In Bhagwati J has observed in state

In exercise of powers under article 145 of the constitution, the supreme court framed the supreme court rules, 1966, part III order 22 to 34 which trick prescribes the procedure to be followed in connection with the filing, hearing and disposal of proceedings under article 13. Execution of decree and order has been provided for the provided for by the supreme court (decrees and orders) Enforcement order, 1954 issued by the president under article 142 (1) of the constitution.


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Then in constitution set up a federal polity where intergovernmental disputes of an arise. It therefore becomes necessary to set up a forum for resolving such dissipates article 131 does so why authorising the supreme court to settle intergovernmental disputes. H Bhagwati J has observed in state of Karnataka versus Union of India “that girl is a necessary concomitant of a federal or a Quasi federal form of Government and it is attracted only when the parties to the dispute are the Government of India or one or more States arranged on either side”.

The state of Mysore contested in demand, under the Central Excise Act, for payment of excise duty on agricultural implements manufactured in the factory belonging to the state. The state took the matter to the highest appellate Tribunal under the law, viz., The Government of India, which rejected the same. The state Den filed a writ petition in the High Court against the central government’s decision. The high court rejected the argument that being a dispute between estate and the centre, the matter live within the Exclusive original jurisdiction of the supreme court. It took the view that the central government had disposed of the matter as a trimmer and so it was not a party to the dispute, and that for article 131 to apply, a dispute must directly arise between the state and the central government as the repository of the excuse executive power of the union.

The decision of the High court was is affirmed by the Supreme Court on the ground that Government of India Act ADV only has a criminal and that there was no dispute between the centre and the state.

The state of Bihar filed a suit in the supreme court under article 131 against the Union of India as the owner of Railways, and the Hindustan Steel Ltd., A government company, claiming damages for short supply of iron and steel ordered by the state in connection with the gandak project. The court held that the suit did not lie under article 131, because it’s phraseology excludes the idea of a private citizen, a form or a corporation figuring as a disputant either alone along with a government. “The most important feature of article 131 is that it makes no mention of any party other than the Government of India or any one or more of the states who can be arrayed as a disputant.” No private party, with a citizen, or a form of a corporation, can be included as a party in a suit under article 131 along with state either jointly or in the alternative.

The quote for the hell that the enlarge definition of the state As given under article 12 could not be applied under article 131, and Hindustan Steel could not be regarded as a “State” for that purpose.

This makes quite clear that only intergovernmental dispute can be brought before supreme court under article 131 and a state cannot sue under article 131 a government company belonging to either Central or State government or both this simply means that only  part of Federation will be made party under article 131 and the word state will not give be given wider embed as given in Article 12.

Rightly rejected the argument based on Article 12. As it would have meant that any dispute between a government and an administrative agency, would be brought before the supreme court, which would have placed an impossible word in on it. And this was also the intention of the constitution framer for inserting article 131 in the constitution of India and not placing it in part 3 of the constitution.


Under article 131, the supreme court can take cognizance of a dispute involving “any question (whether of law or fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends.” this means that Association of a legal right of the Government of India or a state and denial by the others. “It is not necessary that the right must be a constitutional right. All that is necessary is that it must be a legal right.”

The most important of all is that the dispute should be in respect of a legal rights and not disputes of a political character. “The purpose of article 131 is to afford a forum for the resolution of disputes which depend for the decision on the existence or extent of a legal right. It is only when a legal comma not Aamir political, issue arises touching up on the existence or extent of a legal right that article 131 is attracted.”

The essential conditions for attracting article 131 is that the dispute must involved question weather of lower fat, on which the existence of extent of a legal right depends. It is this condition which provides the true guide for determining whether a particular dispute Falls within the purview of article 131.

Aaj Bhagwati Jai has observed in the state of Karnataka versus Union of India

” The only requirement necessary for attracting the applicability of article 131 is that the dispute must be one involving any question “on which the resistance or extent of a legal right” depends, irrespective whether the legal right is claimed by one party or the other and it is not necessary that some legal right of the plaintiff should be influenced before a suit can be brought under  that Article.”

Further, Bhagwati Jai has observed in a state of Karnataka versus Union of India defining the scope of article 131

“What has therefore, to be seen in order to determine the applicability of article 131 is weather there is any relation what has therefore, to be seen in order to determine the applicability of article 131 is whether there is any relational legal matter involving a right, Liberty, power or immunity who are the parties to the dispute full stop if there is, the street would be maintainable but not otherwise.”

