& Ors Vs. State of Rajasthan & Ors  INSC 105 (29 March 1989)
M.N. (J) Venkatachalliah, M.N. (J) Pathak, R.S. (Cj) Venkataramiah, E.S. (J) Misra
Rangnath Kania, M.H.
1989 AIR 1614 1989 SCR (2) 152 1989 SCC (2) 557 JT 1989 (2) 518 1989 SCALE
INFO : R 1990 SC 404 (1)
Tenancy Act, 1955: Chapter III-B and ss. 5(6 A) and 30E--Ceiling area--Determination
of--Effect of repeal of--Proceedings with reference to appointed date under the
Act--Whether can be initiated and continued under the r e- pealed provisions,
even after coming into effect of Raja s- than Imposition of Ceiling on
Agricultural Holdings Ac t, 1973--State's right to excess land and land-owner's
liability to surrender surplus land, on the appointed day--Whether a right
accrued and liability incurred within the meaning of clause (c) and (e) ors. 6
of Rajasthan General Clauses Act--Whether affected by repeal--Sec. 6 of
Rajasthan General Clauses Act--Whether attracted--Whether s. 3 of 1973 Act h as
overriding effect as to exclude operation of the 1955 Act.
Imposition of Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings Act, 1973: Sections 3, 4(1),
15(2) and 40(1)--Ceiling area--Determination of--Repeal of Chapter III-B and s.
5(6 A) of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955--Effect of--Whether cases as on
notified date should be decided under old law--Whether rights accrued and
liabilities incurred under the old l aw affected--Whether new law has
overriding effect over the o ld one.
Clauses Act, 1897/Rajasthan General Clauses Act, 1955: Section
6---Applicability of--In absence of express reference to the section or of
express provisions to similar effect in the repealing Act-Repeal and re-enactment
on the same subject--Rights accrued and liabilities incurred under repealed
Construction: Repeal and Saving--Rights and obligations saved in repealing
statute--Whether exhaustive .
III-B of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955 pr e- scribing a ceiling on holdings
of agricultural lands, and cl.(6A) of s. 5, defining 'ceiling area' were
introduced into the Act by the Rajasthan Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 196 0.
notified date under the 1955 Act was 153 1.4.1966. Sub sequentiy, on 1.1.1973,
by the Rajasthan Imposition of Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings Ordinance, 197
3, these provisions were repealed, except to the extent indicated in the second
proviso to s. 4(1) and s. 15(2) of the Ordinance. Certain transfers made by the
landholders, even during the operation of the-old law, were recognised as valid
transfers for the purpose of computation of ceiling area under the new
dispensation brought about by the Ordinance. The Ordinance was replaced by the
1973 Act with retrospective effect from 1.1.1973. Section 40 of the A ct
repealed both the old law in Chapter III-B of the 1955 A ct and the earlier
the 1973 Act came into force on 1.1.1973 cases f or determination of
'ceiling-areas' under Chapter III-B of the 1955 Act came to be initiated and
were sought to be continued under the repealed Chapter III-B against the
appellants including the appellants in C.A. No. 1003(N) of 1977 w ho claimed to
have entered into possession and cultivation of certain parcels of land,
pursuant to agreements to se ll dated 28.4.1957, said to have been executed, in
their favour by the then land holder. The sale deeds in this case we re passed
on 22.8.1966, after the notified date. Proceedings for the fixation of ceiling
area in the hands of the then land-holder were commenced under the repealed
Chapter II IB of the 1955 Act, and the purchases in question were held to be
hit by s. 3ODD of the repealed Chapter III-B, as appellants did not possess the
residential qualifications, pr e- scribed by the section for the eligibility
for recognition of such transfers.
appellants approached the High Court, contending that after the coming into
force of the 1973 Act which by s. 40, repealed Chapter III-B of the 1955 Act,
recourse could not be had to the repealed law for purposes of commencement,
conduct and conclusion of any proceedings for fixation of ceiling as prescribed
under the old law.
the contention of the appellants, the High Court held that the new Act of 1973
did not have the sweeping effect of destroying all the rights accrued and
liabilities incurred under the old Act.
correctness of the view of the High Court, w as challenged in the appeals
before this Court. Some other wr it petitions were also filed directly in this
the scheme contemplated by the 1973 Act and the different criteria and
standards f or the determination of ceiling area envisaged in it and, in
particular, having regard to the 154 limited scope of the saving-provision of
s. 40 which, quite significantly, omitted to invoke and attract s. 6 of the Rajasthan
General Clauses Act 1955 to .he repeal of s. 5(6 A) and Chapter III-B of the
'1955 Act', must be construed and held to manifest an intention contrary' to
and inconsistent with the keeping alive or saving of the repealed law so as to
be invoked in relation to and applied for the pending cases which had not been
concluded under the old law before the repeal; and
even if s. 6 of the Rajasthan General Clauses Act 1955 was attracted and the old
law was saved f or the purpose, provisions of the old law could not be invoked
as no right had been "accrued" in favour of the State in relation to
the surplus area determinable under the old l aw nor any liability incurred by
the land-holders under the o ld law so as to support the initiation of the
proceedings f or fixation of ceiling-area under the old law after its repeal.
the appeals, Special Leave Petitions and Writ Petitions, this Court,
1.1 When there is a repeal of a statute accompanied by re-enactment of a law on
the same subject, the provisions of the new enactment would have to be looked
in to not for the purpose of ascertaining whether the consequences envisaged by
s. 6 of the General Clauses Act ensued or not but only for the purpose of determining
whether the provisions in the new statute indicate a different intention.
