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Court upholds Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Act

K.T. Sangameswaran

Petition seeks to declare provisions of the Act as unconstitutional


Impugned legislation suffered from inherent illegality: petition

Petitioner's grounds absolutely unfounded: Bench


CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has upheld the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Act 2010.

Dismissing a writ petition seeking to declare the provisions of the Act as unconstitutional and void ab initio, the First Bench comprising Chief Justice M.Y.Eqbal and Justice T.S.Sivagnanam said that from a reading of the provisions of the impugned Act, it was clear that the mandate and requirement of Article 169 (2) of the Constitution (Abolition or creation of Legislative Councils in States) had been fully taken care of.

The Act got the Presidential Assent on May 18. Thereafter, it was gazetted the same day.

It was republished by the Tamil Nadu Governor's order on May 20.

In his petition, K.Sridhar Kumar, said the impugned legislation suffered from inherent illegality. The Act was not in consonance with the provisions laid down in Articles 168 (Constitution of Legislatures in States) and 169 of the Constitution.

The petitioner's counsel submitted that the impugned Act did not contain the provision for amendment of the Constitution as mandated by Article 169 (2) as also for provisions supplemental and incidental to the creation of the Council.

In the absence of corresponding amendments to the Parent Statutes, namely, the Representation of the People Act 1950 and the Representation of the People Act, 1951, even though Sections 3 (1) and 4 of the TNLC Act specifically provided for the same, the impugned legislation was null and void.

The Bench said the argument that there was no provision for amendment of the Constitution was misconceived and devoid of any substance.

It was well settled that the word amendment or amend as used in the Constitution in various places had different meanings. In some Articles, the word amendment in that context had a wide meaning and in some others, in that context, it had a narrow meaning.

In the instant case, Sections 4 and 5 of the Act made provisions for necessary amendment/insertion of the word Tamil Nadu and the words Legislative Council of the State of Tamil Nadu in the parent statute as required under Article 169 (2). Since the word amendment/insertion had a narrow meaning, the Act could not be declared ultra vires or unconstitutional in the absence of corresponding amendments to the Parent Statutes.

The petitioner's grounds were absolutely unfounded and had no substance. The Bench did not find any merit in the writ petition.

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