Air India Vs. Union of India & Ors  INSC 316 (18 July 1995)
S.P. (J) Bharucha S.P. (J) Ahmadi A.M. (Cj) Bharucha. J.
1996 AIR 666 1995 SCC (4) 734 JT 1995 (5) 578 1995 SCALE (4)523
impugns a judgment of the Delhi High Court.
appellant is Air India.
Air India was established under the Air
Corporations Act, 1953. Under the provisions of Section 45 thereof, the Air
India Employees Service Regulations 1963, were framed with the consent of the
Central Government. The said Regulations governed the terms and conditions of
service of Air India's employees. in or about the year
1982 the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner, Delhi, initiated proceedings against Air India under the provisions of the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders)
Act, 1946, for certification of Standing Orders. Air India contended that the Standing Orders
Act did not apply to it. The contention was rejected and Standing Orders were
certified. Air India's appeal was rejected. Air India then filed the writ petition upon
which the order under appeal was passed. The High Court held that the Standing
Orders Act was a special Act and applied to Air India's employees.
Air Corporations (Transfer of Undertakings & Repeal) Act, 1994 came into
force on 29th January
1994. By reason of
Section 11 thereof the Air Corporations Act, 1953, stands repealed from that
day. Based upon this, Ms. Jaisinh, appearing for Air India's employees, has raised a
contention that goes to the root. Air India's case had been that its employees' terms and conditions of service
were governed by the said Regulations framed under Section 45 of the Air
Corporations Act, 1953: that Act having now been repealed, the said Regulations
no longer survived and the sheet-anchor of Air India's bid to avert certification of Standing Orders under the
Standing Orders Act disappeared.
.... ....... ....... ....... ... ... India, submitted that the said Regulations were saved by Section 8 of the
1994 Act, which reads thus :
Provisions in respect of officers and other employees of corporations - (1)
Every officer or other employee of a corporation (except a Director of the
Board, Chairman, Managing Director or any other person entitled to manage the
whole or a substantial part of the business and affairs of the corporation)
serving in its employment immediately before the appointed day shall, in so far
as such officer or other employee is employed in connection with the
undertaking which has vested in a company by virtue of this Act. become.
from the appointed day, an officer or other employee, as the case may be, of
the company in which the undertaking has vested and shall hold his office or
service therein by the same tenure, at the same remuneration, upon the same
terms and conditions, with the same obligations and with the same rights and
privileges as to leave, passage, insurance, superannuation scheme, provident
fund, other funds, retirement, pension, gratuity and other benefits as he would
have held under that corporation if its undertaking had not vested in the
company and shall continue to do so an officer or others employee, as the case
may be, of the company or until the expiry of a period of six months from the
appointed day if such officer or other employee opts not to be the officer or
other employee of the company, within such period.
Where an officer or other employee of a corporation opts under sub-section (1)
not to be in the employment or service of the company in which the undertaking of
that corporation has vested. such officer or other employee shall be deemed to
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (14 of
1947) or in any other law for the time being in force, the transfer of the services
of any officer or other employee of a corporation to a company shall not
entitle such officer or other employee to any compensation under this Act or
under any other law for the time being in force and no such claim shall be
entertained by any court, tribunal or other authority.
The officers and other employees who have retired before the appointed day from
the service of a corporation and are entitled to any benefits, rights or
privileges shall be entitled to receive the same benefits, rights or privilegs
from the company in which the undertaking of that corporation has vested.
The trusts of the Provident Fund or Pilots Group Insurance and Superannuation
Scheme of the corporation and any other bodies created for the welfare of the
officers or employees would continue to discharge their function in the company
as was being done hitherto in the corporation. Tax exemption granted to
Provident Fund or Pilots Group Insurance and Superannuation Scheme would
continue to be applied to the company.
Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or in the companies Act, 1956 (1
of 1956) or in any other law for the time being in force or in the regulations
of a corporation. no Director of the Board, Chairman, Managing Director or any
other person entitled to manage the whole or a substantial part of the business
and affairs of that corporation shall be entitled to any compensation against
that corporation or against the company, as the case may be, for the loss of
office or for the premature termination of any contract of management entered
into by him with that corporation.
Watson vs. Winch, (1916) 1 K.B. 688, Lord Reading, C.J., said :
would follow that any by-law made under a repealed statute ceases to have any
validity unless the repealing Act contains some provisions preserving the
validity of the by-law notwithstanding the repeal." Sankey, J.,concurring,
a statute is repealed any by-law made thereunder ceases to be operative unless
there is a saving clause in the new statute preserving the old by-law.
appear to be two reasons for this
Secondly, because the usual practice is to insert in the later statute a
section expressly preserving previously made by-law if it is intended that they
shall remain in force." (Emphasis supplied) Bennion on Statutory
interpretation, 2nd edition, at pages 494 and 495 states that a "saving is
a provision the intention of which is to narrow the effect of the enactment to
which it refers so as to preserve some existing legal rule or right from its
operation". Its adds. "Very often a saving is unnecessary, but is put
in ex abundanti cautela to quieten doubts". The updated text of the
Interpretation Act, 1978, (set out in Bennion's book at page 897) puts into
statutory form in Section 15 what is otherwise recognised in law, namely, that
the repeal of an anactment does not, unless the contrary intention appears,
affects any right or privilege accrued under that enactment.
view, if subordinate Iegislation is to survive the repeal of its parent
statute, the repealing statute must say so in so many words and by mentioning
the title of the subordinate legislation. We do not think that there is room
for implying anything in this behalf.
8 of the 1994 Act does not in express terms save the said Regulations, nor does
it mention them.
8 only protect the remuneration, terms and conditions and rights and privileges
of those who were in Air India's employment when the 1994 Act came into force.
saving is undoubtedly "to quieten doubts" of those Air India
employment who were then in service. What is enacted in Section 8 does not
cover those employees who joined Air India's service after the 1994 Act came
into force. The limited saving enacted in Section 8 does not, in our opinion,
extend to the said Regulations.
as we do that the said Regulations ceased to be effective on 29th January, 1994, the very foundation of Air India's case no longer exists. No
consideration of other arguments is therefore, necessary.
appeal, accordingly, fails and is dismissed with costs.