The Revival of Ray XC

Constitution Bench in Sukhdev Singh v. Bhagatram Sardar Singh Raghuvanshi, (1975) 1 SCC 421 held, the words ‘rules’ and ‘regulations’ are used in an Act to limit powers of a statutory authority; any action of such bodies in excess of their power or in violation of restrictions placed is ultra vires; statutory bodies cannot use the power to make ‘rules’ and ‘regulations’ to enlarge the powers beyond the scope intended by Legislature.

It is important to keep in mind, where a ‘rule’ or ‘regulation’ is directly inconsistent with a mandatory provision, task of Court is simple and easy. But where contention is, inconsistency is not with reference to any specific provision, Court should proceed with caution.

Hon’ble Justice J.B. Pardiwala, Kerala State Electricity Board v. Thomas Joseph, [Civil Appeal Nos. 9252-9253 of 2022] decided on 16.12.2022.