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The Abolition of Privy Council Jurisdiction Act, 1949
[Constituent Assembly Act 5 of 1949]
[24th September 1949]
An Act to abolish the jurisdiction of His Majesty in Council in respect of Indian appeals and petitions.
WHEREAS it is expedient to abolish the jurisdiction of His Majesty in Council in respect of Indian appeals and petitions, and to confer a corresponding jurisdiction on the Federal Court of India.
It is hereby enacted as follows:
1. Short title and commencement :
(1) This Act may be called The Abolition of Privy Council Jurisdiction Act, 1949.
(2) It shall come into force on the tenth day of October 1949, which day is hereinafter referred to as “the appointed day”.
2. Abolition of Privy Council Jurisdiction :
(1) As from the appointed day, the jurisdiction of His Majesty in Council to entertain, and save as hereinafter provided to dispose of appeals and petitions from, or in respect of, any judgment, decree or order of any court or tribunal (other than the Federal Court) within the territory of India, including appeals and petitions in respect of criminal matters, whether such jurisdiction is exercisable by virtue of His Majesty’s prerogative or otherwise, shall cease.
(2) The appeals and petitions aforesaid are hereinafter referred to as “Indian appeals”
(b) any Indian appeal or petition on which the Judicial Committee has after hearing the parties, reserved judgment or order; or
(c) any Indian appeal which has been entered before the appointed day in the list of business of the Judicial Committee for the Michaelmas sittings of the year 1949 and which after that day is not directed to be removed there from, by or under the authority of the Judicial Committee; or
(d) any Indian petition which has been lodged before the appointed day in the Registry of the Privy Council.
5. Conferment of corresponding jurisdiction of Federal Court :
(1) As from the appointed day, the Federal Court shall, in addition to the jurisdiction conferred on it by the Government of India Act, 1935, and the Federal Court (Enlargement of Jurisdiction) Act, 1947, but subject to the provisions of this section, have the same jurisdiction to entertain and dispose of Indian appeals and petitions as His Majesty in Council has, whether by virtue of His Majesty’s prerogative or otherwise, immediately before the appointed day.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), of this section, the Federal Court shall have no jurisdiction in respect of any such appeal or petition as is referred to in:-
PROVIDED that where, upon any such petition as aforesaid, special leave to appeal to His
Majesty in Council is granted after the appointed day, all further steps to betaken in the appeal shall be taken in, and the appeal shall be disposed of by, the Federal Court as if the special leave to appeal had been granted on a petition made to that court.
(3) If any question arises whether an appeal or petition is an appeal or petition of the nature referred to in clause (a), (b), (c) or (d) of-, a certificate of the Registrar of the Privy Council shall be conclusive evidence on the question.
6. Transfer of pending appeals to the Federal Court :
All proceedings in respect of any Indian appeals pending before His Majesty in Council immediately before the appointed day, except those referred to in, shall by virtue of this Act stand transferred to the Federal Court, and shall be disposed of by it in the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on it by this Act.
7. Continuance of certain proceedings in High Court :
All proceedings and steps taken in, and orders made and certificates granted by, a High Court in connection with an Indian appeal or petition shall, except in the case of any such appeal or petition as is referred to in, be deemed to be in connection with an appeal or petition to the Federal Court from, or in respect of, the same judgment, decree or order under the provisions of this Act, and shall be concluded, or as the case may be, have effect accordingly.
8. Effect of order of His Majesty in Council :
Any order of His Majesty in Council made on an Indian appeal or petition, whether before, on or after the appointed day, shall for all purposes have effect, not only as an order of His Majesty in Council, but also as if it were an order or decree made by the Federal Court in the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred by this Act.
9. Amendments of the Government of India Act, 1935 :
(1) In section 205 of the Government of India Act, 1935, (hereinafter referred to as the said Act), for sub-section (2) the following sub- section shall be substituted, namely: –
“(2) Where such certificate is given, any party in a case may appeal to the Federal Court on the ground that any question as aforesaid has been wrongly decided and with the leave of the Federal Court, on any other ground”.
(2) In section 209of the said Act, for sub-sections (1) and (2) the following sub-section shall be substituted, namely: –
“(1) The Federal Court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, including an order for the payment of costs, and any decree so passed or order so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in the manner provided in that behalf in, or in such other manner as may be prescribed by or under a law of the Dominion Legislature, or subject to the provisions of any such law, in the manner prescribed by rules made byte Federal Court”.
(3) In clause (a) of sub-section (3) of section 210 of the said Act, for the word, brackets and figure “sub-section (2)”, the word, brackets and figure “sub-section (1)”shall be substituted.
(4) In section 214 of the said Act, after sub-section (1) the following sub-section shall be inserted, namely: –
“(IA) Subject to the provisions of, or any law made by the Dominion Legislature, the Federal Court may also from time to time, with the approval of the Governor-General, make rules of court for regulating the manner in which any decree passed or order made by it in exercise of its appellate jurisdiction may be enforced.”
10. Modification of Existing Laws :
The provisions of-, and of any other law in force on the appointed day relating to Indian appeals and petitions shall as from that day have effect, except in relation to the appeals and petitions referred to in, as if in the said provisions, for all references to His Majesty in Council, there had been substituted references to the Federal Court.