Short Speech on the Doctrine of Eclipe

“It is overshadowed by the fundamental rights and remains dormant, but it is not dead.”

Such laws are not wiped out entirely from the statute book.

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They exist for all post transactions and for the enforcement of the rights acquired and liabilities incurred before the commencement of the Constitution. It is only against the citizens that they remain in a dormant or moribund condition but they remain in operation as against non-citizens who are not entitled to fundamental rights.

For solving such a problem. Supreme Court formulated the doctrine of eclipse in Bhikhaji v. State of M.P., AIR 1955

S.C. 781. In this case the provisions of C.P. & Berar Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 1948, authorised the State Government to take up the entire motor transport business in the Province to the exclusion of motor transport operators.

This provision though valid when enacted, but became void on the commencement of the Constitution in 1950 as they violated Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution, However, in 1951, Clause (6) of Article 19 was amended by the Constitution (1st Amendment Act) so as to authorise the Government to monopolies any business.

The Supreme Court held that the effect of the amendment was to remove the shadow and to make the impugned Act free from blemish or infirmity. It became enforceable against citizens as well as non-citizens after the constitutional impediment was removed. This law was eclipsed for the time being by the fundamental rights. As soon as the eclipse is removed, the law begins to operate from the date of such removal.

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