The Doctrine of Eclipse is based on the notion that a legislation that violates Fundamental Rights is not null and void from the start, but only becomes unenforceable, or stagnates.
“It is overshadowed by Fundamental Rights and sleeps, but it is not dead.” Such laws aren’t completely eliminated from the legislation.
If a law is declared null and void for infringing a fundamental right, and then that fundamental right is revised so that the law is no longer in conflict with it, the law does not need to be re-enacted, and it can automatically resurrect from the date of the alteration.
In other words, what is the precise nature of the Doctrine’s functioning in light of the general norm is, that a statute is neither declared void for unconstitutionality nor “expressly destroyed” from the Constitution.
Bhikhaji v. State of M.P. was a case in which the plaintiff, Bhikhaji, sued the state of M.P.
The terms of the C.P. and Berar Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 1948, in this case, allowed the State Government to take over the whole motor transport business in the province, to the exclusion of motor transport companies. This provision was legitimate when it was enacted, but it was declared void when the Constitution was adopted in 1950 because it violated Article 19(1) (g) of the Constitution.
The idea of eclipse is thought to apply exclusively to pre-constitutional laws and not to post-constitutional legislation.
The rationale for this is that, while a pre-constitutional legislation was lawful when it was established and so was not void ab initio, its legitimacy was superseded when the constitution was enacted, a post-constitutional law infringing on a basic right is unconstitutional and void from the start. As a result, it cannot be accomplished by amending the constitution to remove the flaw that prevents the bill from being passed.
Since the concepts of article 13(1) and 13(2) are distinct, the Supreme Court has made a distinction between them. Article 13(2), which relates to post-constitutional laws, forbids the enactment of legislation that restricts fundamental rights, whereas article 13(1), which applies to pre-constitutional laws, does not. Even if it becomes inoperative after the constitution’s beginning, the pre-constitution law’s functioning is unaffected until January 26, 1950, according to article 13(1).
The words “the state must not make any law” in article 13(2) suggest that no law can be passed after the constitution takes effect that violates a basic right. Such a law is null and void from the start. As a result, the eclipse concept does not apply to such a law, and it will not be revived even if the relevant basic right is changed later to eliminate the impediment to such a law.
The Doctrine of Eclipse encapsulates a finely defined feature of constitutional theory and the rule of law, as well as the fundamental dichotomy between lawfulness and unlawfulness that it implies. It is only used in extraordinary circumstances to keep unlawful statutes from being completely repealed and simply rendered ineffective for the time being.
A statute that has been declared unconstitutional cannot be revived unless it is re-enacted; but a statute that has been eclipsed can be revived by obliterating the limitations that created the trace of unconstitutionality. It has been used as a device to reconcile pre-Constitutional legal provisions with the major elements of the Constitution, far outside the realm of legislative power sharing between the Centre and the States.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
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