Repugnancy can be defined as the contrary or the disconfirmation
between two or more parts of a statute or a contract which are basically a legal
instrument. Doctrine of repugnancy is basically when two pieces of legislation
have a conflict between them and when are applied to the same facts but they
produce different outcomes or results. When provisions of 2 laws are so contrary
and disconfirmed that it becomes difficult to do one without opposing the other,
this is a situation where repugnancy arises. Article 254 of the Indian
Constitution establishes successfully the Doctrine of Repugnancy in India.
Doctrine of Repugnancy deals with the difference of opinions in terms of law
which arises between the Centre and States. Article 254(1) of Indian
Constitution states that if any provision of law or the law which is made by the
legislature of the State is repellent to any provision made by the Parliament,
then the law which is made by the Parliament shall make triumph over the law
which is enacted by the State.
Article 254(2) states that any provision of law
or the law which is made by the legislature of the State on the matter which is
cited in the concurrent list, is repellent to the provision made by the
Parliament and it has been kept for the approval of President and if it has got
the approval then State law will triumph over the law made by the Parliament.
The Parliament any time before the approval of President can amend or invalidate
the repugnant law.
Conditions of Repugnancy:
There are some conditions which need to be satisfied
before any repugnancy could arise are as follows- there should be clear and
direct incompatibility between the Central and the State Act, incompatibility is
definitely clashing, the incompatibility has reached to such a stage that the
two Acts are in a direct clash with each other and it is difficult or almost
impossible to obey one without disobeying the other one.
The Doctrine of
Repugnancy is not explicitly mentioned in American as well as Canadian
Constitution. It has been adopted from the American Constitution. The framers of
the constitution of India in order to avoid the dispute between the Centre and
the State introduced this doctrine in the article 254 of the Indian
Constitution. The State Legislature and the Parliament have equal compatibility
to constitutionalize in the concurrent list.
This is the duty of the court to
interpret the validation and avoid disputes. If the matter is different, then no
repugnancy of law which is passed by the legislature is required. Then at that
moment of time Article 254(2) would not have any implementation. Under the
Article 254 of the Constitution, when there is a law which is passed by the
legislature of the state and which is conflicting with the law parliament the
whole of the law cannot be held invalid, it can be held invalid only till the
dimensions of repugnancy.
To get confirmation about the repugnancy, it is
important to check the law made by the Parliament is a comprehensive code or
not. If it is not, then the law made by the state won’t be held void. In order
to invalidate a law, which is passed by the state legislature in the court, it
is important to prove that both the laws are made on the same significance and
both are conflicting with each other. The state law which becomes nullified
after the repugnancy until and unless the union law is not revoked, once it gets
revoked it becomes effective.
There is no uncertainty that both state as well as the union the total power but
some matters occur many a times where there is a difference of opinion between
both the governments. In this situation, Doctrine of Repugnancy becomes a
critical technique to deal with these types of inconsistencies. As we all know
Centre is dominant over the State in India, this doctrine is not astonishing
under Article 254(1) of the Indian Constitution, it mentions that any law which
is conflicting to the law that is passed by the Parliament would be held
If the state gets approval from the President, the Parliament still
has the power of making the law void by proving, amending and abrogating law in
the same subject matter. There is no importance whether law made by the
Parliament has been passed before or after the passing of law made by the State.
The three essentials that are direct conflict, occupied field and intended
occupation, if they are satisfied, then the repugnancy arises, then the
Parliament law shall triumph over the State law. Doctrine of Repugnancy has a
major role in order to maintain the integrity of the country and to keep away
two laws on the same subject matter.
Constitution of India has various doctrines but the Doctrine of Repugnancy is
one of the most consequential. It helps to maintain uniformity in our country
and prevents conflicts between the Centre and State. As we all know, that India
is a Quasi federal country and there is a system of distribution of powers
between the Centre and the State, so there are chances that disagreement may
arise between the Centre and the State and then there is this doctrine which
Whenever, any law which is passed by the Parliament
conflicting with law passed in the state legislature, then the parliament law
shall prevail. There are many cases in the Article 254(2) that are considered as
an exception to the Article 254(1) where it is mentioned that law passed by the
State legislature can prevail with the help of Presidential assent.
