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CENTRE, STATE CAN FIX SUGARCANE PRICE, SAYS SC

Why in news?

  • The Supreme Court on 22nd April 2020 held in its judgment that both the central government as well as the state governments have the power to fix the price of sugarcane provided the price set by the State is higher than the minimum price fixed by the Centre.
  • The judgment was passed by a five-judge constitution bench delivered through video-conferencing.
  • Question was regarding the power of the state government to fix a minimum price for sugarcane when the Centre had already set a price for the same.

The judgement of the Supreme Court

  • The constitutional bench observed in its judgment that the price which is fixed by the central government is the “minimum price” and the price which is fixed by the state government is the “advised price” which is always higher than the “minimum price” fixed by the central government and therefore, there is no conflict.
  • It is only in a case where the “advised price” fixed by the state government is lower than the “minimum price” fixed by the central government, the provisions of the central enactments will prevail and the “minimum price” fixed by the central government would prevail.
  • So long as the “advised price” fixed by the state government is higher than the “minimum price” fixed by the central government, the same cannot be said to be void as per the provisions of the Constitution of India.

Supremacy of Centre regarding the Concurrent List

If any provision of a law made by the Legislature of a State is repugnant to any provision of a law made by Parliament which Parliament is competent to enact, or to any provision of an existing law with respect to one of the matters enumerated in the Concurrent List, then, the law made by Parliament shall prevail and the law made by the Legislature of the State shall, to the extent of the repugnancy, be void.

Exception to the supremacy of Union

There is an exception to this in cases where a law is made by the Legislature of a State with respect to one of the matters enumerated in the Concurrent List contains any provision repugnant to the provisions of an earlier law made by Parliament or an existing law with respect to that matter, then, the law so made by the Legislature of such State shall, if it has been reserved for the consideration of the President and has received his assent, prevail in that State.

Provided that nothing in this clause shall prevent Parliament from enacting at any time any law with respect to the same matter including a law adding to, amending, varying or repealing the law so made by the Legislature of the State.

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September 2022
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