The original suit has been
Filed under Article 131 of the Constitution. The SC has “original”
jurisdiction in disputes between States or the Centre and State(s).
The Article allows it to
directly take cognisance of such a dispute.
Kerala said in its suit that
it would be compelled under Article 256 to comply with the CAA.
Articles in the Constitution
The Article vests the Supreme
Court with original jurisdiction over disputes occurring between states or
between states and the Centre.
The original jurisdiction of
a court means the power to hear a case for the first time, as opposed to
appellate jurisdiction, in which the court reviews the decision of a lower
Unlike the original
jurisdiction under Article 32 (which gives the top court the power to
issue writs, etc.), the jurisdiction in Article 131 is exclusive, meaning
it is only the Supreme Court which has this authority. Under Article 226,
the High Courts too have the power to issue writs, directions etc.
According to article 256: The
executive power of every State shall be so exercised as to ensure
compliance with the laws made by Parliament and any existing laws which
apply in that State, and the executive power of the Union shall extend to
the giving of such directions to a State as may appear to the Government
of India to be necessary for that purpose.
of disputes are covered under Article 131?
In ‘State of Rajasthan vs
Union of India’, 1977, the Supreme Court ruled that the existence or
extent of a legal right is a precursor before a suit under Article 131 is
entertained, and that “mere wrangles between governments have no place in
the scheme of that Article”, and upheld its jurisdiction in that case.
Similarly, in the 1978 case,
‘State of Karnataka vs Union of India’, which involved the Centre’s
authority to order an inquiry into a state Chief Minister’s conduct,
jurisdiction under Article 131 was held valid.
In the present case filed by
Kerala, central legislation (CAA) is being challenged. In 2011, a
two-judge Supreme Court Bench in ‘Madhya Pradesh v Union of India’ had
held such a suit was not maintainable