The Supreme Court has the power to give whatever leaves are necessary for the enforcement of a legal right claimed in the suit if such legal right is established.

Article 142 of the Constitution can also be in work for that purpose.

Very few cases have been filed under article 131 and those cases which have been filed under article 131 contain the problems of constitutional law pertaining to federalism.

State of West Bengal versus Union of India

In a state of West Bengal versus Union of India, the state of West Bengal filed a Suit against the centre seeking a declaration that a central level on constitutional, but the court of all the validity of the impugned law.”

State of Rajasthan vs Union of India

In state of Rajasthan vs Union of India, the question with the term ‘state’ in article 131 (a) includes within its scope “state government”. There was general elections in the country for Lok Sabha in 1977 in which the Congress party was badly defeated. At this time, there were Congress Ministries in several States. The home minister, Government of India, through a communication advise the chief ministers of these States to advise their Governor to resolve the state assembly is under article 174 (2) (b) of the constitution and seek a fresh amended from the people.

These state governments wild fruits in the Supreme Court against the central government under article 131 seeking injunction against dissolution of the state legislative assemblies under article 356 and holding fresh elections in the states because the ruling party had been defeated in the elections for the Lok Sabha in these States.

The central government raised several preliminary objection to the maintainability of the suit under article 131 of the constitution. But the supreme court rejecting all these contentions held that the matter fill with an article 131. The court refused to give a restrictive meaning to article 131. It ruled that article 131 includes a dispute between Central and state governments involving a legal right. In the words of Chandrachud J.. ” the true construction of article 131(a),true in substance and True pragmatically, is that a dispute must arise between the Union and  a State.

It was for the held by supreme court that the dispute between the union of india and estate cannot but beer dispute which arises out of the difference between the government in office at the center and the government in office in state. It is not necessary for attracting article 131 that the plaintiff must assert a legal right in itself Article 131 contains no such restriction. It is sufficient for attracting Article 131 that the plaintiff questions leola constitutional rai desert advisor defendant, be it the government of india or any other state. Such a challenge brings the suite didn’t terms of article 13 14 comma the question for that decision on the court is not very this or that particular legislative assembly isn’t it to continue in office but we’re the government of india comma which is words the constitutional right to dissolve the assembly on the grounds alleged, possesses any such right.

In so far as the dispute related to the distance of the center power under article 356  vis-a-vis the state legislature, it raise the question of legal right. The court also clarify that under article 131, it would have power to be whatever relief and necessary for enforcement of the legal right claim in the suitcase hd girl right is established.


State of karnataka vs union of india

Ek question of interpretation and applicable etv of article 131 also rose instead of karnataka village union of india. The government of india account today commission of enquiry under the commission of enquiry Act, to enquire into certainly jason’s of corruption and misuse of power why the chief minister and a few other ministers. The state of karnataka border shooter game the center under article 13 14 issue of declaration that the notification of pointing the commissioner illegal and ultra vires.

The main condition of the state over there the commission of enquiry Act does not authorized central government to constituted commission of enquiry in regard to metals holly exclusively within the state’s legislative and  executive power. The crucial question thus raised was whether the central government good point a commission twinkle into the conduct of the chief minister and other ministers of state in the discharge of the governmental functions.

Needless, tu say, the question had an intimate bearing on center states relationship, and thus, on indian federalism.

The union of india raised a preliminary objection against the maintainability of the suit. By majority of 4:3, the supreme court road that the suite under article 131 by the state was competent and maintainable. The majority judges were not prepared to take to restrictive a view of article 13. Devar not prepared to distinguish between the state and its government. The majority view was that there is a son integral relationship between the state and its government and what effect the government or the ministers in their capacity as ministers raises a matter in which the state would be concerned.

In the words of Chandrachud, J:

“the object of article 131 is to provide a high powered machinery for ensuring the at the central government and the state governments aberdeen the respective space of there authority and do not trust pastor ponies others constitutional functions or powers.”

Bhagwati J., Explained that the state government is the agent through which the state exercises its executive powers. Therefore, any action which affect the state government order ministers as ministers, would raise a matter in which the state would we concerned.

Bhagwati J., further reuled that “winning a ride or capacity for like of it is at rebooted to any institution operation acting on behalf of the state, it raises a matter in which the state is involved or concerned.”

