The Doctrine of Prospective Overruling: Legislative Analysis of Its Evolution & Application in India

  • Andolan Sarkar and Anshul Ramesh
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  • Andolan Sarkar

    Law Clerk & Research Assistant at the Supreme Court of India

  • Anshul Ramesh

    Associate at Khaitan & Co., India

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The paper will follow the evolution of the doctrine of prospective overruling to navigate its transition from American jurisprudence to Indian legal jurisprudence. The paper analyses the merit of the doctrine as its ability to take cognisance of social legal change while expounding on the transformation of law without prejudicing the citizenry who acted on the faith of prior judicial pronouncements and believed the law to be good. Chapter 2 of the paper will talk about the principle of stare decisis and how the principle was stringently construed over several decades to act as an impediment in adopting the doctrine of prospective overruling. Chapter 3 would elaborate on the evolution and interpretation of the doctrine of prospective overruling and resulting American courts' decisions. Chapter 4 of this paper would dwell on the process and rationale behind which the Indian courts imbibed the doctrine from American jurisprudence. Chapter 5 would explore the depths of the doctrine’s application in the Indian legal system and would dive into a plethora of cases involving different stands taken by the courts. Chapter 6 of this paper discusses the various criticisms the doctrine faces, both in India and America and the multiple rebuttals to these criticisms. These, in turn, help demonstrate how this doctrine is quintessential for the functioning of modern-day courts. Chapter 7 of this paper ends with the authors providing concluding thoughts and a summary of the paper while also highlighting the necessary merits of this doctrine.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 2, Page 347 - 362


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