 352
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the then existing rule 49 was held to repeal the existing rule absolutely which was not revived after the expiry of the substituted rule.30 If the repealing section in a temporary statute on construction, is held to expire with the expiry of the Act, the repeal will be construed only as a temporary repeal. Section 1 of Statute 46 Geo. 3 repealed the provisions of Statute 42 Geo. 3 and substituted some other provisions. Section 14 of the repealing Act provided that the Act shall continue in force till a certain period. It was held that 'the Act' referred to in section 14 included whole of the Act and incorporating section 1 with section 14, the repeal expired with the expiry of the Act reviving the operation of the earlier Act.31 In the Privy Council case already noticed,32 there are observations to the effect that a repeal by a temporary Act is prima facie only a temporary repeal resulting in revival of the repealed provisions after the expiry of the repealing Act. Those observations may here be quoted : "The result is that on 31st March, 1936, the temporary legislation contained in the first Act of 1933 repealing provisions of the principal Act of 1932 and substituting other provisions came to an end not by the repeal of the temporary legislation but by the efflux of the prescribed time. No question, as to the revival of the temporary repealed provisions of the principal Act of 1932 by the repeal of repealing legislation, arises. The repeal, effected by the temporary legislation, was only a temporary repeal. When by the fiat of Parliament the temporary repeal expired, the original legislation automatically resumed its full force. No enactment of it was required."
West U.P. Sugar Mills Association v. State of U.P., AIR 2002 SC 948 R. v. Rogers, (1809) 103 ER 891, p. 893. 32 Gooderham & Worts v. C.B. Corporation, AIR 1949 PC 90, p. 94.
P a g e | 13 Bibliography
1. Bindra, N.S., The Interpretation of Statutes And General Clauses Acts (Central and State) with Phrases and Words, Law Publishers, Allahabad, 1961. 2. Gandhi, B.M., Interpretation of Statutes, Eastern Book Co., Lucknow, 2006. 3. Singh,G.P., Principles of Statutory Interpretation, Wadwa and Co., Nagpur, 2006. 4. Yog, A.K., Interpretation of Statutes, Modern Law Publishers, New Delhi, 2009.