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Synopsis

I. Meaning

II. Application of section 6 of general Clauses Act, 1897

III. Consequences of Repeal

1. General Rule:

2. Revival :

3. Right acquired and liabilities incurred

4. No vested right in procedure

5. Saving Clause

6. Retrospective amendments

7. Pending Proceedings

IV. Subordinate legislation under repealed statute

V. Doctrine of desuetude and quasi repeal:

I. Meaning

When a statute is revoked, canceled or abrogated it means it is repealed.

Under section 6 of General Clauses Act, 1897, repeal connotes abrogation or obliteration of one statute by another, from the statute book as completely “as if it had never been passed”.

II. Application of section 6 of general Clauses Act, 1897

Section 6 General Clauses Act 1897 applies to all types of repeal, i.e. to express or implied repeal, to entire or partial repeal, or to a repeal simpliciter, or repeal accompanied by fresh legislation. Section 6 does not apply when the statute expires.

III. Consequences of Repeal

1. General Rule:

It was held in Kolhapur Canesugar Works Ltd. v. Union of India, (2000) repeal of a statute or deletion of a provision, unless covered under sec 6 (1) of general Clauses Act or a saving provision is totally obliterated from the statute book and the proceedings pending thereunder stand discontinued.

2. Revival :

When one act is repealed by second one and the second one is repealed by a third one, the first act does not revive unless it is expressly so provided. When a repealing provision is itself repealed, this does not revive any provision previously repealed by it, unless intent to revive is apparent, but it may allow common law principles again to apply. (David Walker, Oxford Companion to Law (1980)1059)

3. Right acquired and liabilities incurred

According to section 6 clauses (c),(d) and (e) of General Clauses Act in spite of repeal of a statute the rights acquired or accrued and liabilities incurred during the operation of the statute continue.

4. No vested right in procedure

When a procedural code is repealed and is replaced by another code, the new code is applied for investigation or trials pending under the old code. It was observed in Natabar Parida v. State of Orissa, no person has a vested right in any matter of procedure unless it is preserved by express saving clause.

5. Saving Clause

It was held in Mahmadhusen Abdul Rahim Kalota Shaikh v Union Of India, Continuation of a pending proceeding is possible only on account of the deeming fiction created by the saving clause in the repealing act which provides for continuation of the proceedings as if the principal Act had not been repealed.

6. Retrospective amendments

Repeal does not affect the previous operation of the law which has been repealed during the period it was operative prior to the date of such repeal.

7. Pending Proceedings

It was held in Moti Ram v. Surak Bhan, before making an order by the court if a new right of appeal or revision is conferred after institution of proccedings, that right would be available against all orders made subsequently.

In Garikapati Veeraya v. N Subbiah Choudhry, it was clearly observed that the golden rule of construction is that, in the absence of anything in the enactment to show that it is to have retrospective operation it cannot be construed to have that effect i.e. the effect of altering the law applicable to a claim in litigation at the time when the act was passed.

IV. Subordinate legislation under repealed statute

The subordinate legislation enacted under the statute which is repealed also ceases to have effect. If subordinate legislation is to survive the repeal of its parent statute the repealing statute must say so by mentioning the title of subordinate legislation.

V. Doctrine of desuetude and quasi repeal:

Desuetude means non-user. Doctrine of desuetude means that an Act of Parliament can come to an end by desuetude or non-user. The Supreme Court has accepted and implanted this doctrine in Municipal Corpn. For City of Pune v. Bharat Forge Co. Ltd.

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