State of Punjab v. Mohan Singh,  1 SCR 873
Mere absence of an express reference to s. 6 of the General Clauses Act is not
conclusive, unless such omission is attended with the circumstance that the
provisions of the new-law evince and make manifest and intention contrary to
what would, otherwise, follow by the operation of the Section, the incidents
and consequences of s. 6 would follow.
B. Bansgopal v. Emperor, AIR 1933 All 669 referred to.
The scheme of the Rajasthan Imposition of Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings Act,
1973 does not manifest an intention contrary to, and inconsistent with, the
saving of the repealed provisions of s. 5(6A) and Chapter III-B of the Rajasthan
Tenancy Act, 1955 so far as pending cases a re concerned, and the rights
accrued and liabilities incurred under the old law are not effaced. The indicia
that the o ld law was not effaced are in s. 15(2) and s. 40(1) read with second
proviso to s. 4(1) of the new Act. [167G; 165E] 155
The High Court was right in holding that the opening words of s. 15(2)
"without prejudice to any other remedy that may be available to it under
the Rajasthan Tenancy Ac t, 1955" clearly showed that the pending cases
had to be governed by the old law, and if transactions past and closed had to
be reopened and decided afresh under the provisions of the repealed law, and
the ceiling area under Chapter I II of the 1955 Act had to be fixed under its
repealed provisions, then it must follow, as a necessary corollary, that the
pending cases must be decided under the old law, and that the expression
"law for the time being in force" d id not take within its sweep a
law "deemed to be in force" an d, therefore, the opening words of s.
3 of 1973 Act would not have an overriding effect so as to exclude the old law.
Rao Shiv Bahadur Singh and Anr. v. The State of Vindh ya Pradesh,  SCR
1188 and Chief Inspector of Mines v. K.C. Thapar, AIR 1961 SC 838 referred to.
saving provision in a repealing statute is not exhaustive of the rights and
obligations so saved or the rights that survive the repeal. [167D-E]
Commissioner U.P. v. Shah Sadiq and Sons, AIR 19 87 SC 1217 @ 1221 referred to.
For purpose of clauses (c) and (e) of the Rajasthan General Clauses Act, 1955,
the "right" must be "accrued" and not merely an inchoate
one. the distinction between what is and what is not a right preserved by s. 6
of the Gener al 'Clauses Act is often one of great fineness. What is unaffected
by the repeal is a right 'acquired' or 'accrue d' under the repealed statute and
not "a mere hope or expectation" of acquiring a right or liberty to
apply for a right. [168E]
The right of the State to the excess land was not merely an inchoate right
under the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955, but a right "accrued" within
the meaning of s. 6(c) of the Rajasthan General Clauses Act, 1955. [172D] The
rights and obligations under s. 30E of the 1955 A ct had had to be determined
with reference to the notified date i.e. 1.4.1966. The right of the State, to
take over excess land, vested in It as on the appointed date, and only the quantification
remained to be worked out. The liability of the land-owner to surrender the
excess land as on 156 1.4.1966 was a liability "incurred" also within
the meaning of the said provision. [170E;171H; 172D] Lalji Raja v. Firm Hansraj,
 3 SCR 815; Raghuna th v. Maharashtra,  1 SCR 48 at 57; Bhikoba Shank ar Dhumal (dead) by LRs &
Ors. v. Mohan Lal Punchand Tathed Ors.,  3 SCR 218 at 228; State of Maharashtra v. Annapurnabai and Ors., 
Supp. SCC 273 at 275; Direct or of Public Works v. Ho Po Sany,  2 All
E.R. 721 and M.S. Shivananda v. K.S.R. Corpn., AIR 1980 SC 77 at 81 r e- ferred
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal Nos. 203 7- 2042 of 1977 etc. etc.
the Judgment and Order dated 21.10.1976 of the Rajasthan High Court in D.B.
Special appeal Nos. 8, 20, 2 2, 26, 27 and 28 of 1976.
V.M. Tarkunde, Shanti Bhushan, Sushil Kum ar Jain, N.D.B. Raju, Ram Kalyan Sharma,Jagdish
Nandware, K. B.
S.K. Dhingra, R.S. Sodhi and Vineet Kumar for the Appellants.
Badri Dass Sharma, S.D. Khanduja and Ind ra Makwana for the Respondents.
