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Natesa Reddiar and anr. Vs. Saradhambal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily;Property
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1979)2MLJ33
AppellantNatesa Reddiar and anr.
RespondentSaradhambal and ors.
Cases ReferredKrishna Chandra v. Union of India
Excerpt:
- ramanujam, j.1. this second appeal has been posted before the full bench as the constitutional validity of the tamil nadu hindu women's rights to property (extension to agricultural lords) act (xxvi of 1947) has been challenged by the appellants herein,2. the first respondent herein filed the suit o.s. no. 169 of 1971 on the file of the district munsif, kancheepuram seeking partition, and separate possession of her allaged l/4th share in the suit properties which consisted of two houses and certain agricultural lands. her case was that her deceased husband elumalai reddiar, defendants 3 and 4, one kannappa reddiar, the husband of the second defendant and father of the first defendant and one devendran were members of a hindu joint family, that the plaintiff's husband died in the year.....
Judgment:

Ramanujam, J.

1. This second appeal has been posted before the Full Bench as the constitutional validity of the Tamil Nadu Hindu Women's Rights to Property (Extension to Agricultural Lords) Act (XXVI of 1947) has been challenged by the appellants herein,

2. The first respondent herein filed the suit O.S. No. 169 of 1971 on the file of the District Munsif, Kancheepuram seeking partition, and separate possession of her allaged l/4th share in the suit properties which consisted of two houses and certain agricultural lands. Her case was that her deceased husband Elumalai Reddiar, defendants 3 and 4, one Kannappa Reddiar, the husband of the second defendant and father of the first defendant and one Devendran were members of a Hindu joint family, that the plaintiff's husband died in the year 1947, that Devendran died in the year 1948 but that the family continues to be joint and therefore she is entitled to claim l/4th share as the widow of the deceased coparcener, Elumalai Reddiar.

3. The suit was resisted only by defendants 2 and 3. Their case was that after the death. of the two co-parceners, Elumalai Reddiar and Devendran, there was a partition of the joint family properties in the year 1948, that in that partition defendants 1 and 2, defendant 3 and defendant 4 were given a l/3rd share each in the joint family properties and the plaintiff was given the income from survey No. 449/1 comprising of 90 cents towards her maintenance and that the plaintiff was a willing party to the said partition arrangement. They also contended that in any event the plaintiff cannot claim a share in the agricultural properties on the basis of the provisions of Tamil Nadu Act XXVI of 1947 as the same is constitutionally invalid.

4. Both the Courts below, held, on a due consideration of the evidence adduced in the case, that the alleged partition in the year 1948 set up by the contesting defendants had not been proved and, therefore, the plaintiff being the widow of a co-parcener, is entitled to seek partition and separate possession of her husband's share in the joint family house and properties by virtue of the Hindu Women's Rights to Property Act, XVIII of 1937 and in the joint family agricultural land under the Hindu Women's Rights to Property (Extension to Agricultural Lands) Act XXVI of 1947).

5. In this second appeal the learned Counsel seeks to challenge the concurrent findings of fact arrived at by the Courts below on the question as to whether there was an earlier partition as alleged by the contesting defendants in which the plaintiff is said to have agreed to receive maintenance from one parcel of land. However We do not see how those findings could be challenged. We are satisfied that on the materials no other conclusion is possible. Therefore we have to proceed on the basis that the partition alleged by the defendants in the year 1948 has not been established and the joint family continued to be undivided on the date of the suit. That on this basis the plaintiff is entitled to claim a l/4th share in the non-agricultural properties by virtue of Section 3 of the Hindu Women's Rights to Property Act, 1937, hereinafter referred to as the Central Act, has not been disputed by the appellants. But the appellants dispute only the plaintiff's right to claim a l/4th share in the agricultural lands under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Act XXVI of 1947, hereinafter referred to as the Tamil Nadu Act on the ground that the said Act is constitutionally invalid and? therefore, the plaintiff cannot claim any rights thereunder. Therefore the only question to be considered now is whether the Tamil Nadu Act XXVI of 1947 is constitutionally invalid.

