(1) All laws in force in the territory of India immediately before the commencement of this Constitution, in so far as they are inconsistent with the provisions of this Part, shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be void.


(2) The State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by this Part and any law made in contravention of this clause shall, to the extent of the contravention, be void.


(3) In this article, unless the context otherwise requires,—

       (a) “law” includes any Ordinance, order, bye-law, rule, regulation, notification, custom or usage having in the territory of India the force of law;

       (b) “laws in force” includes laws passed or made by a Legislature or other competent authority in the territory of India before the commencement of this Constitution and not previously repealed, notwithstanding that any such law or any part thereof may not be then in operation either at all or in particular areas. 


(4) Nothing in this article shall apply to any amendment of this Constitution made under article 368

Debate Summary

Article 13 (Draft Article 8) was debated in the Constituent Assembly on the 25th, 26th and 29th, November 1948.  The Article declares that laws before the commencement of the Constitution of India, 1950 that are inconsistent with the Part III – Fundamental Rights section of the Constitution as void. Also, Article 13 instructs the State to not make any law that violates the provisions under Part III. Further, the Article defines ‘law’.

There seemed to be some lack of clarity on the wording of the Article: on reading together all the subclasses of the Article, did Article 13 give the State the power to make ‘custom’? It was clarified that this was not the case. Nonetheless, an amendment was moved to achieve greater clarity.

The Constituent Assembly adopted Article 13 with amendment.