Doctrine of Eclipse

At the time the Constitution was created, there were a number of laws in effect, some of which directly conflicted with fundamental rights; therefore, the Supreme Court developed a number of principles/doctrines, one of which was the Doctrine of Eclipse, to assess the constitutionality of these laws. The fundamental rights provision in the Constitution’s Article 13(1) states that “all laws in force in the territory of India immediately before the commencement of this Constitution in so far as they are inconsistent with the provisions of this Part, i.e. Part III, shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be void.” Fundamental rights are envisioned under the eclipse concept as being prospective in nature.

In the case of Keshav Madhav Menon v. State of Bombay, the petitioner was charged with violating the Indian Press (Emergency Powers) Act of 1931 by printing a booklet without authorization. It was unclear whether Article 13(1) of the Constitution applied prospectively or retrospectively because the lawsuit was still ongoing when it took effect. The Court was asked to decide whether the contested Act violated Article 19(1)(a) and, if so, whether it should be nullified. The Court added that the Act is only void to the degree of the breach and that the word “void” used in Article 13 does not suggest that statutes or sections have been repealed in its affirmative response to the first part of the question.

“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *