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State Legislature Cannot Enact Law Which Affects Jurisdiction Of Supreme Court: SC Constitution Bench [Read Judgment]

Ashok Kini
10 Dec 2019 12:51 PM GMT
State Legislature Cannot Enact Law Which Affects Jurisdiction Of Supreme Court: SC Constitution Bench [Read Judgment]
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"Presidential assent cannot and does not validate an enactment in excess of the legislative powers of the State Legislature, nor validate a statutory provision, which would render express provisions of the Constitution otiose."

The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has held that Section 13(2) of the Chhattisgarh Rent Control Act, 2011, is unconstitutional as the State Legislature lacked legislative competence to enact a provision providing direct appeal to Supreme Court of India.The Bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M R Shah and Ravindra Bhat was considering the reference...

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The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has held that Section 13(2) of the Chhattisgarh Rent Control Act, 2011, is unconstitutional as the State Legislature lacked legislative competence to enact a provision providing direct appeal to Supreme Court of India.

The Bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Indira Banerjee, Vineet Saran, M R Shah and Ravindra Bhat was considering the reference made to it in Rajendra Diwan vs. Pradeep Kumar Ranibala. It approved the view taken in HS Yadav vs. Shakuntala Devi Parakh,  by the  bench comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose.

Section 13(2) of the Chhattisgarh Rent Control Act, 2011 provides for an appeal to the Supreme Court of India against the order of the Rent Control Tribunal, Chhattisgarh. The Act mandates the State to appoint Rent Controllers in every district who shall be an officer not below the rank of a Deputy Collector. The Rent Control Tribunal is an appellate forum before which orders of the Rent Controller can be challenged. 

The bench, after referring to various constitutional provisions, observed:

There is no provision in the Constitution which saves State laws with extra-territorial operation, similar to Article 245(2) which expressly saves Union laws with extra-territorial operation, enacted by Parliament. The Chhattisgarh State Legislature, thus, patently lacks competence to enact any law which affects the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, outside the State of Chhattisgarh.

In view of Entry 77 of the Union List, only Parliament has the legislative competence to legislate with respect to the constitution, organization, jurisdiction or powers of the Supreme Court. Entry 64 of the State List and Entry 46 of the Concurrent List enable the State Legislature to enact law with respect to the jurisdiction and powers of Courts except the Supreme Court. In other words, the said Entries expressly debar the State Legislature from legislating with respect to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

The bench also observed that Presidential assent would not validate a statutory provision which the legislature was incompetent to enact.

"Presidential assent makes no difference in case of legislative incompetence. Presidential assent cannot and does not validate an enactment in excess of the legislative powers of the State Legislature, nor validate a statutory provision, which would render express provisions of the Constitution otiose. Presidential assent cures repugnancy with an earlier Central Statute, provided the State Legislature is otherwise competent to enact the Statute"

Click here to Read/Download Judgment


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