Question: Examine the significance of the rule of pith and substance in resolving conflicts between entries in the Union List and those in the State List. [BJS 1986] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Examine the significance of the rule of pith and substance in resolving conflicts between entries in the Union List… Read More »

Question: Examine the significance of the rule of pith and substance in resolving conflicts between entries in the Union List and those in the State List. [BJS 1986] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Examine the significance of the rule of pith and substance in resolving conflicts between entries in the Union List and those in the State List. [BJS 1986] Answer Article 246 of the Constitution divides the different matters into three groups i.e. union, state,...

Question: Examine the significance of the rule of pith and substance in resolving conflicts between entries in the Union List and those in the State List. [BJS 1986]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Examine the significance of the rule of pith and substance in resolving conflicts between entries in the Union List and those in the State List. [BJS 1986]

Answer

Article 246 of the Constitution divides the different matters into three groups i.e. union, state, and concurrent list. These lists explain the different matters on which the union sate and both have the power to legislate on respectively. Both Union and State legislature should keep within the domain assigned to it and not trespass into the domain reserved for others.

The Doctrine of Pith and Substance is applied when the legislature made by one of the legislatures encroaches or trespasses upon the field assigned to another. The Doctrine of Pith and Substance is applied legislative competence of a legislature with regard to a particular enactment is challenged with reference to the entries in the different legislative list because a law dealing with a subject in one list encroaches or trespasses upon the subject in another list.

The doctrine of Pith and Substance says that where the question arises of determining whether a particular law relates to a particular subject the court looks to the substance of the matter. Thus, if the substance falls within one list, then the incidental encroachment by the law on another list does not make it invalid.

In such a conflict between legislatures, it needs to be ascertained that if the pith and substance of the enactment is the true character and nature of the legislation. Pith means ‘true nature or ‘essence of something’ and Substance means ‘the most important or essential part of something. If after assessing the statutes it is found that legislation is in pith and substance, based on the matter assigned to the legislative then such an act must be held valid in its entirety. Even though the legislature may incidentally trench upon the matter beyond its competence still it is held to be valid as the statutes are in pith and substance-related to the subject of the act or law.

In the case of State of Mumbai v. F. N. Balsara, AIR 1951 SC 318 the Bombay Prohibition Act was challenged, which prohibited the sale and possession of liquor in the state, was challenged on the ground that it incidentally encroached upon the import and export of liquors across borders, which was a central subject. The act was held valid by the court as it was felt that the act was in its pith and substance fell under the State List even though such an act may impact the import of liquor.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-I
  3. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-II
  4. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-X
Updated On 2021-06-15T14:13:38+05:30
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