It was also clarified that under article 131, it is not necessary that the plaintiff stood have some legal right of its own to enforce, before it can file a suit. What is necessary is that the dispute must be one involving any question “on which the existence for extent of a legal right” depends. The plaintiff can bring the suite so long as it has interest in reading the dispute because it is affected by it, even if no legal right of it is increased provided, of course, the dispute is releatable to existence or extent of a legal right.

Therefore, a challenge by the state government to the authority of the central government to point a commission of inquiry to inquire into the locations against the state ministers age regards the discharge of their functions in the state clearly involved a question on which the existence of extent of the legal right of the central government to point such a commission depended and that was enough to sustain the proceedings route by the state under article 131.

Union of india vs state of rajasthan

A similar question arose again when the state of rajasthan filed suit in the ordinary civil court claiming damages for the loos suffered by the state on account of damage caused to the good transported through the railways. The union of india voice completed as a party. It was just a commercial contact under which and officer of the state of rajasthan was entitled to claim delivery of goods consigned as any ordinary consignee. The court road that the cleaners won against the railway administration and was cognizable by ordinary courts. The union of india was impleaded as a party only because it was the owner of the railways. It was not a matter to be decided exclusively by the supreme court under article 131.

The court further pointed out that article 131 is attracted only when a dispute arises between or amongst the states and the union in the context of the constitutional relationship that exist between them and the powers, rights, duties, immunities, liabilities, disabilities, e.t.c flowing therefrom. “It could never have been the intention of the famous of the constitution that any ordinary dispute of this nature would have to be decided exclusively by the supreme court.”


State of karnataka vs state of andhra pradesh

A suit filed by the state of karnataka against the state of andhra pradesh under article 131 raging a dispute relating to known implementation of the binding decisions rendered by the krishna water dispute criminal constituted under Sec 4 of the Inter State Water Dispute Act, 1956, has been held to be maintainable.

Other features of article 131

In the context of article 131, the phrase ” cause of action”using order 23 rule 6 (a) ok the supreme court rules 1966, mills that the dispute between parties referred to in classes (a) to (c) of Art. 131 must in walla question on which the existence or extent of legal right depends, and upland which does not disclose sach a “cause of action” or is ex facie barredd by law, is liable to be rejected under order 23 Rule 6(b) of those Rules.

The supreme court observed in state of bahar vs union of india that the distinguishing feature of article 13 is that the court is not required to educate upon the dispute sinha jacqueline the same way as ordinary courts of law normally called upon to do for upholding the right of the parties and enforcement of its orders and decisions. The court is only concern to give its decision on question of law of fact on which the existence or extent of a legal right claim depends. What’s the code comes to its conclusion on the cases presented by the disputants and eve’s its education on the facts or the points of law raised, the function of the court under article 131 is over.

Article 131 does not prescribed at a suit must be filed in the supreme court for complete education of the dispute envisaged therein, aur the passing of a degree capable of execution in the ordinary was decrease of other courts are. It is open to and aggrieved party tu present a petition to the supreme court containing a full statement of the relevant facts and bring for the declaration of its rights as against other disputants. Once that is done, the function of the supreme court under article 131 is at an end.

This statement seemed to suggest that the only remedy which the supreme court could grand under article 131 was a declaration. This view where’s held to be erroneous in state of rajasthan vs union of india. It has know when hell that the supreme court has power to grant whatever release maybe necessary for enforcement of the legal right claimed in the suit if such legal right is established. Does court has rule din state of karnataka vs state of andhra pradesh that under article 131, the court may pass any  order or directions as may be found necessary to meet the end of justice.

State of haryana vs state of punjab da supreme court issued mandatory induction directing the state of punjab to complete the construction of canal and make it functional within one year. If it did not do so, the union of india voice to get it done through its own agency.

Exclusion of article 131 jurisdiction

Article 131 opens with the words “subject to the provisions of this constitution.” Thus the jurisdiction under article 131 may be excluded by other provisions of the constitution.

The constitution excludes the Exclusive original jurisdiction of the supreme court under article 131 in the following matters:

(1)   According to the proviso to article 131 as mentioned above the courts jurisdiction does not extend to a “disputes arising out of any Treaty agreement Covenant engagement Sanal or other similar instrument which having been entered into are executed before the commencement of the constitution, continuous in Operation after such commencement or which provides that the state jurisdiction shall not extend to such a dispute.”

Reference may also be made in this connection to article 363 which excludes the above mentioned disputes from the jurisdiction original or appellate of the supreme court and all other courts.

The president may, however, refer any dispute excluded from the cruise jurisdiction under article 131 to the supreme court for its advisory opinion under article 143.