Judgment of the Court was delivered by VENKATACHALIAH, J. These appeals, by
Special Leave and Petitions for grant of Special Leave pertaining to agrarian
reform legislation in the State of Rajasthan, arise out of and are directed
against the judgment dated 21st October, 1976, of a full bench of the High
Court of Rajasthan, dismissing a batch of special appeals and affirming the
judgment dated 2.12.1975 of the learned Single Judge of the High Court
rejecting appellants contentions against the legality of certain proceedings
for the fixation of ceiling on agricultural holdings initiated and continued
under the Provisions of Chapter III-B of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 195 5.
Writ-petition filed directly in this Court reliefs similar to those sought
before the High Court are claimed.
principal controversy before High Court in the proceedings, shorn of its
niceties and embellishments, was whether the proceedings for fixation of
ceiling area with reference to the appointed dated i.e. 1.4.1966 under Chapter
III-B of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955, 157 ('1955 Act' for short) could be
initiated and continued after the coming into force of the Rajasthan Imposition
of Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings Act (Act No. 11 of 197 3) ('1973 Act' for
short) which w.e.f. 1.1.1973 repealed Section 5(6A) and Chapter III-B of the
old Act, i.e. ' 19 55 Act'.
Chapter III-B, pertaining to imposition of ceiling on agricultural holdings, in
the State of Rajasthan, was introduced into the '1955 Act'
by the Rajasthan Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1960. As a sequential necessity
Section 5 w as amended by the introduction in it of Clause (6A) which defined
"ceiling-area". The notified-date, as originally fixed, was 1.4.1965;
but owing to the uncertainties impart ed to the implementation of the law by
the challenge made to the provisions of Chapter III-B before the High Court and
the interim-orders of the High Court staying the operation of the law,
Government had had to re-notify 1.4.1966 as the fresh notified-date, after the
challenge to the validity of Chapter III-B had been repelled by the High Court.
time, the '1973 Act' was brought into for ce disputes touching the
determination of the ceiling areas in 33,471 cases had come to be decided in
accordance with the provisions of Chapter III-B of the earlier '1955 Act'. Aft er
the '1973 Act' came into force on 1.1. 1973, some 8,4 94 cases for the
determination of 'ceiling-areas' under III -B of the '1955 Act' came to be
initiated and were sought to be continued under said Chapter III-B of the
repealed '19 55 Act' on the view that the repeal of Chapter III-B of the 1955
Act by the 1973 Act' did not affect the rights accrued and liabilities incurred
under the old law. Appellant s' principal contention is that after the coming
into force of the 1973 Act which, by its 40th Section, repealed Chapter III-B
of the ' 1955 Act', recourse could not be had to the repealed-law for purposes
of commencement, conduct and conclusion of any proceedings for fixation of
ceiling as prescribed under the old law. This contention has be en repelled by
the full bench of the High Court in the judgment under appeal. The correctness
of view of the full bench arises for consideration in these appeals.
factual antecedents in which the controversy arose before the High Court may be
illustrated by the facts of one of the appeals. In CA 1003(N) of 1977, the
appellants' claim to have entered into possession and cultivation of certain
parcels of land pursuant to alleged agreements to sell dated 28.4.1957 said to
have been executed in their favour by the then land-holder, a certain Sri Hari
sale deeds were passed only on 22.8.1966, after the notified-date. Proceed- 158
ings for the fixation of ceiling area in the hands of Sri Hari Singh were
commenced under the Repealed Chapter III -B of the '1955 Act'. Appellants' pruchases
were held to be hit by Section 30 DD of the said Chapter III-B, which prescribed
certain residential qualifications, which appellants did not possess, for the
eligibility for recognition of such transfers. Appellants' contention is that
if the new law had be en applied to the case of the vendor, the transfers in
their favour would have been held valid and that invoking of Chapter III-B of
the repealed law was impermissible. Apart from the facts of individual cases
and their particularities the basic question is one of construction-whether the
provisions of the old law are saved and survive to govern pendi ng cases.
have heard Sri A.K. Sen, Sri Tarkunde and Sri Shanti Bhushan, learned Senior
Advocates for the appellants and Sri Lodha, learned Senior Advocate for the
State of Rajasthan and its authorities. The
appellant's principal contention--which we perceive as one of construction of
statutes--is that the later law made manifest, expressly and by necessary
implication, an intention inconsistent with the continuance of the rights and
obligations under the repeal ed law and that, accordingly, after 1.1.1973, the
date of coming into force of the '1973 Act', no proceedings under the old law
could be initiated or continued.
points that fall for consideration in the se appeals are whether:
the scheme contemplated by and the different criteria and standards for the
determination of "ceiling-area" envisaged in the '1973 Act' and, in
particular, having regard to the limited scope of the saving-provision of
Section 40 thereof which, quite significantly, omits to invoke and attract
Section 6 of the Rajasthan General Clauses Act 19 55 to the Repeal of Section
5(6A) and Chapter III-B of the '1955 Act' must be construed and held to
manifest an intention contrary to and inconsistent with the keeping alive or
saving of the repealed law so as to be invoked in relati on to and applied for
the pending cases which had not be en concluded under the old law before the
repeal; and (b) that, at all events, even if Section 6 of the Rajasthan General
Clauses Act 1955 was attracted and the old law w as saved for the purpose, provisions
of the old-law could not be invoked as no right had been ,"accrued"
in favour of 159 the State in relation to the surplus-area determinable und er
the old law nor any liability "incurred" by the land-holde rs under
the old law so as to support the initiation of the proceedings for fixation of
'Ceiling-area' under the old-l aw after its repeal.