6. The appellants question the constitutional validity of the Tamil Nadu Act on three grounds:

(1) That the Provincial Legislature in enacting Tamil Nadu Act XXVI of 1947 had virtually abdicated its legislative power in favour of the Central legislature by merely amending the definition of the word 'property' occurring in Central Act XVIII of 1937 without making a separate legislation of its own on devaluation of agricultural property; (2) That Central Act XVIII of 1937 having been invalidated with reference to agricultural lands by the Federal Court in In re The Hindu Women's Rights to Property Act (1941) F.C.R. 25 and Umayal Achi's case Tamil Nadu Act XXVI of 1947 is enacted to validate the Central Act with reference to its application to agricultural lands which the Provincial legislature had no competence to do (3) That in any event the Provincial Legislature cannot directly amend the Central Act though it had the competence to legislate separately on devolution of agricultural lands.

7. Elaborating the first ground Mr. Parasaran learned Counsel for the appellants submits as under:

Though the Provincial Legislature had the competence to legislate on devolution of agricultural lands under Entry 21, List II of 7th Schedule to the Government of India Act, 1935, it had not chosen to legislate on the topic but was satisfied merely by extending the definition of property occurring in Central Act XVIII of 1937 to agricultural land as well, and by so doing, the Provincial Legislature has adbicated its legislative functions and conferred its legislative power to the Federal Legislature, in that it has not only failed to consider the necessity for any legislation on the topic but it has merely put its seal on a legislation made by the Federal Legislature. The effect of the amendment of the term 'property' occurring in the Central Act by the Tamil Nadu Act is that the Central Act with all its future amendments will have operation in the State of Tamil Nadu with reference to agricultural lands. Such acceptance by one legislative body of a legislation made by another legislative body with all its future amendments, without knowing the scope and ambit of such future amendments, really amounts to an abdication of one's legislative power.

8. In support of the said Sub-section , the learned Counsel places reliance on a decision of the Supreme Court in Shama Rao v. Union Territory of Pondicherry : [1967]2SCR650 . However, we do not see how that decision will be of any assistance to the appellants. In that case the legislative Assembly of the Union Territory of Pondicherry passed the Pondicherry General Sales Tax Act, 1965 and it received the assent of the President on 25th May, 1965. Section 1(2) of that Act provided that it would come into force on such dates the Government may by notification appoint. Section 2(1) provided that the Madras General Sales Tax Act, 1959 as in force in the State of Madras immediately before the commencement of the Act shall extend to and come into force in the Union Territory of Pondicherry subject to certain modifications and adoptions specified in that section. Section 2(2) provided that the Madras General Sales Tax Rules, 1959, and any other rules made or issued under the Madras Act were to apply to Pondicherry. The Pondicherry Government issued notification dated 1st March, 1966 bringing into force the Madras General Sales Tax Act, 1959 as extended by the Pondicherry Act to Pondicherry from 1st April, 1966. In the meantime the Madras Legislature had amended the Madras Act and consequently it was the Madras Act as amended upto 1st April, 1966 Which was brought into force under that notification. It was contended before the Supreme Court that the Pondicherry General Sales Tax Act, 1965 which merely adopted the Madras General Sales Tax Act, 1959 as was in force as on 1st April, 1966 was void and as the Pondicherry Legislature had abdicated its legislative function in favour of the Madras State Legislature by a wholesale adoption of the Madras Act as in force in the State of Madras immediately before the commencement of its Act, and that Section 2(1) read with Section 1(2) of the Pondicherry Act meant that the Pondicherry Legislature adopted the Madras Act not only as it was on 25th May, 1965 when it adopted it but also with such amendment or amendments In that Act which might be passed by the Madras Legislature from 25th May, 1965, the date of its adoption, till 1st April, 1966, the date of commencements of the Act. The Supreme Court took the view that the Pondicherry Legislature not only adopted the Madras Act as it stood on the date of the passing of the Pondicherry General Sales Tax Act, 1965 but also adopted all the amendments which the Madras Legislature may make to the Madras Act from the date of the Pondicherry General Sales Tax Act was passed till the Pondicherry Government may issue a notification of commencement, without knowing the nature and scope of such amendments, and that such adoption of future amendments to the Madras Act by the Pondicherry Legislature without knowing the nature of the amendments amounts to a total surrender in the matter of Sales Tax legislation by the Pondicherry Legislature in favour of the Madras Legislature and therefore the Act was void. We do not see how the principle laid down in that decision will apply here. While passing the Tamil Nadu Act XXVI of 1947, the Provincial Legislature did not adopt either expressly or by necessary implication the future amendments to be made' to the Central Act by the Central Legislature.

