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N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     19 August 2009

Difference between Ultra Vires Laws and Invalid Laws

Is there any difference beween Ultra Vires Laws and Invalid Laws? or are they the same?


 6 Replies

R.R. KRISHNAA (Legal Manager)     19 August 2009

Ultra vires means beyond the powers.  When an statutory authority passes an order or direction which is beyond its powers then it can be called as ultra vires.

Invalid law is something which is not valid and not binding in the eye of law.


Anil Agrawal (Retired)     19 August 2009

 The touchstone on which all laws are tested is the Constitution. If the Centre or the State, as the case may be, passes a legislation which infringes uponthe provisions of the Constitution or is not within their LIST, the law is declared ultra vires. If the law is ultra vires of the Constitution, naturally it is an invalid piece of legislation and has no sanctity.

AEJAZ AHMED (Legal Consultant/Lawyer)     19 August 2009

Dear Assumi Ji,

Ultra vires Laws: - An act or Laws that falls outside or beyond the jurisdiction of the court;
Invalid Laws: - Laws Having no force, effect, or efficacy; void;
So, as per me there is no difference between both the Laws and therefore Ultra Vires and Invalid Laws are same.
The term " ultra vires " is usually used to refer to acts taken by a Corporation or officers of a corporation that are taken outside of the powers or authority granted to them by law or under the corporate charter. Some states have enacted laws to prevent the use of the defense of ultra vires action to unfairly avoid obligations under otherwise valid contracts.
As per brief analysis of the doctrine of ultra vires with regard to its consequences would reveal that only:
Those activities of the company shall be valid i.e., intra vires, which are:
(a) Essential for the fulfillment of the objects stated in the main objects clause of the memorandum;
(b) Incidental or consequential or reasonably within its permissible limits of business; and
(c) Which the company is authorized to do by the Company’s Act, in course of its business.
All other activities of the company excepting the above shall be " ultra vires" and therefore " invalid".
Kindly go through the attached Document an Article about " Doctrine of Ultra Vires " 
Some useful definitions and Article on "Ultra vires"


Attached File : 58 doctrine of ultra virus.pdf downloaded: 237 times

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     19 August 2009

Thank you Krisna and Anil, Thank you for the responds. And Aejaz ji, nice to hear from you after a long time and thank you for the details and the links.

Adinath@Avinash Patil (advocate)     24 August 2009

I agree with AEJAZ

pratik (self working)     15 April 2011

as any  tribunal is a statutory authority as per the SC decision but what do u mean by statutory authority.


canany one provide me the hole context of the belowmentioned case law pls.

1) Marutiudyog ltd vs. Ramlal (2005) 2 SC 638.
In CIT vs. B.R. Constructions (1999) 202 ITR 222 (AP) CFB.

SC in Ssouth India Corp Ltd vs. Secretary Borad of Revenue.

Required the hole case in detail pls any one provide me. it explain in depth of
It is not there in indiankoon.com so pls do the needful

The citation gives the non - obstante clause interpretation by the SC in depth.

Thanks Do Help.

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