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Report No. 96

1. Abolition of Privy Council Jurisdiction Act, 1949

The Act provides for the abolition of the appellate jurisdiction of the Privy Council and for connected matters. It was passed as Constituent Assembly Act 5 of 1949. Prima facie, it would appear that the Act, having no practical utility now, should be repealed. Article 395 of the Constitution while repealing the Indian Independence Act, 1947 and the Government of India Act, 1947 and the Government of India Act, 1935 as well as enactments supplementing these enactments, expressly excludes from its scope the Abolition of Privy Council Jurisdiction Act, 1949.

Probably, this was done at that time since appeals filed before the Privy Council before the commencement of the Constitution might (which were in some cases allowed to continue in the Privy Council by section 4 of the Act) be pending before the Privy Council, and it was not considered proper to repeal the Act until disposal of the pending appeals. This is not the position now. The Act may be regarded as spent. The subject-matter of the Act falls within the Concurrent List, Entry 11A (Administration of Justice) and the residuary entry.

Reasons for recommending repeal.-As the Act is no longer required, it may be repealed, subject to what is stated in the next two sentences.

Before repealing the Act it should be ensured that its repeal does not revive the jurisdiction conferred on the Privy Council by any Act of the U.K. Parliament which itself might not yet have been formally repealed after independence. In this context, it will be particularly necessary to consider-(a) enactments relating to the judicial Committee, passed by the U.K. Parliament between 1830 and 1850,1 and (b) to consider and examine whether these enactments have not already been repealed by the Central Act of 19602 that was enacted to repeal certain U.K. Acts.3

1. See the Law Commission of India, 5th Report (British Statutes Applicable to India).

2. The British Statutes (Application to India) Act, 1960 (58 of 1960).

3. Repeal to be considered subject to verification of the aspects mentioned in the paragraph in the text.

Repeal of Certain Obsolete Central Acts Back

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