Article 254(2) of the Indian Constitution has a provision added which claims
that Parliament can uphold and amend the same law to make state law
incompatible. The law remains inconsistent until and unless the law passed the
parliament isn't repelled once it's law gone by the legislature of state comes
into existence. In this doctrine Legislative object plays a major rule.
Therefore, this doctrine plays a relevant role in the Indian Constitution in
deciding the roles of Centre and State.
Deep Chand v. The State of U.P. -
1959 AIR 648
The appellants according to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, were operating
buses as permit-holders. They used to operate the buses among different courses
in Uttar Pradesh along with the buses that were owned by the State Government.
There was a notification provided under Section. 3 of the challenging Act which
directed that the said courses should only be given to be served by the buses
which are appointed by the State and this notification should be followed by the
by other as given under Section. 4 and 8 of the Act.
The appellants then moved
to the High Court. Under Article 226 of the Constitution they challenged the
rationality of the act said and the notifications under them. The appeals that
were made by the appellants were quite challenging. They challenged the
constitutionality of the Uttar Pradesh Transport Service (Development) Act,
1955. This was passed by the State Legislature after the President gave the
They also challenged the rationality of the scheme of the nationalisation and the guidelines framed by the State Government under it. The
petitions of the appellants were rejected by the High Court and after this Motor
Vehicles (Amendment) Act, (100 of 1956), came into force. They placed Ch. IVA in
the Act, which was providing nationalisation for the transport services.
Contention Of The Petitioner:
- The issues are whether the Uttar Pradesh Transport Service (Development)
Act, 1955 under (U.P IX of 1955) passed by the State Legislature after obtaining
the assent of the President is constitutionally valid or not.
- Whether the scheme of nationalization framed and the notifications
issued by the State Government under it are valid or not.
Contentions raised by the appellants were that
Amending Act when passed made the impugned act fully void under the Article
254(1) of the Indian Constitution. The scheme which was framed within the
purview of Section 68B of the Amending act under the impugned act concluded to
be functional. Even if the impugned act was valid still it so far, still it was
violating Article 31 of the Constitution. There was a further contention that
Article 254(2) wholly repealed the impugned act by the Amending Act.
When Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act was passed, then the Uttar
Pradesh Service (Development) Act, 1955 did not become completely void, it was
well-grounded and continued to be enduring law which supported the scheme which
was already under the U.P. Act. Even if we assume that Amending Act had the
consequence, under Article 254(2), by repealing the State Act, such type if
repeal could not invalidate the scheme which was framed under the Act.
Provisions of Section 6 of the General Clauses Act would work to save it.
As held by Bhagwati, Subba Rao, and Wanchoo; it was evident from the
presentation of Article 254, 246, and 13 of the Indian Constitution that the
power that the Parliament and the State Legislature exercise with regard to make
laws regarding any matter which is in the relevant list of the seventh schedule
was issued to the provisions of the Constitution which includes Article 13. A
clear difference is there between the two clauses of Article 13. Clause1.
Pre-Constitution will survive except to the range of instability with the
provisions of Part 3.
Whereas clause2. The Post-Constitution law breaching those
provision is a nonentity from the establishment till the expansion of such
breaches. While interpreting the constitutional provisions which are related to
the powers of the legislature represented in Article 245 and 13(2) of the Indian
Constitution, no difference can be made between the affirmative and the negative
provision, as both of them are limitations on that power.
An analysis of the appropriate authorities and decisions given by the judiciary
clearly established that:
Analysis And Conclusion:
- that affirmative conferment of power to form laws subject-wise and
therefore the negative prohibition from infringing any fundamental rights
were but two, aspects of want of legislative power,
- that by expressly making the facility to legislate on the entries within
the Seventh Schedule subject to other provisions of the Constitution, that
power was subjected to the restrictions laid down partially III of the
- that, therefore, a law in derogation or in more than such power would be
void initially either wholly or to the extent of the contravention which
- the doctrine of eclipse might be invoked only within the case of a law
that was valid when made but was rendered invalid by a supervening
The judgement was right as the permit holders used to operate the buses under
the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 at different places at Uttar Pradesh. They used to
operate alongside the buses which were owned by the State Government. The State
Government alongside launched notification where it was written that the said
routes would be served by the buses owned by the State. The appellants went to
the High Court where the challenged the rationality of the Act.
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Astitva Vatsa
Authentication No: MA33138653572-3-0321