Contentions (a) In order that this contention, which is presented wi th some
perspicuity, is apprehended in its proper prospective a conspectus of the
essential provisions of the earlier l aw and later law pertaining to
prescription of ceiling on agricultural holdings is necessary.
1955, The Rajasthan Tenancy Act 1955 was enacted.
Rajasthan Tenancy (Amendment) Act, for the first time, provisions in Chapter
III-B prescribing a ceiling on holdings of agricultural lands got introduced
into the '19 55 Act'. This amending Act of 1960 received Presidential assent on
12th March 1960. The Chapter III-B was, by an
appropriate notification, brought into force with effect from 15th December, 1963. The notified-date, under the '1955
Act', as stated earlier, was 1.4.1965.
5(6A) of the' 1955 Act' defined 'Ceiling-area'.
"Ceiling area" in relation to land held any where throughout the
State by a person in any capacity whatsoever, shall mean the maximum area of
land that may be fixed as ceiling area under section 30C in relation to such
Section 30B in Chapter III-B provided:
B. Definitions--For the purposes of this Chapter-- (a) "family" shall
mean a family consisting of a husband and wife, their children and
grand-children being dependent on them and the widowed mother of the husband so
dependent, and (b) "person" in the case of an individual, shall
include the family of such individual." Section 30C providing for the
extent of ceiling area said:
"30C. Extent of ceiling area-- The ceiling area for a family consisting of
five or less than five members shall be thirty standard acres of land;
that, where the members of a family exceed five, the ceiling area in relation
thereto shall be i n- creased for each additional member by five standard acre
s, so however that it does not exceed sixty standard acres of land.
'standard acre' shall mean the area of land which, with reference to its
productive capacity, situation, soil classification and other prescribed
particulars, is found in the prescribed manner to be likely to yield ten maunds
of wheat yearly; and in case of land not capable of producing wheat, the other
likely produce there of shall, for the purpose of calculating a standard acre,
be determined according to the prescribed scale so as to be equivalent in terms
of money value to ten maunds of wheat:
that, in determining a ceiling area in terms of standard acres. the money value
of the produce of wellirrigated (chahi) land shall be taken is being equiv a-
lent to the money value of the produce of an equal area of un-irrigated (barani)
land." In exercise of the Rule making powers under the '1955 Act ', the State
Government framed and promulgated The Rajasthan Tenancy (Fixation of Ceiling of
Land) Government Rule s, 1963, which came into force on and with effect from
15.12.1963. Rule 9 required that in order to enable the Sub-Divisional Officer
to determine the ceiling area applicable to every person under Section 30C of
the Act and to enforce the provisions of Section 30E, every land-holder and tenant
in possession of lands, in excess of the ceiling area applicable to him, shall
file a declaration within six- months from the notified-date. The law fixed 30
standard acres as the ceiling area. Thereafter, successive amendmen ts were
made to Chapter III-B of the '1955 Act' which, while maintaining the ceiling at
30 standard acres, howeve r, recognised certain transfers effected after 1958,
which we re not originally so recognised in fixing the ceiling. Aga in (by an
amendment) of the year 1970, Section 30 (1) w as deleted. The 1955 Act itself
came to be included in the IX Schedule to the Constitution by a Parliamentary
law. The challenge to 161 said inclusion was repelled by this Court.
1.1.1973, the Governor of the State of Rajasthan promulgated The Rajasthan Imposition of Ceiling on Agrilcultural
Holdings Ordinance, 1973 under Article 213 of the Constitution of India. The
Ordinance repealed the corresponding provisions relating to ceiling on
agricultural holdings contained in Section 5(6A) and Chapter III-B of the '1955
Act' except to the extent indicated in the Second proviso to Section 4(1) and
Section 15(2) of the said Ordinance. The Ordinance brought into existence a new
concept of and standards for the "ceiling area". Certain transfers ma
de by the land-holders even during the operation of the old l aw were recognised
as valid transfers for purposes of computation of ceiling area under the new
dispensation broug ht about by the Ordinance. This Ordinance was replaced by the
1973 Act which was made operative retrospectively from 1.1.1973 being the date of
promulgation of the Ordinance.
40 of the '1973 Act' repealed, as did the predecessor-Ordinance, both the old
law in Chapter III-B of the '1955 Act' and the earlier Ordinance for which it substitu
3, Section 4(1), Second Proviso and Section 40 of the 1973 Act require
Act to override other laws, contracts, etc.-- The provisions of this Act shall
have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent contained in any other law
for the time being in force, on any custom, usage or contract or decree or
order of a court or other authority." The Second Proviso to the
Explanation appended to Section 4(1) of the Act says:
further that if the ceiling area applicable to any person or family in
accordance with this section exceeds the ceiling area applicable to such person
or family according to the provisions of law repealed by section 40, in that
case the ceiling area applicable to such person or family will be the same as
was under the provisions of the said repealed law." 162 Section 40 provides:
Repeal and savings--(1) Except as provided in second proviso to sub-section (1)
of section 4 and in subsection (2) of Section 15 of this Act, the provisions of
clause (6 A) of section 5 and Chapter III-B of the Rajasthan Tenancy Ac t, 2955
(Rajasthan Act 3 of 2955) are hereby repealed except in the Rajasthan Canal Project
area wherein such provisions shall stand repealed on the date on which this Act
comes into force in that area.
