ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Exception or Rule?

The Ordinance Route

The deadlock in Parliament has resulted in the increasing tendency of the union government to promulgate legislation through ordinances, when Parliament is not in session. While there are no substantive restrictions on the President’s power to promulgate ordinances, given the inherently temporary nature of ordinances, the exercise of this power must be limited keeping in mind the concerns of rule of law.

Following the washout of the second half of the budget session, three ordinances have recently been promulgated by the President. First was the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 which, among other things, amended the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, allowing the imposition of the death penalty on those convicted of sexual assault of a minor girl below the age of 12 years. Alongside, this ordinance also imposed a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in the case of such sexual assault.

This was followed by the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018, which allowed the seizure of assets of those accused of certain economic offences, if they fled the country prior to trial. This ordinance—which was pending as a bill for a while—is meant to dissuade economic offenders from following the path of Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi (among others), of seeking refuge in other countries to avoid facing trial in India.

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Updated On : 19th May, 2018

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