9. The learned Counsel then submits that even if the Provincial Legislature did not expressly adopt the future amendments to the Central Act, the result of expanding the definition of 'property' in the Central Act Will virtually result in the application of the Central Act with all its future amendments to agricultural lands in the Province of Madras. We cannot accept the said submission of the learned Counsel as correct. Firstly Central Act XVIII of 1937 Was in fact not amended after 1947 till date. Therefore there is no question of the future amendments to the Central Act being applied to agricultural lands in the State of Tamil Nadu. Secondly it is not possible to assume from the mere adoption of the provisions of the Central Act by the Provincial Legislature that it will automatically result in the application of the Central Act as amended from time to time, to agricultural lands in Tamil Nadu. As has been held in Krishna Chandra v. Union of India : AIR1975SC1389 , there is no general principle which precludes either Parliament or a State Legislature from adopting an Act With its future amendments passed earlier by a State Legislature or Parliament, and incorporating them as its legislation and the Indian Legislatures have never accepted any inhibition against or limitation upon enactment by incorporation as such, In State of Madhya Pradesh v. M V. Narasimhan : 1975CriLJ1639 the Supreme Court has clearly laid down that where a subsequent Act incorporates provisions of an earlier Act, then the borrowed provisions become an integral part of the subsequent Act, and are totally unaffected by any repeal or amendment of the earlier Act, but that such a principle may not apply in exceptional cases such as (i) the Subsequent Act and the previous Act are supplemental to each other; (ii) the two Acts are in pan mnterio; (iii) where the amendment in the earlier Act if not imported into the subsequent Act also, it Would render the subsequent Act wholly unworkable and in effective; and (iv) where the amendment of the earlier Act, either expressly or by necessary intendment applies to the provisions of the subsequent Act. It is, therefore, clear from the above decisions that mere adoption of the Central Act by extending the definition of property in that Act to cover agricultural lands in Tamil Nadu Act XXVI of 1947 will not automatically mean that the Provincial Legislature has chosen to adopt all the future amendments to the Central Act as well. Apart from the fact that there was in fact no future amendments, there does not appear to be any legislative intendment apparent from the provisions of Tamil Nadu Act XXVI of 1947 to extend the provisions of the Central Act to agricultural lands in the State with all its future amendments. It is well established that in the absence of any intention on the part of the Legislature to adopt a law of another Legislature with all its future amendments, the usual and normal rule of construction will have to apply. Where a statute is incorporated by reference into a second statute, any repeal or amendment of the first statute by a third does not affect the record, as the incorporated provisions have become part of the second statute. As pointed out by the Supreme Court in Ram Sarup v. Munshi : [1961]42ITR224(SC) where the provisions of an Act are incorporated by reference in a later Act the repeal of the earlier Act has, in general, no effect upon the construction or effect of the Act in which its provisions have been incorporated. It is only in exceptional instances pointed out by the Supreme Court in State of Madhya Pradesh v. M.V. Narasimhan : 1975CriLJ1639 the repeal or amendment of the provisions of the Act which has been incorporated in the later Act will amount to repeal or amendment of the later Act, but not in all cases. We cannot, therefore, agree with the contention of the learned Counsel for the appellants that the amendment of the definition of 'property' in the Central Act by Tamil Nadu Act will automatically result in the application of the Central Act to agricultural properties with all its future amendments and, there is no question of abdication or surrender of legislative functions in favour of the Central Legislature by the' Provincial Legislature in enacting Tamil Nadu Act XXVI of 1947.

