Can states criticise Central law?

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought to know from a petitioner-NGO whether the state legislatures have the right to express their opinion or not on central laws and asked it to do some more research on the subject.

The top court was hearing a PIL filed by an NGO challenging legislative competence of different State Assemblies in passing resolutions against central laws like the Citizenship Amendments Act (CAA) and the three farm laws saying it falls under the Union List of the Seventh Schedule.

The NGO has made the Centre and the Speakers of the Legislative Assemblies of Punjab, Rajasthan, Kerala and West Bengal party in the petition, saying the apex court is already seized of multiple petitions challenging these laws passed by Parliament.

A bench of Chief Justice Bobde and Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubr-amanian adjourned the hearing on the PIL after four weeks while observing, “We don’t want to create more problems than resolving the issue. We will see.”

During the hearing, senior advocate Soumya Chakraborty, appearing for NGO Samata Andolan Samiti said that the state Assemblies are incompetent to pass such resolutions against the central legislations.

The bench asked the council to show the resolutions he was objecting to.

Referring to CAA law and the Kerala Assembly resolution, Chakraborty said the state legislature said that central law was against the basic structure of the Constitution. “This is the opinion of majority of Kerala Assem-bly and this may not have the force of law. This is just an opinion. They have simply requested the Centre and sought repeal of the law. Do they have no right to express their opinion? They have not asked the people to disobey the Central law,” the bench observed. 



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