The Rajasthan Imposition of Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings Ordinance, 1973
(Rajasthan Ordinance-I of 1973) is hereby repealed.
Notwithstanding the repeal of the said Ordinance under sub-section (2),
anything done or any action taken or any rules made under the said Ordinance
shall be deemed to have been done, taken or made under this Act and section 27
of the Rajasthan General Clauses Act, 29 55 (Rajasthan Act 8 of 1955) shall
apply to such repeal and re-enactment. " Section 41 contains a statutory
declaration that the 'Act' is for giving effect to the directive principles of
State policy towards securing the principles specified in Article 39(b) and (c)
of the Constitution of India.
Appellants' learned counsel contend that when the re is a repeal of a statute
followed by a re-enactment of a new law on the same subject, with or without
modifications, Section 6 of the General Clauses Act is not attracted and the
question as to the extent to which the repealed law is saved would be dependent
upon the express provisions of the later statute or what must be held to be its
necessary and completing implications. It was urged that where the repeal is
accompanied by a afresh Legislation on the same subject, the new law alone will
determine if, and how far, the o ld law is saved and that in the absence of an
express appeal to Section 6 of the General Clauses Act or of express provisions
to similar effect in the new law itself, the provisions of the old law must be
held to have been effaced except whatever had been done, or having effect as if
argument has the familiar ring of what Sulaiman, C J.
said on the matter in Rashid Ahmad v. Mt. Anis Fatima & Ors., AIR 1933 All.
3. But it 163 must now be taken to be settled that the mere absence of an
express reference to Section 6 of the General Clauses Act is not conclusive,
unless such omission to invoke Section 6 of the General Clauses Act is attended
with the circumstan ce that the provisions of the new-law evince and make manife
st an intention contrary to what would, otherwise, follow by the operation of Section
6 of the General Clauses Act, the incidents and consequences of Section 6 would
Appellants' learned counsel submitted that the legislation in question
pertaining, as it did, to the topic of agrarian reform was attendant with the
difficulties naturally besetting a task so inextricably intermixed with complex
and diverse and, indeed, often conflicting socio-economic interests had had to
go through stages of empirical evolution and that having regard to the
wide-diversity of policy-options manifest between the earlier and the later
legislations, the conclusion becomes inescapable that the later legislation,
made manifest an intention inconsistent with and contrary to the continuance of
the rights and obligations under the repealed law. It was agreed that with the
experience gained in the implementation of the policy of agrarian reforms embodied
in the repealed law, the new policy-considerations--reflected in the new and
basically different thinking on some of the vital components of the new-policy--were
evolved and incorporated in the new law, so much so that the repealed and
repealing laws represented two entirely different systems and approaches to the
policy of agrarian reforms and the two systems, with their mark ed differences
on basic and essential criteria underlying their policies, could not co-exist.
It was urged that the statement of objects and reasons appended to the 1973
Bill recognised that the legislative policy and technique underlying the old
law were ineffective in removing the great disparity that persisted in the
holdings of agricultural lands or in diluting the concentration of agricultural
wealth in the hands of a few and recognised the necessity "to reduce such
disparity and to re-fix the ceiling area on the agricultur al holdings so that
agricultural land may be available f or distribution to land-less persons".
It was pointed out that material criteria relevant to the effectuation of the
new- policy made manifest an intention contrary to the survival of the policy
under the old law. The wide changes in the policy of the later law which
reflected a new and basically different approach to the matter, included
fundament al rethinking on the concept of the "ceilling-area" by
reducing the 30 standard acres prescribed in the old law to 18 standard acres;
re-definition of the very concept of 'family' and 'separate unit';
point of time with reference to which the composition and strength of the family
would require to be ascertained;
re- 164 thinking, and a fresh policy as to the recognition of transfers made by
land-holders including even those transfers made during the period of operation
of the old law;
point of time of the vesting of the surplus land in Government;
re-defining of the principles and priorities guiding the distribution of the
surplus land to landless persons, and
amount to be paid to the land holders for the excess land vesting in the State
under the new law .
submitted that the two laws--the old and the new-envisaged two totally
different sets of values and policies and were so disparate in their context
and effect as to yield the inevitable inference that the policy and scheme of
the later law, by reason alone of the peculiar i- ties and distinction of its
prescriptions, should be held to manifest an intention contrary to the saving
of the old l aw even respective pending cases. The ceiling laws, it w as
submitted, envisage and provide an integrated and inter- connected set of
provisions and the marked distinctions in the vital provisions in the two sets
of laws rendered the continued applicability of the old law to any case, not
already finally concluded there under, as impermissible in law as unreasonable
in its consequences if permitted. It w as urged that Section 3 of the 1973 Act
was a clinching indicator in this behalf when it provided that the provisions
of the later law "shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent
contained in any other law for the time being in force, or any custom, usage,
or contract or decree or order of a Court or other authority" (underlining
supplied) and that the old Act, even if it was, otherwise, held to be in force
in relation to pending cases, was clearly over- borne by Section 3 of the new
there is a repeal of a statute accompanied by r e- enactment of a law on the
same subject, the provisions of the new enactment would have to be looked into
not for the purpose of ascertaining whether the consequences envisaged by Sec.