(2) under article 262(2), parliament may by law exclude supreme court’s jurisdiction in education of any dispute complaint with respect to use comma distribution control of the waters in any interest state river or river valley.

Parliament has enacted the Inter-state water dispute act 1956. Section 11 of the provides that neither the supreme court nor any other court shall have jurisdiction in respect of any water dispute which could be referred to a tribune under the Act.

A tribunal was appointed under the apt to decide upon the appointment of krishna river water. The tribunal evil dead 2 schemes. The state of andhra pradesh filed a suit under article 131 against the states of karnataka and maharashtra and the union of india for proper implementation of the schemes evolved by the tribunal. It was objective that as the suit related to water dispute it was bad under article 262(2) read with the water dispute Act. The supreme court over rules objection saying that the suite did not really too the settlement of a water dispute but enforcement of the decision of the tribunal. The suite was held maintainable under article 131.

Dispute relating to water

1.      Article 262 is a source of legislative power. It can first exclusive power on the parliament to enact a law providing for the adjudication of disputes. The dispute saw complaints meri late to the use distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any Inter-state river or river valley. ‘Use’, ‘distribution’ and ‘control’may include regulation and development of the said waters.

Though the water of an interstate river paas through the territories of the reparian states, search water cannot be regarded as located in any one state. They are in a state of slow and no state can claim exclusive ownership of such waters.Hence, no state can lage slate for the you of sach water since its legislative power does not extend beyond its territories.

In exercise of the power concert by this clause, parliament has instead the interstate water dispute Act,1956. Section 4 (1) of this Act provide that when, concept of a request from any state government, the central government is of opinion that the water dispute cannot be settled by negotiations, the central government shall constitute a water dispute tribunal for the education of that dispute. The criminal constituted under section 4 of the interstate water dispute Act,1956 investigate had the matters referred to it regarding distribution of water in river schemes “A” and “B”. Scheme “A”why notified and implemented but scheme “B” was postponed at the three states did not agree as to the constitution of an authority namely, krishna valley authority which was to be the backbone of the scheme. However the state of karnataka brought a suit for its implementation but the supreme court decline to issue any direction in this respect is it concluded the scheme be did not form part of the decision of the tribunal.

The supreme court has healed that was the central government find that the dispute referred to in the request received from the estate government cannot be settled by negotiations, it becomes mandatory for the central government to constitutes a tribunal and to refer the dispute to it for adjudication. Tip the central government face to make such reference, the court may, on an application and article 32 by an aggrieved party, ishu mendes to the central government to carry out its statutory obligation.

The language of article 262 is of white amplitude and has to be distinguish from entry 56 of List I and entry 17 of List II.

The state of karnataka route suit under article 131 of the constitution for the implementation of scheme “B”. It was constructed that it being better dispute referred to the trinidad jurisdiction of the supreme court was border new of the provisions of article 262 (2) r.w Section 11 of the Act. The supreme court of reserve that from the nature of resistance made in the paint and the relief sought for, it where’s difficult to hold that it constituted a water dispute under section 2(c) of the inter-state water dispute Act, 1956 so as to bar the Apex Court’s jurisdiction.

The water level of Mullaperiyar dan reservoir was reduced from its full level do to the security/safety consideration rating to the dam. There after dispute saroj between the states concerned as to the straightening needs to be taken and restoration of water level of the dam reservoir to its original level. The supreme court held at such a dispute is not a water dispute within the meaning of sec 2(c) of the Inter-state water dispute Act,1956. Health the jurisdiction of the supreme court in respect of the state dispute was not barred.

Notwithstanding that, the supreme court has held that:-

(A) It is exclusive function and duty of a court to interpret a statute and to determine the limits of the jurisdiction of any criminal statutory authority (which in the present case is the Cauvery W.D Tribunal). This jurisdiction of the court is not barred by Sec 11 of the Act.

(B)  What is what is the question weather any party before the criminal is entitled to any relief on the merits.

In this case the tribunal has held that it had no jurisdiction to grant any interim relief under the Act. The supreme court, an appeal by special leave, hey that the jurisdiction had been conferred by agreement between the parties before the criminal and the supreme court directed the tribunal to decide on the merits wheather the appellant was entitled to any entry release on the facts of the case and tribunal passed intrim orders in pursuance tu the directions of the supreme court for the enforcement of which a suit was instituted. Considering the submission of the parties the court concluded that the suit involved a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the constitution and referred the matter to be heard and decided by a constitution bench.