Our Constitution has underwent more than 100 successful surgeries in the past and still, it is one of the most dynamic and vibrant document that has come to live for many hundred years more in future. However, Article 254 raise many questions of laws which could be reviewed in terms of eligibility of items listed under the List III of Seventh Schedule of our Constitution.
Article 254 of our Constitution deals with the 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,
(2) Where a law made by the Legislature of a State 1 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:
Provided that nothing in this clause shall prevent Parliament from enacting at any time any law with respect to the same matter including a law adding to, amending, varying or repealing the law so made by the Legislature of the State.
The following questions are raised to
1. Will it not affect the Dynamism of the State to make laws that are most suited for its people having a specific lifestyles to secure the integrity of their ethnic, cultural, Traditional, language or religious identities?
2. Will it not weaken the linkage and relationship between state and national party organizations?
3. Will it justify to mention that State is only a sub-ordinate entity to the Centre?
4. Will it demean the framework of Federal structure to make it irrelevant and insufficient in terms of its adaptability and flexibility in its autonomous decision making powers?
5. Will it ensure that Centre always rules upper hand to take unilateral decisions based on its numbers in Parliament in the face of national power?
6. Does our framework and basic structure of our Constitution reiterates the fact that State Autonomy is only a Myth in our democracy?
7. Does it mean to suggest that States misuse its law making powers through extra constitutional process or Conflicting laws to dent the democratic values of our country?
8. Does it suggest that States could exercise its raw power to make laws against overall national interest?
9. Does the State not derelict from its duty in the protection of Natural wealth and rely on Centre to make laws against the interest of State?
10. Does the concept of Decentralisation of powers to State in the welfare and development of its citizens against national interests is envisaged?
11. Does it mean that it would create a strong impact on national politics in terms of ideologies adopted by nationally oriented vote bank and political elites in the democracy?
12. Does it weaken the political autonomy of states in terms of spending power giving more influence by State Regional parties?
13. Does it restrict States to curtail the share of taxes to Centre while seeking funds for relief and welfare measures even during Natural Disasters and Epidemics.
14. Does it curtail the progress of State to promote Economic and Legal Reforms in its right earnest?
15. Is there any prescribed methodology to measure the contradiction of laws passed by the State which was inconsistent to that of the Centres?
16. Whether the supremacy of this autonomy is always put to threat when same Laws are enacted by the Centre subsequently on the same subject could nullify the laws passed by State?
17. Whether there is any scope for taking any items from the Concurrent list and include under List I and List II to ensure more accountability and vibrancy of laws passed?
18. Whether there is any scope for Addition or Deletion of items under Concurrent List under new domains of law?
19. Whether there is a need to codify any specific definition or criteria to any listed item expressly to prevent conflict or overlapping of functions?
20. Whether this provision facilitate Conflicts between the State and Centre on the question of law?
It is pertinent now to analyse these questions to revisit and review all the 52 items under the Seventh Schedule of the Concurrent list I (List III) and to protect the autonomy of States in terms of Decentralisation and absolute Distribution of Powers in consistent with the basic structure designed in our Constitution.