HM Journal

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Post Facto Permission/Approval

Post facto approval is nothing but a request for sanction of entry of which he/she had obtained an action without prior permission. Meaning did something in advance or already and later asked for permission.
post facto is a Latin phrase that essentially means “retroactive,” or affecting something that’s already happened

History

The draft constitution of India proposed by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and the constitutional advisor Sri B.N. Rao shows that the framers of our constitution while drafting Article 20, had the provisions of the U.S. Constitution in their mind.
Section 9 of Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution states that no bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be permitted to pass and Section 10 states that no state shall pass any bill or ex post facto law.

Ex-Post facto Law Article 20 (1):


It says that no person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the Act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater than that which might have
been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence. This is called Ex-Post facto Law. It means that legislature can not make a law which provides for punishment of acts which were committed
prior to the date when it came into force. This means that a new law can not punish an old act.

These laws which criminalize any act or increase the punishment of any offense are called ex post facto laws and it has been mentioned in Article 20(1) of the Indian Constitution (1). Ex post facto laws can either label an act as an offense with retrospective effect; or increase the punishment that is prescribed for an act committed in the past.

Importance

It is important to protect the citizens of India from being punished for an act done, which was legal when it was done but was criminalized or the punishment for that act has been enhanced by any act that was formulated later on.

Protection


Protection against an ex post facto law applies only to criminal laws. Laws that involve fee payments or taxes payments are civil in nature rather than criminal. Thus these retrospective consequences do not infringe governmental authority and are constitutional. Such laws are often considered as inequitable and
abhorrent to the notions of justice and therefore, there are safeguards against such laws. This article states especially about the Indian scenario in providing protection against ex post facto laws by providing a set of provisions, statutes and judicial pronouncements prevailing over the matter of Ex post facto laws.

Written by Gowri Chauhan

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