6 of the General Clauses Act ensued or not--Sec. 6 would indeed be attracted
unless the new legislation man i- fests a contrary intention--but only for the
purpose of determining whether the provisions in the new statute indicate a
different intention. Referring to the way in which such incompatibility with
the preservation of old rights and liabilities is to be ascertained this Court
in State of Punjab v. Mohar Singh,  1 SCR 893 said:
....... Such incompatibility would have to be ascertained from a consideration
of all the relevant prov i- sions of the new Law and the mere absence of a
saving clause is by itself not material. The provision of Sec. 6 of 165 the
General Clauses Act will apply to a case of repeal ev en if there is
simultaneous enactment unless a contrary intention can be gathered from the new
enactment. Of course, the consequences laid down in Section 6 of the Act will
app ly only when a statute or regulation having the force of a statute is
itself to the question whether, having regard to the particular provisions of
the 1973 Act, the inference that the new law manifests such contrary intention
could justifiably be drawn, the High Court observed:
have, therefore, to examine whether the new law expressly or otherwise manifests
an intention to wi pe out or sweep away those rights and liabilities which h ad
accrued and incurred under the old law ...... " "Having carefully
gone through all the authoriti es cited by the parties as referred to above, we
are of opini on that the new Act of 1973 does not have the sweeping effe ct of
destroying all the rights accrued and liabilities incurred under the old law
One of the indicia that the old law was not effaced is in sec. 15(2) of the new
Act. It provides that if the State Government was satisfied that the
'ceiling-area' in relation to a person as fixed under the old-law had be en
determined in contravention of that law, a decided ca se could be re-opened and
inquired into it and the 'ceiling- area' and the 'surplus area' determined
afresh in accordance with the provisions of the old law. Another indicium is in
Sec. 40(1) read with the Second Proviso to Sec. 4(1) o f' 1973 Act' which
provides that if the ceiling area applicable to a person or a family in
accordance with the said Se c.
exceeds the 'ceiling-area' applicable to such persons or family, under the old
law, then, the 'ceiling-are a' applicable to such person or family would be the
same as w as provided under the provisions of the old law.
High Court relied upon and drew sustenance for its conclusion from, what it
called, the internal evidence in the Act which, according to the High Court,
indicated that pending-cases were governed only by the old law. The High Court
referred to sec. 15(2) inserted by Act No. 8 of 19 76 and what, according to
it, necessarily flowed from it in support of its conclusion. Sec. 15(2)
inserted by Act No. 8 of 1976 166 "(2) Without prejudice to any other
remedy that m ay be available to it under the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 19 55
(Rajasthan Act 3 of 1955), if the State Government, aft er calling for the
record or otherwise, is satisfied that any final order passed in any matter
arising under the provisions repealed by Section 40, is in contravention of such
repealed provisions and that such order is prejudicial to the State Government
or that on account of the discovery of new and important matter or evidence
which has since come to its notice, such order is required to be re-opened, it
ma y, at any time within five years of the commencement of this Act, direct any
officer subordinate to it to re-open such decided matter and to decide it
afresh in accordance with such repealed provisions." (Emphasis Supplied)
The High Court referring to the opening words of the above provisions observed:
opening words of the section 'without prejudice to any other remedy that may be
available to it under the Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955 (Act No. 3 of 1955)',
clearly show that the pending cases have to be governed by the old law.
transactions past and closed have to be reopened and decided afresh under the
provisions of the repealed law, and the ceiling area under Chapter III of the
Rajasthan Tenancy Ac t, 1955, has to be fixed under its repealed provisions,
then it must follow as a necessary corollary, that the pending cases must be
decided under the old law."
Sri Lodha, learned counsel for the State of Raja s- than submitted that the
'ceiling-area' had to be fixed wi th reference to the notified date i.e.
1.4.1966 by the statutory standards prescribed under the Chapter III-B of the
'19 55 Act'. The two legislations are complementary to each other and
constitute two tier provisions. So far as the cases that attracted and fell
within Chapter III-B of 1955 Act, as on 1.4.1966, would continue to be governed
by that law as the fights and obligations created by the said Chapter III -B
amounted to create rights and incur liabilities. Shir Lod ha submitted that the
view taken by the High Court was unexce p- tionable.
