CPA

All the doctors here, please believe that you have no less brain than a lawyer. Consider the following facts:

1. CPA 1986 did not have healthcare included in the Letter (text) of the law. The text of the law in terms of definition of services remains same in CPA 2019.

2. SC interpreted CPA 1986 and said healthcare comes under it.

3. When does the question of judicial interpretation of a law arise? When the text (letter of the law) is not clear. Then court tries to ascertain the spirit of the law which is what exactly the legislature (law makers) wanted to do through this law. In jurisprudence this is called the Legislative Intent or the Will of the Parliament. If the legislative intent is known, then thats the spirit of the law, thats the interpretation. If there is no clear legislative intent on record, then the court interprets the law at its own accord.

4. In 1986, it was not clear from the Letter of the Act if Healthcare was within its ambit. So the SC set out to ascertain the spirit of the law. There was no clear legislative intent on record, so the SC interpreted it the way it did and gave the order, saying healthcare comes within the ambit of CPA 1986.

5. The VP Shantha Judgement was the judicial interpretation of CPA 1986. CPA 2019 is not an amendment of CPA 1986 and is a completely new and separate law, which has completely replaced CPA 1986. CPA 1986 is now dead. Interpretation of one act does not automatically apply to another act under any circumstances. Therefore the interpretation of CPA 1986 does not apply to CPA 2019. Therefore the VP Shantha judgement is no longer applicable once CPA 1986 is replaced with the notification of the CPA 2019. CPA 2019 will have to be interpreted afresh by SC to decide if healthcare comes within the ambit of CPA 2019. So that way we are back into the times between 1986-1995, when there was this confusion.

6. Why is there at all a scope for judicial interpretation of CPA 2019? Because even in the Letter (text) of the Law it is not mentioned is Healthcare is or is not included. So arises the question of ascertaining the Spirit of the Law, ie did the law makers want healthcare to be included in CPA 2019.

7. And it is here that the situation gets completely different from 1986. This time there is a clear legislative intent recorded in the proceedings of the Parliament, that Healthcare will not be included under CPA. Those of you who do not know this, the transcript of Parliamentary debates are freely available on the official websites of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Please go and read the transcript of the closing statement from the minister, based upon which the Parliament passed the bill this time. It is clearly recorded in all those records that Rajya Sabha refused to pass CP Bill 2018 as healthcare was included in that bill, so they dropped healthcare from CP Bill 2019. The parliament passed the bill upon the reassurance from the minister that Healthcare is not included. Now those of you who say this does not qualify as Legislative intent, please tell us what according to you amounts to Legislative Intent.

8. Judiciary can override a declared legislative intent only if that is bad in law, against the basic tenets of the Constitution. This is not one such. Judiciary cannot override the declared and recorded Will of the Parliament in this case as this is neither bad in law, nor is it against any fundamental principles of the constitution.

9. So this time, in presence of a clear and unambiguous Legislative Intent recorded in the Parliamentary records, the Court has no scope to do its own interpretation, and this is the difference between 1986 and 2019 even though the Letter of the Law looks similar, the Spirit is Different

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: