Re-promulgation of an ordinance a fraud on the constitution: SC
New Delhi, Jan 2 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday said that re-promulgation of an ordinance was a fraud on the Constitution and the satisfaction of the President or the Governor to promulgate an ordinance was not immune from judicial review.
Noting that ordinance has the same force as law passed by the legislature, a seven judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice T.S.Thakur, by a majority of 6-1 said that laying of an ordinance before the parliament or state legislature, as the case may be, is mandatory.
The majority judgment, delivered by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, said that failure to place the ordinance before parliament or State legislature is a serious constitutional fraction.
Justice S.A. Bobde, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, and Justice L. Nageswara Rao supported this view, while Chief Justice Thakur gave a concurring judgment with separate reasoning.
Holding that re-promulgation of an ordinance is a fraud on the constitution, the majority judgment said that the satisfaction of the President or that of the Governor was not immune from judicial review, if the satisfaction had an oblique motive.
The court also made it clear that no legal rights would get conferred on the beneficiaries of the ordinance after its expiry or its re-promulgation.
However, Justice Madan B. Lokur, in his dissenting judgment, said that there may be several exigencies for not placing the ordinance before the parliament or the state legislature and the same per se can’t be said to be illegal.
Chief Justice Thakur said that the question on the tabling of the ordinance before the parliament or state legislatures was not before the court for adjudication and the left the same open for future adjudication.
The entire case is rooted in the appointment of teachers by the Bihar government by taking ordinance route. The said ordinance was re-promulgated about four times.
However, the successor government refused to re-promulgate the ordinance and thus the appointment of teachers made by way of an ordinance got ejected.
The questions examined by the top court constitution bench was on the ordinance making power of the government and was it mandatory to place the ordinance before the legislature within six weeks of its very next session.
Another question for adjudication was if any right was conferred on the people who were the beneficiaries of the ordinance.