Sunday, September 10, 2023

Supreme Court Rules That 2014 Judgment Striking Down Sec 6A Of DSPE Act Has Retrospective Effect

In a significant development, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Monday declared that its 2014 judgment, which declared Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police  Establishment Act 1946 as unconstitutional, will have retrospective effect. This means that Section 6A is not to be held in force from the date of its insertion.

Section 6A of the DPSE Act prescribed that the Central Bureau of Investigation should obtain prior sanction to investigate corruption cases against an officer of the rank of joint secretary and above. This provision was struck down as unconstitutional in the 2014 judgment in the case Subramanian Swamy v. Union of India.

The issue before the present Constitution Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Justice AS Oka, Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JK Maheshwari was regarding the retrospective effect of the 2014 ruling.

Justice Vikram Nath, who orally pronounced the judgment on behalf of the bench, stated the following conclusions : 

1. Sec 6A is DSPE is part of procedure only and does not constitute any new offence

2. Article  20(1) of the Constitution has no applicability to the validity of Sec 6A

3. The declaration made by the Constitution Bench will have retrospective effect. Sec 6A is not to be held in force from the date of its insertion, i.e 11.09.2003.

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