The Centre has the right to give directions to a state government on the issue of legislations, the law ministry has ruled against the backdrop of the Haryana government questioning a central missive recently on the issue of a separate gurdwara body in the state.
Sources said the law ministry, in an opinion rendered to the home ministry, stated that under Article 256 of the Constitution, the Centre has executive power to give such directions to a state as may appear to the union government to be necessary for that purpose.
Haryana has been insisting that it is the right of the state government and the state legislature to enact a law on creating a separate gurdwara management committee.
The state government has asked the home ministry to withdraw its letter, which said the state assembly did not have legal authority to enact such a law and it was thus ‘void’.
Article 256 says, “The executive power of every State shall be so exercised as to ensure compliance with the laws made by Parliament and any existing laws which apply in that State, and the executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of such directions to a State as may appear to the government of India to be necessary for that purpose.”
Amid protests by Punjab, the Centre has already asked the Haryana governor to withdraw the assent granted to a bill aiming to create a separate Sikh gurdwara management committee.
In a letter to Haryana chief secretary SC Choudhary, union home secretary Anil Goswami had said the Haryana Sikh Gurdwaras (Management) Bill, 2014, passed by the state assembly on July 11, to which the governor accorded his assent on July 14, has “no legal effect” and be withdrawn before any further complications arise.