10. The learned Counsel further submits that the Provincial Legislature should have passed an independent legislation on devolution of agricultural lands, that it is not open to it to merely expand the definition of 'property' occurring in the Central Act, and that such an expression of the definition cannot be construed as an incorporation of the Central Act by the Provincial Legislature as part of its Legislation. It is true, the Provincial Legislature in enacting Act XXVI of 1947 has not expressly said that it is adopting or incorporating the Central Act as part of its Act. But the intention is obvious. The title to the Act clearly indicates that the Legislature has intended to extend Hindu Women's Right to Property Act (XVIII of 1937) to agricultural lands. The preamble also indicates that the object of the Act was to extend the operation of the Hindu Women's Rights to Property Act XVIII of 1937 to agricultural lands in the Province of Madras. Having regard to the, object of the Act which is to extend the Hindu Women's Rights to Property Act to agricultural lands, it could be taken that the Legislature intended to adopt the Central Act as part of its legislation, by amending the definition of 'property' occurring in the Central Act so as to include agricultural lands as well. We are not inclined to agree With the learned Counsel for the appellants that the Provincial Legislature had to pass an independent law without reference to the Central Act if it wanted to legislate on devolution of agricultural lands. The Provincial Legislature can, in its discretion either made an independent law or adopt an existing Act passed by another Legislature if it considers that legislation suitable for its purposes. It is a well established legislative practice to adopt or incorporate in an Act the provisions of another act for the purpose of convenient reference. In A. T. Corporation v. Assistant Collector, Customs : 1973CriLJ474 , the Supreme Court has observed :

It is well - accepted legislative practice to incorporate by reference, if the Legislature so chooses, the provisions of some other Act in so far as they are relevant for the purpose of and in furtherance of the scheme and objects of that Act....

Referring to Shama Rao's case : [1967]2SCR650 , relied on by the appellants, the Supreme Court in Gwalior Rayon Mills v. Assistant Commissioner, Sales Tax : [1974]94ITR204(SC) , observed :

We think that the principle of the ruling in Shama Rao's case' (viz. Shama Rao) must be confined to the facts of the case. It is doubtful whether there is any general principle which precludes either Parliament or a State Legislature from adopting a law and the future amendments to the law passed respectively by a State Legislature or Parliament, and incorporating them in its legislation. At any rate, there can be no such prohibition when the adoption is not of the entire corpus of law on a subject but only of a provision and its future amendments and that for a special reason of purpose.

11. That the Legislature can, if it so chooses, adopt the provisions of an existing Act and incorporate the same as part of its Act for purpose of convenience can no longer be in dispute. In Krishna Chandra v. Union of India : AIR1975SC1389 , it was pointed out :

It is a far constitutional cry from this position to the other proposition that where Parliament has power to enact on a topic actually legislates within its competence but, as an abbreviation of drafting, borrows into the statute by reference the words of a State Act not qua State Act but as a convenient short hand, as against a long hand Writing of all the Section s into the Central Act, such legislation stands or falls on Parliament's legislative power, (sic) the subject viz., mines and minerals. The distinction between the two legal lines may sometimes be fine but always is real.

It is therefore clear that once the Provincial Legislature has got the competence to make a law on devolution of agricultural property, the fact that it has, instead of making an independent legislation, adopted a shorthand form of incorporation by reference to a Central Act does not make it unconstitutional. The doctrine of incorporation by reference to an earlier legislation is well-known and it has been very aptly described by Lord Esher, in In re, Wod's Estate Ex parte Her Majesty's Commissioners of Works and Buildings (1886) 39 Ch.D. 607 ,thus:

If a subsequent Act brings into itself by reference some of the Clauses of a former Act the legal effect of that, as has often been held, is to write those Section s into the new Act just as if they had been actually written in it with the pen or printed in it, and, the moment you have those Clauses in the later Act, you nave those Clauses in the later Act, you have no occasion to refer to the former Act at all. For all practical purposes, therefore, those sections of the Act of 1840 are to be dealt with as it they were actually in the Act of 1855.