On a careful consideration of the matter, we are i n- clined to 167 agree with
the view taken by the High Court on the point.
reliance placed by appellants' learned counsel on the provisions of Sec. 3 of
1973 Act as detracting from the tenability of the conclusion reached by the
High Court on the point is, in our opinion, somewhat tenuous. The contention of
the learned counsel is that the expression "notwit h- standing anything
inconsistent contained in any other l aw for the time being in force" in
Section 3 of the 1973 A ct would exclude the operation of Chapter III-B of the
'19 55 Act' which, according to the contention, even if kept alive would yet be
a 'law for the time being in force' and, ther e- fore, be excluded by virtue of
Section 3. This contention has been negatived by the High Court--and in our opini
on rightly--by placing reliance on the pronouncements of th is Court in Rao Shiv
Bahadur Singh and Anr. v. The State of Vindhya Pradesh,  SCR 1188 and' Chief Inspector of Mines v. K.C. Thapar,
AIR 1961 SC 838. The High Court held that the expression "law for the time
being in force" do es not take within its sweep a law 'deemed to be in
force' and that, accordingly, the opening words of Sec. 3 relied up on by the
Appellants' learned counsel will not have an overri d- ing effect so as to
exclude the old law.
saving provision in a repealing statute is not exhaustive of the rights and
obligations so saved or the rights that survive the repeal. It is observed by
this Court in 1.T. Commissioner, U.P. v. Shah Sadiq & Sons, AIR 1987 SC
1217 at 1221:
....... In other words whatever rights a re expressly saved by the 'savings'
provision stand saved. Bu t, that does not mean that rights which are not saved
by the 'savings' provision are extinguished or stand ipso fac to terminated by
the mere fact that a new statute repealing the old statute is enacted. Rights
which have accrued are sav ed unless they are taken away expressly. This is the
principle behind Sec. 6(c), General Clauses Act, 1897 ...... " We agree with
the High Court that the scheme of the 1973 Act does not manifest an intention
contrary to, and inconsistent with, the saving of the repealed provisions of
sec. 5(6 A) and Chapter III-B of '1955 Act' so far as pending cases a re
concerned and that the rights accrued and liabilities incurred under the old
law are not effaced. Appellant's co n- tention (a) is, in our opinion,
takes us to the next question whether in the present cases 168 even if the
provisions of Sec. 6 of the Rajasthan General Clauses Act, 1955, are, attracted,
the present cases did not involve any rights "accrued" or obligations
"incurred" so as to attract the old law to them to support initiation
or continuation of the proceedings against the land-holders after the repeal.
It was contended that even if the provisions of the old Act were held to have
been saved it could not be said that there was any right accrued in favour of
the State or any liability incurred by the land holders in the matter of
determination of the 'ceiling-area' so as to attract to their cases the
provisions of the old law. The point' emphasised by the learned counsel is that
the excess- land would vest in the State only after the completion of the
proceedings and upon the land-holder signifying h is choice as to the identify
of the land to be surrendered.
(c) and (e) of Sec. 6 of the Rajashtan General Clauses Act, 1955, provide,
respectively, that the repeal of an enactment shall not, unless a different
intention a p- pears, "affect any right privilege, obligation, or liability,
acquired, accrued, or incurred under any enactment so repealed" or
"affect any investigation. legal proceeding or remedy in respect of any such
right, privilege, obligation, liability, fine, penalty, forfeiture, or
punishment as aforesaid." For purposes of these clauses the
"right" must be "accrued" and not merely an inchoate one.
The distinction between what is and what is not a right preserved by Secti on 6
of the General Clauses Act, it is said, is often one of great fineness. What is
unaffected by the repeal is a rig ht 'acquired' or 'accrued' under the repealed
statute and n ot "a mere hope or expectation" of acquiring a right or
liber ty to apply for a right.
Raja v. Firm Hansraj,  3 SCR 815 th is Court dealing with the distinction
between the "abstra ct rights" and "specific rights" for
the purpose of the oper a- tion of Sec. 6 of General Clauses Act said:
a provision to preserve the right accru ed under a repealed Act 'was not
intended to preserve the abstract rights conferred by the repealed Act ......
only applied to specific rights given to an individual up on happening of one
or the other of the events specified in statute'--See Lord Atkin's observations
in Hamilton Gell v. White,  2 K.B. 422. The mere right, existed at the date
of repealing statute, to take advantage of provisio ns of the statute repealed
is not a 'right accrued' within the meaning 169 of the usual saving clause--see
Abbot v. Minister for Land s,  A.C. 425 and G. Ogden Industries pry. Ltd.
v. Luca s,  1 All E.R. 121"
ascertain whether these were 'accrued' rights and 'incurred' liabilities a
reference Section 30E of the r e- pealed law is necessary.
30-E of 1955 Act provides:
Maximum land that can be held and restri c- tion on future acquisitions:
Notwithstanding anything contained in this A ct or in any other law for the
time being in force, no pers on shaH, as from a date notified by the State Government
in this behalf:-- (a) Continue to hold or retain in his possession in any
capacity and under any tenure whatsoever land in excess of the ceiling area
applicable to him, or (b) acquire, by purchase, gift, mortgage, assig n- ment,
lease, surrender or otherwise or by devolution or bequest, any land so as to
effect an increase in the extent of his holding over the ceiling area
applicable to him;
that different dated may be so notified for different areas of the State.
