Article 254 (2) of the Constitution basically permits a state regulation to prevail over a conflicting Central regulation in some circumstances

File picture of interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi. PTI

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi has advised party-ruled states to discover a rarely-used authorized provision so as to oppose three contentious farm legal guidelines which have lately obtained the President’s assent.

The provision — Article 254 (2) of the Constitution — basically permits a state regulation to prevail over a conflicting Central regulation in some circumstances.

A Congress occasion assertion has mentioned, “Congress President has advised the Congress-ruled states to explore the possibilities to pass laws in their respective states under Article 254(2) of the Constitution, which allows the state legislatures to pass a law to negate the anti-agriculture Central laws encroaching upon the state’s jurisdiction under the Constitution.”

The assertion additional notes, “This (states passing laws negating Central legislations) would enable the states to bypass the unacceptable anti-farmers’ provisions in the three draconian agricultural law(s) including the abolition of MSP and disruption of APMCs in Congress-ruled states. This would also alleviate the farmers from the grave injustice done by the Modi government and BJP.”

What is Article 254 (2)?

The text of Article 254 (2) of the Constitution states, “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 consideration of the President and has received his assent, prevail in that State.

For a greater understanding of what the Article entails, we are able to contemplate the varied features of the provision individually. Firstly, the Article applies solely when a state regulation on a topic which is the Concurrent List conflicts with a nationwide regulation. In such a case, the state regulation can prevail over the Central regulation if the President offers his or her assent to the former. The President, nevertheless, acts on the help and recommendation of the Council of Ministers.

However, Article 254 (2) represents the exception, not the norm. Article 254 (1) of the Constitution basically states that if there may be any inconsistency between legal guidelines handed by Parliament and people handed by a state legislature, the former ought to prevail.

Further, a proviso to Article 254 (2) states that even when the President offers his or her assent to a state regulation handed below the provision, the Parliament can later amend or repeal the regulation.

In essence, Congress-led state governments are unlikely to give you the chance to thwart the implementation of the farm legal guidelines by way of Article 254 (2).

However, the passing of such legal guidelines by state governments will likely be a press release of political intent.

History of the provision

Congress chief Jairam Ramesh famous on Monday that former finance minister Arun Jaitley had requested states to resort to Article 254(2) of the Constitution to override provisions of 2013 Land Acquisition regulation.

In a blog post on 1 September, 2015, Jaitley had written in the context of an ordinance to amend the land acquisition regulation, “The provisions of Article 254(2) clearly provide that a State Government can bring a legislation on a Concurrent List Subject which conflicts with the Central legislation provided the Presidential assent is given to such legislation.”

He had additional mentioned that if “any State wishes to make some amendments in the Central law, the same would be permitted by the Central Government.”

At the time, Tamil Nadu had tried to bypass the 2013 land acquisition regulation by inserting Section 105-A in the laws. However, in July 2019, the Madras High Court held that if the authorities meant to use the outdated state legal guidelines, it should have to re-enact them.

According to Deccan Chronicle, the excessive courtroom had then famous in its order, “In order to revive these Acts, the state must re-enact these statutes, in accordance with Article 254 (2) of the Constitution of India and obtain the assent of the President. Merely by inserting section 105-A and the 5th schedule in the new Act, these impugned enactment(s) do not get revived.”

Political faceoff over farm legal guidelines

President Kovind on Sunday gave assent to the three contentious farm payments handed in Parliament final week. These legal guidelines have triggered farmers” protest, particularly in Punjab and Haryana.

These three farm payments are: The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020.

Parliament cleared the payments in the Monsoon Session. The legal guidelines are geared toward liberalising the agriculture sector and permitting farmers to promote their produce anyplace in the nation they need at a greater worth.

The Opposition led by the Congress is important of the method during which these payments have been handed in Parliament. They have alleged the payments have been cleared “unconstitutionally” in a “complete disregard” to Parliamentary norms.

The Congress additionally proposes to problem them in courtroom.

With inputs from PTI

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