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Report No. 60

3.42. Section 3(19)-"enactment" (application to repeal).-

The operation of the definition of "enactment" in relation to the repeal of a law (section 6 of the Act) may be illustrated by analysing certain frequently recurring situations concerning repeal.

(a) A Central Act may, for example, repeal a State Act.1 It may repeal or have the effect of repealing, (because of the generality of the words employed), a law in a Native State which was not described as an "Act". This situation arose, for example, when the Special Marriage Act, 1954, repealed not only the Special Marriage Act, 1872, but also "any law corresponding to the Special Marriage Act, 1872, in force in any Part B State" etc.2

(b) A Central Act may, similarly, have the effect of repealing a Portuguese or French law because of the generality of the words employed.

(c) Again, a Central Act may repeal a British Statute applicable to India. Many of these were repealed in 1960, on the recommendations of the Law Commission.3 A few still survive.

(d) Then, a Central Act may repeal a State Act as in force in a Union Territory by virtue of the notification made by the competent authority under the relevant law.

These cases do not exhaust all the situations. But the point intended to be made is that in most of them, the law repealed is one which does not find specific mention in the definition of "enactment" in the General Clauses Act.

1. For example, see section 25(1), Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.

2. Section 51(1), Special Marriage Act, 1954.

3. Fifth Report of the Law Commission.

3.43. The approach adopted by the draftsman with reference to repeal (and savings requisite on repeal) can also be usefully illustrated. Sometimes, for example, the draftsman may assume that the repeal section (section 6) applies to the situation :1 Sometimes, the draftsman provides that the provisions of section 6 "shall also apply to the repeal of the corresponding law as if such corresponding law had been an enactment".2 Stornetimes, where section 6 would not definitely apply, because the language used is not "repeal", but the formula used is, "cease to be in force", the draftsman merely introduces a brief saving as respects "anything done or any action taken" under the law which is to cease to have effect.3 Sometimes, the draftsman provides not merely for the application of section 6, but also for the application of the whole General Clauses Act, by providing that "the provisions of the General Clauses Act, 1897, shall apply to the repeal of the said Act as if the said Act were a Central Act."4

Sometimes, the draftsman reproduces almost the entire substance of section 6, General Clauses Act.5

1. For example, section 25(1), Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (37 of 1954).

2. Section 51(3), Special Marriage Act, 1954.

3. Section 26, Comptroller & Auditor General, etc. Act, 1971 (56 of 1971).

4. Section 45(2), Haryana and Punjab Agricultural University Act, 1970 (16 of 1970) [repealing a Punjab Act.]

5. For example, section 87, Andaman arid Nicobar Co-operative Societies Regulation, 1973 (3 of 1973), [repealing the Co-operative Societies Act, 1912 in relation to Andaman and Nicobar].

General Clauses Act, 1897 Back

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