Centre-state disputes and Article 131
➢ Kerala has become the first state to challenge the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) before the
Supreme Court under Article 131 of the Constitution.
➢ Besides, Chhattisgarh government has also filed a suit in the Supreme Court under Article
131, challenging the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act on the ground that it encroaches
upon the state’s powers to maintain law and order.
Under Article 131 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction to deal with any dispute
between the Centre and a state; the Centre and a state on the one side and another state on the other
side; and two or more states.
➢ For a dispute to qualify as a dispute under Article 131, it has to necessarily be between states and
the Centre, and must involve a question of law or fact on which the existence of a legal right of the
state or the Centre depends.
➢ In a 1978 judgment, State of Karnataka v Union of India, Justice P N Bhagwati had said that for
the Supreme Court to accept a suit under Article 131, the state need not show that its legal right is
violated, but only that the dispute involves a legal question.
➢ Article 131 cannot be used to settle political differences between state and central governments
headed by different parties.
➢ The Supreme Court has three kinds of jurisdictions: original, appellate and advisory.
➢ Under its advisory jurisdiction, the President has the power to seek an opinion from the apex court
under Article 143 of the Constitution.
➢ Under its appellate jurisdiction, the Supreme Court hears appeals from lower courts.