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Indian Case Summary

Dr. D.C. Wadhwa & Ors vs State Of Bihar & Ors on 20 December, 1986 – Case Summary

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Dr. D.C. Wadhwa and other petitioners filed a writ petition challenging the power of the Governor of Bihar to re-promulgate ordinances without amendment. The petitioners argued that this practice was unconstitutional as it allowed the Executive to make a law that would expire after six weeks from the date of assembling of the Legislature, which was contrary to democratic norms.

The case questioned whether the Governor could take over the legislative power by re-promulgating the ordinances for an indefinite period of time under Article 213 of the Indian Constitution. The Supreme Court of India ruled that the practice of mechanical re-promulgation was unconstitutional and that re-promulgation should only occur if the legislature cannot take up the issue due to existing legislative business or if an emergent situation arises.

However, exceptions provided in the case led to an increase in the re-promulgation of ordinances and further issues were raised regarding reconciling effects of failed ordinances. The case was subsequently cited in the case of Krishna Kumar v State of Bihar but with differences in opinions regarding re-promulgation.

The petitioners included an economics professor, a student, a forest producer, and a brick manufacturer, who were affected by different ordinances promulgated by the State of Bihar without converting them into Acts of the Legislature. They challenged the constitutional validity of the ordinances on the grounds of violation of their rights and interests.

The Supreme Court’s judgment in this case had far-reaching implications for the power of Governors to promulgate ordinances without the approval of the Legislature. It limited the power of Governors to re-promulgate ordinances and emphasized the importance of the legislative process in lawmaking.

Overall, the case of Dr. D.C. Wadhwa & Ors vs State Of Bihar & Ors was a significant one in Indian constitutional law as it addressed the balance of power between the Executive and the Legislature in lawmaking and highlighted the importance of democratic norms in the Indian legal system.