Explained: What is Article 131?
New Delhi, Jan 14: The Kerala government on Monday moved the Supreme Court to challenge the Citizenship Amendment Act and sought to declare it as violative of the principles of equality, freedom and secularism enshrined in the Constitution.
The plea, filed under Article 131 of the Constitution on disputes between Centre and states, stated that the CAA violates right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution of India, right to life under Article 21 and freedom to practice religion under Article 25, Hindustan Times reported.
The CPI(M)-led Kerala government is the first state government to challenge the act. The Kerala assembly was also the first in the country to pass a resolution against the act.
So, what is Article 131?
Article 131 of the constitution is unique because of the fact that Supreme Court has the power to directly listen to matters between 2 states governments or between the Centre and the state.
Article 131 states that the Supreme court is the guardian of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 14 which states that if there is any kind of violation of the fundamental rights, then one can go directly to the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution (this being a fundamental right too).
But when there is a dispute which arises between the States of India or between the State Government and the Union Government then it is the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 131 of the Constitution to resolve these disputes.
The CAA was passed by Parliament on December 11. The CAA, which was notified on January 10, grants Indian citizenship to non-Muslim minorities who migrated to India from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh till December 31, 2014, following persecution over their faith.
Article 131 in the Constitution reads:
Original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Supreme Court shall, to the exclusion of any other court, have original jurisdiction in any dispute
a. between the Government of India and one or more States; or
b. between the Government of India and any State or States on one side and one or more other States on the other; or
c. between two or more States, if and in so far as the dispute involves any question (whether of law or fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends: Provided that the said jurisdiction shall not extend to a dispute arising out of any treaty, agreement, covenant, engagements, and or other similar instrument which, having been entered into or executed before the commencement of this Constitution, continues in operation after such commencement, or which provides that the said jurisdiction shall not extend to such a dispute