In view of the above discussion, the first contention of the appellants has to be rejected.

12. As regards the second contention that the Act is intended to validate Central Act XVIII of 1937 which been held to be inapplicable to agricultural lands by the Federal Court, and that the Provincial Legislature has no power to make such a validating law, the submission of the learned Counsel is this: The Act is intended in to get over the decision of the Federal Court and to cure the legislative incompetence of the Federal Legislature. By extending the definition of property in the Central Act which was held not to include agricultural lands on the ground of absence of legislative competence, the Provincial Legislature cannot be said to have legislated on the topic of devolution of agricultural lands. The object of enacting Act XXVI of 1947 was not really for the purpose of making a law on devolution of agricultural lands but its sole purpose is to enable the law made by the Federal Legislature to operate in relation to agricultural lands in the State of Tamil Nadu, thus conferring Legislature competence on Federal Legislature which it did not have.

13. The learned Counsel, in support of that submission refers to certain observations in the decision in Jogar Mills v. State : [1966]1SCR523 which are to the effect that Parliament cannot validate an invalid State Act by conferring legislative competence on the State Legislature Which it did not possess. In that case the facts were entirely different. Under the Madhya Pradesh Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply and Purchase) Act, 1953, a cess was levied on sugarcane. In Diamond Sugar Mills Ltd. v. The State of Uttar Pradesh : [1961]3SCR242 , the Supreme Court held that such a levy was not valid as the State Legislature had no legislative competence to impose the levy. Similar Acts enacted by several other States also suffered from the same infirmity. To meet the situation, the Parliament passed the Sugarcane Cess (Validation) Act, (XXXVIII VIII of 1961). By Section 3 of that Act all the assessments and collections made before its commencement under the various State Acts had been validated and all the provisions of the State Acts as well as the relevant notifications, rules etc, made under the State Acts were treated as part of Section 3 from the relevant dates when the State Acts were passed. The validity of the said validation Act was questioned before the Supreme Court inter alia on the ground that the Validation Act is only to cure the incompetence of the State Legislature and not to levy a cess by the Parliament itself and, therefore, it was a colourable piece of legislation. The Supreme Court held that so long as the Parliament had the legislative competence to deal with the subject-matter under Section 3 of the Sugarcane (Validation) Act, 1961, it cannot be challenged on the ground that the benefit under the Act goes to the States and not to the Centre, that the said Section 3 cannot be taken to validate the invalid State statutes but has to be taken to be a law concerning the cess covered by the State statutes and that the Parliament instead of making elaborate and long provisions in respect of the recovery of cess had decided to make a compendious provision such as is contained in Section 3 for the sake of brevity and convenience. The Supreme Court observed that the plain meaning of Section 3 is that all the material provisions of the State Acts as Well as the notifications orders and rules issued thereunder are included in it and shall be deemed to have been so included at all material times, and therefore the Act cannot be taken to be a colourable piece of legislation and that to hold otherwise Would be to cut down the width and amplitude of the legislative competence conferred on Parliament by the relevant entry in List I of the 7th Schedule. The Supreme Court further observed that the validity of an Act must be judged in the light of the legislative competence of the Legislature which passes the Act or with reference to the question as to whether the fundamental rights of the citizens have been improperly contravened or other considerations which may be relevant in that behalf, and that it will be inappropriate and indeed illegitimate to hold an enquiry into the manner, in which the funds raised by an Act Would be dealt with. This decision of the Supreme Court far from supporting the appellant supports the respondent's contention that the validity of Tamil Nadu Act XXVI of 1947 has to be considered only with reference to the legislative competence and not with reference to the form of its legislation has taken.

