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No question of repealing a law struck down by court; rights cannot be built up under it: Supreme Court

Earlier, the Supreme Court had by way of its judgement in Bimolangshu Roy v. State of Assam & Anr., struck down the Assam Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment, Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2004.

Thereafter in 2018, the Manipur Assembly passed the 2018 Repealing Act to repeal the 2012 legislation of the State since it was similar to the 2004 Assam Act.

The 2018 legislation had enabled the State government to attach MLAs who could not be accommodated in the cabinet as parliamentary secretaries with ministerial perks.

However, in the 2018 Repealing Act, the State of Manipur had included a saving provision by which all decisions taken under the 2012 Act and any right, privilege or obligation incurred under the 2012 Act were safeguarded.

However, some PILs had already been filed before the High Court in 2017 challenging the 2012 Act. Later in 2018, a petition was also filed challenging the 2018 repealing Act.

The High Court was of the view that the power of a legislative body to repeal a law is co-extensive with the legislative body’s competence to enact such a law.

If the State Legislature lacked legislative competence to enact the 2012 Act, the State Legislature did not have the power to repeal the same by way of the Repealing Act.

Thus, the High Court held that the State could not have provided for a saving clause in the Repealing Act to justify acts done and rights, privileges and obligations incurred under the 2012 Act.

It, therefore, struck down both the 2012 and 2018 Acts.

Source: Barandbench

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