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Report No. 60

7.4A. Advice of Lord Thring.-

It may, in this connection, be stated that Lord Thring1 called attention to the advisability of including, in any temporary Act which imposes penalties, a provision that offences and obligations incurred before the expiration of the Act might be punished or enforced afterwords. Perhaps, in pursuance of this advice, British and Indian statutes have used, in relation to the expiration of a temporary Act, the expression 'except as respects things done or omitted to be done', so that offences and obligations incurred under a temporary Act might be punished or enforced even after its expiry.

Even the Constitution of India, in Articles 249(3), 250(2), 357(2) and 358, has used this expression. The Government of India Act, 1935, used this expression in section 102(4). It is on the basis of this expression that the House of Lords held in Wicks v. Director of Public Prosecutions, 1947 AC 362 (HL). that the expiration of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939 did not affect the liability to punishment under the statute or the prosecution of legal proceedings for the purpose of inflicting that punishment. There are two Supreme Court cases explaining the meaning of the expression 'thing done'.2-3

The above discussion is intended to show the need for a savings provision as to the effect of expiry of a temporary Act.

1. Thring Practical Legislation, p. 100.

2. Universal Imports Agency v. Chief Controller, AIR 1961 SC 41.

3. French India Importing Corporation v. Chief Controller, AIR 1961 SC 1752.

General Clauses Act, 1897 Back

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