14. No doubt, the Central Act has been held by the Federal Court to be inapplicable to agricultural lands as the Federal Legislature had no legislative competence to enact a law on devolution of agricultural lands. On taking note of the said decision, the Provincial Legislature having the requisite legislative competence felt that it was not expedient to have two rules of succession, one with regard to agricultural lands and the other with regard to other species of property and, therefore, passed the Madras Act XXVI of 1947 to remedy the decision of the Federal Court and to apply Central Act to agricultural lands in the State. We do not see how the passing of the said Act could be construed as conferment of legislative competence on Federal Legislature by the. Provincial Legislature. There is also no question of validating the Central Act or curing any defect therein by the Provincial Legislature. The Provincial Legislature taking note of the decision of the Federal Court that the power to make a law in relation to devolution of agricultural lands was with the Provincial Legislature, has itself chosen to make a law on devolution of agricultural lands by adopting the Central Act and making suitable amendments thereto. The Provincial Legislature while making the law, however, had decided that rather than making elaborate and long provisions in respect of succession to agricultural lands, it can adopt the Central Act in entirety for purpose of convenience and amend the definition of 'property' in the Central Act so as to include agricultural lands as well. It is always open to any Legislature, if it so chooses, to adopt any existing piece of legislation made by any other legislative body and apply the same with such modifications as considered necessary to suit its object and purpose, and by such incorporation the Act Which has been incorporated becomes an Act passed by it. Therefore the second contention also fails.

15. The third contention put forward by the learned Counsel is based on the following observation of the Supreme Court in Zaverbhai Amaidas v. The State of . Bombay : [1955]1SCR799 :

Discussing the nature of the power of the Dominion Legislature, Canada, in relation to that of the Provincial Legislature, in a situation similar to that under Section 107 (2) of the Government of India Act, it was observed by Lord Watson in Attorney-General for Ontario v. Attorney General for the Dominion (1896) A.C. 348, that though a jaw enacted by the Parliament of Canada and within its competence would override Provincial legislation covering the same field, the Dominion Parliament had no authority conferred upon it under the Constitution to enact a statute repealing directly any Provincial statute. That Would appear to have been the position under Section 107 (2) of the Government of India Act with reference to the subjects mentioned in the Concurrent List.

