Thursday, 8 November 2018

Whether repeal simplicitor will attract S 6 of general clauses Act?

On the other hand, Mr. Rupesh Kumar, learned counsel
appearing on behalf of the Revenue, has taken us though the
impugned judgment and has argued that once there is a repeal

simpliciter, without any savings clause, the whole object of
such a repeal was so that the general rule under Section 6
would apply, as a result of which the law laid down in State
of Punjab vs. Mohar Singh, [1955] 1 SCR 893, would apply.
6) Having heard learned counsel for both sides, we are of
the view that the statement of objects and reasons makes it
clear that over 22 years, the results achieved under the Act
have not been encouraging and the desired objectives for which
the Act has been introduced have failed. Following the advice
of experts, who have examined issues related to the Act, the
objects and reasons goes on further to state that this Act has
proved to be a regressive measure which has caused
considerable dissatisfaction in the minds of the public and
hardship and harassment to artisans and small self-employed
goldsmiths.
7) This being the case, we are of the opinion that the
repeal simpliciter, in the present case, does not attract the
provisions of Section 6 of the General Clauses Act as a
contrary intention is very clearly expressed in the statement
of objects and reasons to the 1990 repeal Act. In this
behalf, it would be apposite to refer to New India Assurance
Co. Ltd. vs. C. Padma and Another, (2003) 7 SCC 713 (para 10)
8) This Court noticed that, in a parallel instance of
simpliciter repeal, Parliament realized the grave injustice

and injury that had been caused to heirs of LRs of victims of
accidents if their petitions were rejected only on the ground
of limitation. This being the case, this Court found that a
different intention had been expressed and, therefore, Section
6-A of the General Clauses Act would not in that situation
apply.
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10824 OF 2018
(Arising out of SLP (C) No. 26686/2016)

SUSHILA N. RUNGTA  Vs THE TAX RECOVERY OFFICER-
Dated:October 30, 2018.
R.F. Nariman, J.


1) In this appeal, an order dated 03.01.1970 was passed by
the Collector of Central Excise in which, it was ordered as
follows:-
“17. In view of the above-mentioned facts,
the party charged is entitled to the benefit
of the amnesty granted by the Government.
Even though he had initially failed to
declare the gold, time was available to him
up to 31.5.66 to invest the gold into gold
bonds and his intentions would have
materialised but for the fact that seizure of
gold prevented him from tendering the Gold to
the Bank, as it was not in his possession at
that time.
18. While intention to invest the gold in
gold bonds is conceded failure to declare
was, no doubt, there. He was required by law
to declare his gold to the Government. Since
he did not declare this gold, even though he
is given the benefit of the gold bond scheme,
he has rendered himself liable to punishment
for not declaring his gold, at the
appropriate time, as required by law.
19. Considering all the facts and
circumstances of the case and weighing the
merits of the evidence available on record, I
order that the gold shall be released to the
party charged for invest in gold bond in
pursuance of the application tendered by him

to the State Bank of Indore in 1965.
20. I also order that for failure to
declare the gold in his possession, which
involves contravention of gold control rules,
I impose upon him a penalty of Rs.25,000/-
(Rupees twenty-five thousands only) under
Rule 126-I(16) of the Gold Control Rules,
1962 (Corresponding to Section 74 of the
Gold Control Act, 1968)”
2) Against the aforesaid order, an appeal was dismissed on
08.02.1971. Exercising suo motu powers under the Defence of
India Rules, a show cause notice dated 01.06.1971 was issued
in which it was sought to confiscate the items of gold and
enhance penalty that had been imposed. This show cause notice
was challenged by the grand-father of the present petitioner
in a writ petition that was ultimately dismissed by the Delhi
High Court on 29.09.1972. This appeal is an appeal from the
aforesaid judgment. This Court, on 09.08.1973, passed the
following order:
“Upon hearing the counsel for the parties,
while counsel for Respondent No.3 waiving
notice of motion, the Court directed stay of
all further proceedings in pursuance of the
impugned proceedings dated 01.06.1971 pending
final disposal of this appeal. The Court
allowed C.M.Ps. 3056 and 3058 of 1973”
3) While the stay order of this Court continued, the Gold
Control Act itself was repealed.
4
This was effected by two sections, namely,:
1. Short title.- This Act may be called the Gold (Control)
Repeal Act, 1990.
2. Repeal of Act 45 of 1968.- The Gold (Control) Act, 1968 is
hereby repealed.
The statement of objects and reasons for this Act is as
follows:
“Gold control which regulated the domestic
trade and movement of gold within the country
was introduced on 9th January, 1963 as part of
the Defence of India Rules. Later on, the Gold
Control Act, 1968 was enacted with the broad
objectives of controlling the production,
manufacture, supply, distribution, use and
possession of and business in gold, ornaments
and articles of gold. The said enactment was
meant to supplement other preventive measures
to make circulation of smuggled gold difficult
and its detection easier by extending the
control over gold beyond the stage of import.
2. Over the past 22 years, the results
achieved under the Act have not been
encouraging and the desired objectives for
which the Act was introduced have not been
achieved due to various socio-economic and
cultural factors in the vast multitude of the
country’s population and the lack of
administrative machinery. On the other hand,
this regressive and purely regulatory Act has
given rise to considerable dissatisfaction in
the minds of the public as it has caused
hardship and harassment to the artisans and
small self-employed goldsmiths who have not
5
been able to develop their skills and earn
proper living on account of the rigours which
this Act imposed upon them.
3. Taking these factors into consideration and
the advice of experts who have examined issues
related to this Act, it is proposed to repeal
the Gold (Control) Act, 1968.
4. The Bill seeks to achieve the said object.”
4) What has been argued by Mr. R. Venkataramani, learned
senior counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant, is that
considering that the Gold Control Act itself has been repealed
without a saving clause, Section 6 of the General Clauses Act
would not apply for the reason that the objects and reasons
show that the Act was sought to be repealed without any saving
clause. He relied strongly upon the objects and reasons using
the expression “regressive” and the fact that it has given
rise to considerable dissatisfaction in the minds of the
public as it has caused hardship and harassment to artisans
and small self-employed goldsmiths. Therefore, according to
him, the statement of objects and reasons clearly evinces a
contrary intention as a result of which, nothing will survive
the repeal of this Act. This being so, a show cause notice
which has been upheld by the Delhi High Court would not
survive.
5) On the other hand, Mr. Rupesh Kumar, learned counsel
appearing on behalf of the Revenue, has taken us though the
impugned judgment and has argued that once there is a repeal

simpliciter, without any savings clause, the whole object of
such a repeal was so that the general rule under Section 6
would apply, as a result of which the law laid down in State
of Punjab vs. Mohar Singh, [1955] 1 SCR 893, would apply.
6) Having heard learned counsel for both sides, we are of
the view that the statement of objects and reasons makes it
clear that over 22 years, the results achieved under the Act
have not been encouraging and the desired objectives for which
the Act has been introduced have failed. Following the advice
of experts, who have examined issues related to the Act, the
objects and reasons goes on further to state that this Act has
proved to be a regressive measure which has caused
considerable dissatisfaction in the minds of the public and
hardship and harassment to artisans and small self-employed
goldsmiths.
7) This being the case, we are of the opinion that the
repeal simpliciter, in the present case, does not attract the
provisions of Section 6 of the General Clauses Act as a
contrary intention is very clearly expressed in the statement
of objects and reasons to the 1990 repeal Act. In this
behalf, it would be apposite to refer to New India Assurance
Co. Ltd. vs. C. Padma and Another, (2003) 7 SCC 713 (para 10)
8) This Court noticed that, in a parallel instance of
simpliciter repeal, Parliament realized the grave injustice

and injury that had been caused to heirs of LRs of victims of
accidents if their petitions were rejected only on the ground
of limitation. This being the case, this Court found that a
different intention had been expressed and, therefore, Section
6-A of the General Clauses Act would not in that situation
apply.
9) We find a similar situation in the present case. In
point of fact, on going through the impugned judgment, it is
clear that every time an amendment was made to the Defence of
India Rules and/or repeal of the said rules had taken place,
there was always an inbuilt savings clause. In fact, Section
116 of the Gold (Control) Ordinance No.6 of 1968 also made it
clear that it went to the extent, in sub-section 2 thereof, by
saving show cause notices which, ordinarily, are not saved
even if Section 6 were to apply – See M.S. Shivananda vs.
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and Others, [1980]
1 SCR 684 following Director of Public Works & Anr. vs. Ho Po
Sang & Ors., [1961] 2 All. ER 721.
10) This being the case, we are of the view that the show
cause notice dated 01.06.1971, which is the subject matter of
this appeal, no longer survives. In this view of the matter,
the appeal is disposed of.
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10824 OF 2018 (@ SLP (C) No. 26686/2016)
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10830 OF 2018 (@ SLP (C) No. 29640/2016)
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10829 OF 2018 (@ SLP (C) No. 29613/2016)
8
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10831 OF 2018 (@ SLP (C) No. 29641/2016)
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10825 OF 2018 (@ SLP (C) No. 29552/2016)
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10833 OF 2018 (@ SLP (C) No. 29796/2016)
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10832 OF 2018 (@ SLP (C) No. 29740/2016)
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10826 OF 2018 (@ SLP (C) No. 29559/2016)
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10827 OF 2018 (@ SLP (C) No. 29601/2016)
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 10828 OF 2018 (@ SLP (C) No. 29602/2016)
11) Leave granted.
12) The impugned order records that owing to counsel not
turning up in time, the reference of questions made under the
Wealth Tax Act at that point of time would remain unanswered.
Given the fact that the show cause notice and proceedings
thereafter have now disappeared as a result of the repeal of
the Gold Control Act, we give liberty to both parties to add
to or amend or delete the questions in the Wealth Tax
Reference within a period of eight weeks from today. Once
this is done, the writ petitions will taken up and decided on
their merits. Considering these writ petitions are of 2005,
we request the High Court to hear the same expeditiously.
13) We, therefore, allow the appeals and set aside the common
impugned judgment of the High Court.
.......................... J.
(ROHINTON FALI NARIMAN)
.......................... J.
(NAVIN SINHA)
New Delhi;
October 30, 2018.
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