Thursday, September 3, 2015

More Confusion on Section 138?

The Government chose not to renew the Land Ordinance after the constitutional limit lapsed. The Constitutional limit spoken about is found in Article 123(2), specifying that an ordinance remains valid only for 6 weeks after the "reassembly" of the legislature. In the case of the Land Ordinance, the ordinance was passed before the Monsoon Session. Parliament "reassembled" on 21.07.2015 for the session, and six weeks lapsed on 31.08.2015. 

What went under the radar was another ordinance having the same time limit - the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 [available here]. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mr. Naidu admitted that both the Land Ordinance and the Negotiable Instruments Ordinance would lapse on 31.08.2015. The Government has not re-promulgated either of the two. Now, the fallout of the failure to re-promulgate the Land Ordinance has been widely reported, but what about the Negotiable Instruments Ordinance? The Ordinance brought a pivotal change in the law on jurisdiction, which had been dramatically altered by the Supreme Court through its decision in Dasrath Rupsingh Rathod. This ever-changing position of law has been the subject of previous posts on this blog, accessible here, and here.

The most recent development on the Negotiable Instruments Jurisdiction Merry-Go-Round [for it is nothing less than a circus] is brilliant. What are its ramifications? Now that the Ordinance lapsed, we don't have the amended section 142 on the statute books. Which means Dasrath and the position of jurisdiction it offered becomes good law again. Which means that, again, there must be a transfer of all those cases that are currently pending before courts and have not yet reached the stage of cross-examination under Section 145(2) on the lines of jurisdiction as laid down by the three judges in Dasrath.

How's that for confusion.


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