Ahmedabad: Striking down certain provisions of the 97th constitutional amendment, the Gujarat High Court on Monday held that the Centre cannot enact laws or issue notification with regard to cooperative societies as it is a state subject.
A division bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala pronounced its judgement on a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the legality of the 97th constitutional amendment.
The bench held that certain provisions of the amendment pertaining to cooperative societies violated the basic structure of federalism and ratification process under article 368 of the Constitution.
"The court has struck down all the provisions of 97th amendment which are related to cooperative societies as it is a state subject. Exact details will be known only after copy of judgement is available," said advocate Masoom Shah, representing the petitioner.
The PIL, filed by NGO Consumer Protection Analytic Committee (CPAC) member Rajendra Shah, claimed Union of India had no legislative competence to enact law for cooperative societies which is exclusively a state subject under the scheme of the Constitution.
The 97th amendment passed by Parliament in December 2011 came into effect from February 15, 2012.
"The amendment is not required as eventually it legislates and encroaches on the occupied field of state legislation and consequently it transgress the Constitutional powers," the petitioner had contended.
"In the case of 97th Amendment there was a clear violation of the procedure as laid down, in article 368(2), for amendment of the the Constitution," the petitioner argued.
"As per the provisions of Article 368 of the Constitution, if Parliament intends to amend or delete any of the lists in the seventh schedule, such Amendment shall require to be ratified by the legislature of not less than one half of the states by resolution to the effect passed by those legislatures before the bill making provisions for such amendment is presented to the President for Assent," he said.
"The Court has struck down provisions in regard to the cooperative societies and full details of the judgement will be known when its copy is made available," Additional Solicitor General P S Champaneri told PTI.