VOLUME 1                                                  SPRING 2021                                                 ISSUE 2

The Syin & Sern Law Review

RESEARCH ARTICLE

SOVEREIGN IMMUNITIES AND SOVEREIGN FUNCTIONS AS EXCEPTION TO DICEY'S RULE OF LAW: THE JOURNEY IN INDIA

Kalyani Rathi*

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DOI

https://doi-ds.org/doilink/06.2021-22378315/SYIN & SERN/V1/I2/A3

Abstract

India has witnessed an evolution in its approach towards the application of sovereign immunity in the country. The British Rule may have brought with it these common law principles, but they certainly did not find their existence with that of the British. One of such principles is the principle of Sovereign immunity. Throughout the paper, the author has primarily focused on two questions: being a country governed solely by common law for over 200 years, how has the concept of no-sovereign-immunity been established in India and second, whether if today, the sovereign status of the Government of India is superior to the constitutionally acknowledged Rule of Law when practically applied.

With varying judgments, legislative opinions, and the absence of a codified, settled law on the grant of sovereign immunity to the Government of India, this paper aims to put forth the practical and literal sustainability of both the doctrines of Sovereign Immunity and Dicey’s Rule of Law, coherently in India. The intrinsic aim of the paper is to analyze the trend of all landmark judgments (pre-independence and post-independence) and ascertain the stand of the Indian Judiciary regarding the practical application of the Doctrine of Sovereign Immunities and Dicey's Rule of Law, simultaneously.

Referred Citations

  1. M.P. Jain and S.N. Jain, Principles of Administrative Law (8th ed. 2017) 15.

  2. id.

  3. George W. Pugh, Historical Approach to the Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity, 13 Louisiana Law Review 3 (1953).

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  5. id.

  6. Drew Desilver, Despite Global Concerns About Democracy, More Than Half of Countries Are Democratic, Factank (Apr. 22, 2021) https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/05/14/more-than-half-of-countries-are-democratic/.

  7. A.V. Dicey, The Law of the Constitution (1 edn., Oxford, 2013).

  8. id.

  9. M.P. Jain, supra note 1, at 779-780.

  10. id.

  11. India Const. art. 14.

  12. L&L Partners, Sovereign Immunity in India, Lexology (Nov. 18, 2020) https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=5521ec58-6c1c-4577-a285-abed6baae0b4#:~:text=Section%2086(1)%20provides%20that,foreign%20states%20from%20the%20jurisdiction 

  13. India Const. art. 300.

  14. Civil Procedure Code, § 86, (1906).

  15. id at cl. 2.

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  22. India Const. art. 21.

  23. India Const., supra note 11.

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  26. id.

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  29. The Government of India Act (1935).

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  43. id.

  44. id.

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  54. id.

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  59. id.

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  62. India Const. art. 22.

  63. id.

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