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  • Devanshi Agarwal

#CaseBrief: Bhikaji Narain Dhakras and Ors v. State of Madhya Pradesh - AIR 1955 SC 781; 1955 SCR (2) 589

Updated: 4 days ago


Relevant Facts:

The case revolves around the constitutional challenge to the C.P. & Berar Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act of 1947, which amended the Motor Vehicles Act of 1939. The petitioners contested the constitutionality of the Amendment Act, asserting that it violated Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution by allowing the Provincial Government to establish a monopoly in the state's motor transportation industry.

 

Issues:

· Whether the C.P. & Berar Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act of 1947 violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution.

· Whether the subsequent amendments, namely the Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951, and Constitution (Fourth Amendment) Act, 1955, rectified the alleged inconsistencies and validated the Amendment Act.

 

Rule of Law:

Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution guarantees the right to practice any profession, and the petitioners argued that the Amendment Act violated this right by enabling the Provincial Government to establish a monopoly in the motor transportation industry.

 

Contentions:


Petitioners:

· The Amendment Act is null and void under Article 13(1) of the Indian Constitution.

· The Act violated the fundamental rights guaranteed by the 1950 Indian Constitution.

Respondents:

· The inconsistencies in the Act were addressed by the addition of Article 19(6) and subsequent amendments, making the Act operational.

·The Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951, and Constitution (Fourth Amendment) Act, 1955, rectified any alleged violations.


Dissenting Opinions:

There were no dissenting opinions reported in the available records.

 

Conclusion and Analysis:

The Supreme Court held that the C.P. & Berar Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act of 1947, though initially in violation of the Indian Constitution, became operational again following the addition of Article 19(6) and subsequent constitutional amendments. The Court rejected the petitioners' argument that the Act was null and void under Article 13(1) and emphasized the importance of subsequent amendments in curing constitutional infirmities. This case established the concept of doctrine of  "eclipse," where an inconsistent law becomes operative again after constitutional amendments remove the inconsistencies.

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