SC widens boundaries of judicial review of ordinance
- In a blow to Ordinance Raj, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court widened the boundaries of judicial review to the extent that it can now examine whether the President or the Governor was spurred by an “oblique motive” to bypass the Legislature and promulgate an ordinance.
- In case apex court concludes that the President or the Governor was influenced by ulterior motives to promulgate the ordinance, such an act by the two constitutional authorities would amount to a fraud on their powers, the apex court held.
- The satisfaction of the President under Article 123 and of the Governor under Article 213 is not immune from judicial review.
- The seminal question that came up in reference before the seven-judge Constitution Bench dealt with the constitutionality of seven successive re-promulgations of The Bihar Non-Government Sanskrit Schools (Taking Over of Management and Control) Ordinance of 1989.
- The State government had approached the Supreme Court after the High Court of Patna declared that repeated re-promulgation of the ordinances was unconstitutional after relying on the D.C. Wadhwa judgment on the dos and don’ts of promulgation of ordinances by another Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in 1986.
- The requirement of laying an ordinance before Parliament or the State Legislature is a mandatory constitutional obligation cast upon government.