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Rule Or Law Cannot Be Construed As Retrospective Unless It Expresses A Clear Or Manifest Intention To The Contrary: Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
7 Sep 2021 4:29 AM GMT
Rule Or Law Cannot Be Construed As Retrospective Unless It Expresses A Clear Or Manifest Intention To The Contrary: Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court observed that a rule or law cannot be construed as retrospective unless it expresses a clear or manifest intention to the contrary.In the absence of express statutory authorization, delegated legislation in the form of rules or regulations, cannot operate retrospectively, the bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat observed.In this case, the High Court of...

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The Supreme Court observed that a rule or law cannot be construed as retrospective unless it expresses a clear or manifest intention to the contrary.

In the absence of express statutory authorization, delegated legislation in the form of rules or regulations, cannot operate retrospectively, the bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat observed.

In this case, the High Court of Kerala, relying on an earlier judgment in Lucka v State of Kerala, held that the amended Rule 13 of Abkari Shops Departmental Management Rules, 1972, is inapplicable to contracts awarded or entered into before the amendment came into force. The Rule provided that the Departmental Management fee collected from a shop while it was under Departmental Management due to default of payment of security, kist, excise duty etc., shall be liable to forfeiture. The High Court had allowed a writ petition filed by a liquor licencee challenging a demand in respect of a certain amount towards the balance sought to be recovered after a country liquor license was cancelled.

In appeal, the Apex Court bench noted that there is no indication that Rule 13 applied retrospectively and that retrospectivity cannot be presumed, unless there is clear intention in the new rule or amendment.

"There is profusion of judicial authority on the proposition that a rule or law cannot be construed as retrospective unless it expresses a clear or manifest intention, to the contrary...Another equally important principle applies: in the absence of express statutory authorization, delegated legislation in the form of rules or regulations, cannot operate retrospectively", the court observed.

In facts of the case, the bench issued some directives while dismissing the appeal.


Case: Assistant Excise Commissioner, Kottayam Vs Esthappan Cherian ; CA 5815 OF 2009
Citation: LL 2021 SC 419
Coram: Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat


Click here to Read/Download Judgment



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