In the realm of law, the principle of natural justice demands that for a law to take effect, it must be promulgated or published. Such publication ensures that individuals are aware of its existence, creating a fair and transparent legal system. However, the publication process itself raises questions regarding the enforceability of circulars and notifications, particularly when it comes to their publication in the official gazette. This article delves into the significance of publication and examines two pivotal court cases that shed light on this matter.
Harla v/s The state of Rajasthan; AIR 1951 SC 467: The case of Harla v/s The state of Rajasthan is a landmark judgment that addresses the requirement of publication for a law to come into force. The Supreme Court emphasized that before a law can be enforced, it must be promulgated in a recognizable manner. The absence of a law, rule, regulation, or custom renders its enforcement invalid unless it has been properly published. This ruling underscores the importance of proper publication as a prerequisite for the effectiveness of any law.
Gulf Goans Hotels Company Limited v/s Union of India and Others; (2014) 10 SCC 673: In the case of Gulf Goans Hotels Company Limited v/s Union of India, the Supreme Court delved into the issue of publication specifically in relation to circulars and notifications. The court clarified that circulars, orders, or notifications issued by administrative bodies or institutions other than the central or state government are not mandated to be published in the official gazette. While circulars or notifications issued by the central or state government hold the force of law when published in the official gazette, the same requirement does not apply to those issued by other bodies. This judgment provides clarity on the publication requirement for different types of circulars and notifications.
Conclusion: The enforceability of circulars and notifications is closely tied to their publication in the official gazette. While laws, rules, and regulations must be properly promulgated to be valid, the same standards may not apply to circulars and notifications issued by administrative bodies or institutions other than the central or state government. The landmark cases of Harla v/s The state of Rajasthan and Gulf Goans Hotels Company Limited v/s Union of India provide valuable insights into the significance of publication and its relation to the enforceability of circulars and notifications. Understanding these legal principles is essential for maintaining transparency and fairness in the legal system.