The Supreme Court has said that in the event of conflict, the central legislations will override the state laws on subjects like university and education where both have the power to legislate.
“In view of the discussion …, we hold: (i) To the extent the state legislation is in conflict with central legislation including sub-ordinate legislation made by the central legislation under Entry 25 of the Concurrent List shall be repugnant to the central legislation and would be inoperative,” a bench of justices S J Mukhopadhya and N V Ramana said.
“The UGC regulations being passed by both Houses of Parliament, though a subordinate legislation has binding effect on the universities to which it applies,” it said.
The bench was dealing with the issue relating to conflict between the UGC Regulations, made under the UGC Act and the Madurai Kamaraj University Act.
This issue had arisen in the context of a Madras High Court judgement setting aside the appointment of Kalyani Mathivanan as Vice Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University.
The high court had held that the post of VC is a part of academia and the UGC Regulations, 2010 will prevail over the state enactment and the statutes framed under the state law in the event of a conflict.
The apex court, however, concurred with the views of the high court on the constitutional issue, but set aside its order quashing appointment of Mathivanan as VC.
“The UGC Regulations, 2010 having not adopted by Tamil Nadu, the question of conflict between state legislation and statutes framed under central legislation does not arise. Once it is adopted by the state government, the state legislation to be amended appropriately. In such case also there shall be no conflict between the state legislation and the central legislation,” it said.
“We uphold the appointment of Dr Kalyani Mathivanan as Vice Chancellor, Madurai Kamaraj University … and set aside the impugned common judgment and order dated June 26, 2014 passed by a division bench of the Madras High Court, Madurai Bench,” it said.