Doctrine of Repugnancy in India

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__________________________________________________NIRMA UNIVERSITY

AN ANALYTICAL STUDY AND APPLICABILITY OF THE DOCTRINE OF REPUGNANCY IN INDIA ABSTRACT
“The distribution of powers is an essential feature of Federalism. The object for which a federal State is formed involves a division of authority between the Central Government and the State Government. The tendency of federalism is to limit on every side the action of the Government and to split up the strength of the State among co – ordinate and independent authorities are especially noticeable”. A Federal Constitution establishes a dual polity with the Union at the Center and the States at the periphery, each endowed with sovereign powers to be exercised in the field assigned to them respectively by the Constitution. The one is not subordinate to other in its own field, the authority of one to co-ordinate with that of the other. In fact, the basic principle of Federalism is that the legislature, executive and financial authority is divided between the Center and the State not by any laws passed by the Center but by the Constitution itself. As stated earlier that India has a Federal Constitution and there is distribution of powers between the State and the Center in the similar manner the Constitution of India has also conferred upon the Center and the State the power to make laws. It therein distributes the subject-matters over which the two are competent to make laws; List I being the fields allocated for the Parliament, List II being those within the exclusive domain of the State Legislatures and List III represents those areas where both carry concurrent powers to make laws.

But the Constitution itself through Article 254 provides that where there is an inconsistency in laws made by the Center and the State then the Doctrine of Repugnancy will be applied and the State Law would be void to the extent of repugnancy to the Union Law and the Union Law will prevail over the State Law.

INTRODUCTION
The Constitution of India vests the law-making power between the Union Parliament and State Legislatures in terms of its various provisions read with Schedule VII. It therein distributes the subject-matters over which the two are competent to make laws; List I being the fields allocated for the Parliament, List II being those within the exclusive domain of the State Legislatures and List III represents those areas where both carry concurrent powers to make laws. The Constitution, however, itself provides [vide Article 254] that a law on a subject-matter prescribed in List III enacted by the State Legislature would be valid only in the absence of or not being contrary to a law made by the Parliament on the same subject-matter. Thus has developed the the Doctrine of Repugnancy which is employed to test as to when and where a State law turns repugnant to the Parliamentary legislation. DOCTRINE OF REPUGNANCY UNDER THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION

Article 254: Inconsistency between laws made by Parliament and laws made by the legislatures of States. (1) If any provision of a law made by the legislature of a State is repugnant to any provision of a law made by Parliament which Parliament is competent to enact, or to any provision of an existing law with respect to one of the matters enumerated in the Concurrent List, then, subject to the provisions of Clause (2), the law made by Parliament, whether passed before or after the law made by the legislature of such State, or, as the case may be, the existing law, shall prevail and the law made by the legislature of the State shall, to the extent of the repugnancy, be void.  (2) Where a law made by the legislature of a State with respect to one of the matters enumerated in the Concurrent List contains any provision repugnant to the provisions of an earlier law made by Parliament or an existing law with respect to that matter, then, the law so made by the legislature of such State shall, if it has been reserved for the...
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