Trace Your Case


Krishna Kumar Singh v. State of Bihar (2017) 3 SCC 1


  • Whether Article 213 of the Constitution of India confers a mandatory obligation upon the Executive to table an Ordinance before the Legislature?
  • Whether a re-promulgation of the Ordinance is permissible under the Constitution of India?
  • Whether an act through an Ordinance remains valid even after the Ordinance ceases to operate?


  • Article 213 of the Constitution of India states that “In the event of a lapse in legislative action, the governor retains the authority to issue executive orders.”
  • The Governor has the power to promulgate Ordinances when the State Legislature is not in session and these Ordinances must be approved by the State Legislature within 6 weeks of its reassembly.


  • The State of Bihar approved a series of laws known together as “The Bihar Non-Government Sanskrit Schools (Taking over of Management and Control) Ordinance,” to acquire 429 Sanskrit schools and move their staff members to state employment. The first ordinance was passed by the government in 1989, and six more followed in quick succession.
  • The Governor’s authority to promulgate ordinances under Article 213 of the Indian Constitution was never submitted to the State Legislature for review. The State Legislature did not pass a statute codifying the ordinances. This meant that the last ordinance was no longer in effect as of 1992.
  • Following this, the Sanskrit school teachers and administrators filed a writ petition for back pay with the Patna High Court.


  • The Hon’ble Bench of the Supreme Court of India in the ratio of 5:2 held that unfettered re-promulgation of Ordinances is unconstitutional.
  • The Constitution Bench ruled in D.C. Wadhwa and Ors. v. State of Bihar and Ors. that the re-promulgation of ordinances is a fraud on the Constitution and a subversion of democratic legislative procedures. It defeats the purpose of Articles 123 and 213 which prescribe a limited power to issue Ordinances.
  • The Hon’ble Bench in this case declared that the powers conferred on the President and Governor under respective articles are not immune from judicial review. More importantly, it also held that the re-promulgation of Ordinances without placing these Ordinances before the legislature is a subversion of the democratic legislative process.