Does A High Court’s Order Staying A Central Law Or Rule Apply Throughout The Country?

As it is clear from the heading that what we are going to talk in this Article. Many of you get confused whether a High Court’s order staying a central law or rule will be enforced through out the country or only limited to territorial jurisdiction of that High court.

In this Article, we will try to clear this doubt. General rule is that an order or judgement of High Court will be enforced only in its territorial jurisdiction. But it will be different in the case where High Court’s judgement is against a Central law. The Supreme Court in the case of Kusum Ingots and Alloys ltd. v. Union of India, it was held that an order passed on a writ petition questioning the Constitutionality of a parliament act will affect the territory of India subject to the applicability of the Act. A Division Bench of Chief Justice S.B. Sinha and Justice S.H. Kapadia held :

“An order passed on writ petition questioning the constitutionality of a Parliamentary Act whether interim or final, keeping in view the provisions contained in Clause (2) of Article 226 of the Constitution of India, will have effect throughout the territory of India subject of course to the applicability of the Act”.

According to Article 226A inserted by 42nd amendment provides that a High Court cannot consider the constitutionality validity of a central legislature but soon in 43rd amendment article 226A was repealed. That the High Court can challenge the constitutionality of any central legislation.

In the case Textile Technical Tradesman Association v. Union of India, the madras High court held that in a judgement by Arunachal Pradesh High Court declaring section 17-A of Industrial Disputed Act as unconstitutional will have effect throughout the country.

Similarly in Shiv Kumar v. Union of India (2014), Karnataka High Court held that a judgement of the Kerela High Court which read down section 10A(1) of Indian Divorce Act will apply throughout the country. In one case Kerela High Court held that the Gujarat High Court decision on struck down of Part IXB of constitution will be applied throughout the country.

From the above case laws it is clear that the High Court’s order staying a central law or rule will be enforced throughout the country, irrespective of the territorial jurisdiction of that High Court. Clause (2) of Article 226 of Indian Constitution empowers the High Court to order against any central law that will be enforced through out the territory of India. 

By Hanuwant Singh Rathore

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