Union of India v. Rajendra N Shah - Synopsis
Team SoOLEGAL 26 Jul 2021

The Apex Court struck down majority of the new provisions inserted through the 97th Constitutional Amendment. The reason for the amendment was the required ratification under Article 368(2) of the Constitution from the States was not obtained.

It was held that Part IXB is employable to the extent that multi-State co-operative societies are concerned. The judgment didn’t talk about certain important provisions that were also added after this amendment; therefore, those remain unaffected and continued as a part of the Constitution.

According to Section 2 of the Amendment Act, the term ‘cooperative societies’ was inserted to Article 19(1)(c) which states that,All citizens shall have the right to form associations or unions or cooperative societies”

The new amendment also introduced article 43B in the DPSP, which states, “that states shall endeavour to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of cooperative societies.”

But these provisions remain unaltered as, the issue raised before the court of law was related to the Part IXB.

The court rejected the arguments for two reasons. According to the court if Doctrine of Severability was not applied, then, the judgement passed in Kihoto Hollohan would be erroneous. Thus, on this basis the whole amendment and additions made in Article 19 and 43B had to be quashed.

The larger part of the judgment acknowledged the dispute raised by the Centre that opposed to inclusion of two separate parts inside Part IXB, one managing State co-operative societies and one managing multi-State co-operative societies, the notable legislative gadget of "reference" to existing provisions was rather used by Article 243ZR and that along these lines the matter ought to be seen as though a different part inside Part IXB has been authorized to the extent that multi-State cooperative societies are concerned.

This implies that, the provisions of the Part will in any case apply to the multi-State cooperative societies subject to the change that any reference to "Legislative body of a State", "State Act" or “State Government" will be understood as a kind of perspective to "Parliament", "Central Act" or "the Central Government" individually. Likewise, the provisions of Part will apply to 'multi-State cooperative societies’ working in Union Territories with adjustment proposed in Article 243ZS.


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