• Highlighting the difference between substitution and modification, the Madras High Court has ruled that if a government scheme gets substituted by a new scheme, the old scheme cannot resurrect after a court of law strikes down the substitution.
  • On the other hand, a modified scheme will certainly revert to its old position if the modification is struck down.
  • Justices R. Subramanian and K. KumareshBabu agreed with Advocate General R. Shunmugasundaram that if the court was convinced about a government scheme having been actually modified and not substituted, then as a necessary corollary, the original scheme should be considered to have revived after the modification was held to be invalid by the court.
  • Drawing an analogy, the judges referred to Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act of 1956 which was amended to make daughters too as coparceners (a person who has equal share in inheritance).
  • “Assuming that the amendment is challenged and the challenge is upheld, only the amendments that would go out of the statute, the original section would prevail,” they said.
  • Authoring the judgment for the Division Bench, Justice Subramanian went on to write:
  • “If we are to conclude that once the amendments are struck down the original provision will also stand effaced, the same would lead to an anomalous situation and absolute lawlessness.”
  • He likened the amendment to modifications made in government schemes.
  • The verdict was delivered while dismissing a writ appeal preferred by a private bus operator seeking stage carriage licence for operating a bus between Berigai to Anchetti (through Nagalur, Hosur, Kelamangamalam and Denkanikota) in Krishnagiri district which was formed in 2004 by bifurcating Dharmapuri district.
  • The appellant contended that a government scheme formulated under the Motor Vehicles Act for Dharmapuri district in 1999 would not apply to Krishnagiri district and hence, there was no bar for issuing stage carriage licence.


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