The above observations have been made while considering the scope of Section 107 (2) of the Government of India Act which corresponds to Article 254 (2) of the Constitution. In this case we are not concerned with a legislative entry in the Concurrent List but are concerned only with the Entries in List II of Schedule 7 which is exclusively the State field. There is also no question of repugnancy arising in this case between the Central Act and the Provincial Act. As a result of the decision of the Federal Court holding the Central Act to be applicable only to non-agricultural properties the Provincial Legislature, in exercise of its legislative power, is empowered to enact, if it so chooses, similar law for devolution of agricultural lands, which subject is Within its exclusive field. There is therefore, no question of the Central as well as the State Act operating in the same field and it is only in such cases either Section 107 (2) of the Government of India Act or Article 254 (2) of the Constitution will come into play. Therefore the above observations of the Supreme Court cannot be taken advantage of by the appellants to question the validity of Tamil Nadu Act XXVI of 1947 on the ground that the Provincial Legislature cannot directly amend the Central Act. Even in the area in which Article 254 (2) operates, the said observations are as such not binding under Article 141, Zoolfikar Ali v. Official Trustees : (1967)69BOMLR326 . In that case a Division Bench has held that the said observations of the Supreme Court in Zaverbhai's case : [1955]1SCR799 cannot be taken to be even obiter dicta. The Supreme Court itself has recently pointed out in Ranchhoddas V. Atmaram v. Union of India : 1961CriLJ31 that an opinion on a question never required to be decided by the Supreme Court cannot be treated as having been decided by it so as to become a binding decision. It is however unnecessary to go into the question as to the binding nature of the said observations made by the Supreme Court in Zaverbhai's case : [1955]1SCR799 as we are of the view that the question whether the State Legislature could adopt and incorporate an Act passed by the Central Legislature by making suitable amendments thereto can be taken to be concluded by the two decisions of the Supreme Court in Japra Sugar Mills v. State : [1966]1SCR523 and Krishna Chandra's case : AIR1975SC1389 . In these cases the Parliament adopted and incorporated the provisions of certain State Acts which had been declared invalid for want of competence while legislating on a subject within its competence and such incorporation was upheld. The first decision has already been referred to in detail. In the second decision Parliament had in exercise of its legislative power enacted the Bihar Land Reforms Laws (Regulating Mines and Minerals) Validation Act, 1969, with a view to validate an invalid law passed by the Bihar Legislature by re-enacting the State Act with retrospective effect in its own right. An attack Was made on the constitutional validity of the said Central Act on the ground that the Parliament cannot validate a law passed by an incompetent State Legislature, that such validation amounts to conferment , of legislative competence by Parliament on the State Legislature which it did not possess under the Constitution, and that validation by a subsequent Act of a competent Legislature can only be by a subsequent law enacting the provisions of the State Act expressly or by incorporation. The Supreme Court while rejecting the said objection pointed out that though the Parliament cannot confer competence on State Legislature which it did not have under the Constitution to make a law in respect of matters falling outside the State List, it has the power to enact a law on a topic within its competence by adopting the provisions of the State Act, not qua State Act but as a convenient short-hand, as against a long-hand writing of all the Sections into the Central Act. In that case Section 2(1) of the Validating Act passed by the Parliament said that the laws specified in the Schedule shall be deemed always to have been as valid as if the provisions contained therein had been enacted by Parliament. This Section was construed by the Supreme Court as a re-enactment by the Parliament of a law on the same topic of Mines and Minerals which was covered by the Bihar Act which had been declared to be invalid by the Supreme Court. The said decistion is also an authority for the proposition that Parliament instead of making afresh or independent legislation on a topic within its competence can adopt and j incorporate even an invalid State law on the same topic if the Parliament so chooses. Here we have a converse case. The Central Act is a piece of legislation by the Federal Legislature in respect of a topic within its competence, that is in respect of succession to non-agricultural properties. The Provincial Legislature while enacting a law on devolution of agricultural lands adopted and incorporated as part of its legislation the Central Act. The decisions of the Supreme Court in Japra Sugar Mills case : [1966]1SCR523 and Krishna Chandra's case : AIR1975SC1389 have gone to the extent of prmitting the Legislature to adopt and incorporate as part of its legislation an invalid piece of legislation passed by the State. But there is an a (sic) case where the Central Act has not been invalidated and, the Provincial Legislature had following a Well-established legislative practice, adopted and incorporated as part of its legislation the provisions of the Central Act.

16. Mr. Parasaran would say that the Tamil' Nadu Act XXVI of 1947 does not in terms incorporate the provisions of Central Act XVIII of 1937 by reference but it merely-amends the definition of 'property' contained in that Act. It is true, the provisions of the Central Act have not been treated as an Act passed by the Provincial Legislature expressly. But such an incorporation has necessarily to be implied having regard to the title and preamble given to the Act which is to extend the provisions of the Central Act to agricultural lands in the State of Tamil Nadu. The adoption or incorporation of the Central Act would have been made by the Provincial Legislature by using more clear and specified language. But so long as the intention to adopt and incorporate the Central Act as part of its legislation is clear! then, the Act cannot be held to be incompetent. How far a careless and imperfect drafting of the Bill will affect the legislation has been referred to by the Supreme Court in the following passage in Krishna Chandra v. Union of India : AIR1975SC1389 .

No doubt, there is some remissness in the drawing up of what professes to be a validating law and the neglected art of drafting bills is in part the reason for subtle length of submissions where better skill could have made the sense of the statute lucent and its validity above-board. Informed by a realistic idea of shortfalls in legislative drafting and of the social perspective of the statute but guided primarily by what the Act has said explicitly or by necessary implication, we will examine the meaning and its impact on counsel's contentions.

As the incorporation of Acts passed by one Legislature by another legislative body is permissible we have no doubt that the Tamil Nadu Act XXVI of 1947 which by necessary implication adopts and incorporates Central Act XVIII of 1937 is quite valid and it does not suffer from legislative incompetence.

17. The result in the second appeal fails and is dismissed. There will, however, be no order as to costs.


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