INTERPRETATION OF DOCTRINE OF REPUGNANCY UNDER THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION
In the realm of legislative federalism in India, the concept of repugnancy under Article 254 of the Indian Constitution has been a confusing one. The debate surrounding the questions of repugnancy confluence two streams of complex judicial interpretations: the first pertaining to the courts determine of how repugnancy between two statutes arises, and the second pertaining to when it arises. These complexities have been ambiguously interpreted by Indian courts over a period of time, and its consequences inevitably dive into the larger question of the courts’ role of maintaining a balance between Centre-State legislative relations and preserving the authority of Central and State legislatures in enacting laws.
It is in this light that this article aims to discuss the two interpretative inconsistencies stated above, and discusses the ideal way ahead for the courts to decide on issues of statutory repugnancy under the Indian Constitution. The theme bears a nexus to convoluting concerns of Legislative Federalism converting into excessive centrism or de-centrism, and the expectations of Central and State legislatures on persons to obey contradictory laws. Without identifying simpler determining principles to resolve statutory repugnancy, the object of federal legislative harmony weakens