Every person, who, on such date, is in possession of land in excess of the
ceiling area applicable to him or who thereafter comes into possession of any
land by acquisition under clause (b) of sub-section (1), shal l, within six
months of such date or within three months of acquisition, as the case may be,
make a report of su ch possession or acquisition to, and shall surrender such
excess land to the State Government and place it at the disposal of the Tehsildar
within the local limits of who se jurisdiction such land is situate.
(Omitted as unnecessary) 170 (3) Any person failing intentionally to make a
report or to surrender land as required by sub-section ( 2) shall, on
conviction, be punishable with a fine which m ay extend to one thousand rupees.
Without prejudice and in addition to such conviction and fine the person
retaining possession of any land in excess of the ceiling area applicable to
him shall be deemed to be a trespasser liable to ejectment from such excess
land and to pay penalty in accordance with clause ( a) of sub-section (i) of
that the lands, from which a person shall be so ejected shaH, as for as may be,
All lands coming to the State Government by surrender under sub-section (2) or
by ejectment under sub- section (4) shall vest in it free from all encumberances.
(Omitted as unnecessary)" The rights. and obligations under this provision
had h ad to be determined with reference to the notified date i. e. 1.4.1966.
Referring to analogous provision of the Maharashtra Agricultural Lands (Ceiling
on Holdings) Act, 1961, this Court in Raghunath v. Maharashtra,  1 SCR 48 at 57 observed:
scheme of the Act seems to be to determine the ceiling area of each person
(including a family) with refe r- ence to the appointed day. The policy of the
Act appears to be that on and after the appointed day no person in the State
should be permitted to hold any land in excess of the ceiling area as
determined under the Act and that ceili ng area would be that which is
determined as on the appoint ed day..." 16. Again in Bhikoba Shankar Dhumal
(dead) by LRs. & Ors. v. Mohan Lal Punchand Tathed & Ors.,  3 SCR
2 18 at 228, it was observed:
close reading of the aforesaid provisions of the Act shows that the determination
of the extent of surplus land of a holder has to be made as on the appoint ed
day. If 171 any person has at any time after the fourth day of August, 1959,
but before the appointed day held any land (including any exempted land) in
excess of the ceiling area, such person should file a return within the
prescribed period from the appointed day furnishing to each of the Collectors
within whose jurisdiction any land in his holding is situa t- ed, in the form
prescribed containing the particulars of a ll land held by him. If any person
acquires, holds or comes into possession of any land including any exempted
land in excess of the ceiling area on or after the appointed day, such person
has to furnish a return as stated above with in the prescribed period from the
date of taking possession of any land in excess of the ceiling area
............ " A contention similar to the one urged for the appellants
here that the title respecting the surplus land would vest in the Government
upon such land being taken possession of by Government after the declaration
regarding the surplus was noticed in that case. But, it was held that the liabil
i- ty to surrender the surplus land would date back to the appointed day. This
...... Any other construction would make the Act unworkable and the
determination of the extent of su r- plus land of a holder ambulatory and indefinite
...... " This was again reiterated in State of Maharashtra v. Ann a- purnabai
and Ors.,  Supp. SCC 273 at 275. This Court said:
.... Section 21 of the Act no doubt states that the title of the holder of the
surplus land would become vest ed in the State Government only on such land
being taken possession of after a declaration regarding the surplus land is published
in Official Gazette. But the liability to surre n- der the surplus land relates
back to the appointed day in case of those who held land in excess of the
ceiling on the appointed day. Therefore, even if the holder dies before
declaration of any part of his land as surplus land, the surplus land is liable
to be determined with reference to his holding on the appointed day .... "
is, therefore, seen that the right of the State to take over excess land vested
in it as on the appoint ed day and only the quantification remained to be
observed by Lord Morris, in 172 Director of Public Works v. Ho Po Sang, 
2 All. E. R. 721.
may be, therefore, that under some repealed enactment, a right has been given,
but that, in respect of it, so me investigation or legal proceeding is
necessary. The right is then unaffected and preserved. It will be preserved
even if a process of quantification is necessary. But there is a manifest
distinction between an investigation in respect of a right and an investigation
which is to decide whether so me right should be or should not be given. On a
repeal the former is preserved by the Interpretation Act. The latter is
not." The above passage was referred to with approval in M. S. Shivananda
v. K.S.R.T. Corpn., AIR 1980 SC 77 at 81.
agree with the High Court that the right of the State to the excess land was
not merely an inchoate rig ht under the Act, but a right "accrued"
within the meaning of sec. 6 (c) of the Rajasthan General Clauses Act, 1955, and
the liability of the land-owner to surrender the excess land as on 1.4.1986 was
a liability "incurred" also within the meaning of the said provision.
There is no substance in contention (b) either.
These Appeals, Special Leave Petitions and the Writ Petition, accordingly, fail
and are dismissed. In the circumstances of the case, there will be no order as
Appeals & Petitions dismissed.