Published on: 21 September 2022 at 13:57 IST
Court- Supreme Court of India
Citation- SEBI v. Rajkumar Nagpal 2022
Honourable Supreme Court of India has endeavoured to define “Prospective”, “Retrospective”, and “Retroactive” Statutes as
- The prospective statute operates from the date of its enactment conferring new rights.
- The retrospective statute operates backwards and takes away or impairs vested rights acquired under existing laws.
- A retroactive statute is the one that does not operate retrospectively. It operates in futuro. However, its operation is based upon the character or status that arose from antecedent events.
Many decisions of this Court define ‘retroactivity’ to mean laws which destroy or impair vested rights. In real terms, this is the definition of ‘retrospectivity’ or ‘true retroactivity’. ‘Quasi-retroactivity’ or simply ‘retroactivity’ on the other hand is a law which is applicable to an act or transaction that is still underway.
Such an act or transaction has not been completed and is in the process of completion. Retroactive laws also apply where the status or character of a thing or situation arose prior to the passage of the law. Merely because a law operates on certain circumstances which are antecedent to its passing does not mean that it is retrospective.
Drafted By Abhijit Mishra
Key Words- Supreme Court, Prospective, Retrospective, Retroactive, statute