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All You Need To Know About The Doctrine of Territorial Nexus

Introduction

The distribution of powers between the centre and the states is referred to as federalism. It is a highly complex system, but the aim of forming a federal state involves the allocation of powers between the union and the centre.

The constitution divides their power so that they can maintain their independence from the executive and legislative branches, Because our constitution is federal, it creates a dual polity between the union and the states. They are given sovereign powers that must be exercised following the Constitution.

Our constitution, as the ultimate law of the nation, defines the fundamental definition of federalism, which is the separation of powers. A nexus between the item and the state must be demonstrated to give effect to laws established by a state for extraterritorial purposes.

The state legislature has the authority to enact legislation within its geographical jurisdiction. Territorial nexus is one such exemption, which permits the state to pass laws governing extraterritorial activity provided it can demonstrate a link between the item and the state.

Meaning

The following is mentioned in Article 245 of the Indian constitution:

  1. Parliament has the authority to enact laws for extraterritorial activities as well as legislation for the entire nation or any part of it.
  2. The state legislature has the authority to enact laws for the entire state or any section of it.

As a result, both the union and the state have the geographical authority for making laws.

It is stated in article 246 that Parliament has the express authority to enact legislation on the subjects mentioned in the union list, the state has the authority to enact legislation on the topics included in the state list and both the state and the union have the authority to enact legislation on the subjects included in the concurrent list.

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Territorial Nexus and the State Legislature

Our Constitution grants each state the authority to enact laws within its territorial jurisdiction. The state legislature has the authority to enact laws for its benefit. The territorial nexus doctrine is only valid when the following requirements are met. The following are the conditions:

  1. The nexus must be legal.
  2. The obligation must be linked to the territorial link.

These elements are sufficient to demonstrate that the connection was legal, and the court would not call it into question. Several instances of taxation law have found that a state’s territorial limitations would not impede the sale and purchase of commodities.

Role in India

Article 245 of the Indian constitution specifies the degree to which legislative powers are delegated to parliament and state legislatures to pass legislation governing the area. Parliament has the authority to enact laws for the subjects over which it has jurisdiction. Parliament has jurisdiction over the entire country or any part of it. They can also be adopted by parliament for extraterritorial activities if the legislation is sufficiently linked to India. These laws cannot be challenged or declared illegal. All legislation, however, must adhere to the requirements of the Indian constitution.

The authority granted by parliament is not absolute. Extraterritorial laws enacted by the parliament are intended to allow for activity outside of India’s borders. The state legislature lacks the authority to enact legislation governing extraterritorial activity. This limitation of the state legislature, however, is susceptible to one exception: territorial nexus. If it is proven that there is a sufficient link between the object and the laws adopted by the state legislature, the laws will have an impact beyond the state’s territorial borders.

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The following conditions must be met to invoke territorial nexus jurisdiction:  

  1. If a state has extraterritorial activity.
  2. If there is a legal connection between the item and the state.
  3. It should be obvious that the object must be located outside of the state’s territorial borders, but it must have a territorial relationship with the state.

State of Bihar v. Charusilla Devi

In the present case, the state of Bihar enacted laws with the goal of protecting the holdings of Hindu religious trusts. This statute encompasses all trusts within the boundaries of Bihar. So the respondent Madea’s trust deeded numerous of her assets in Bihar and Calcutta, and the trust was inside Bihar’s territorial limits. Several issues have been raised regarding the scope of this statute. It was decided that the act passed by the state of Bihar might have an effect on property located outside of Bihar’s territorial limits, provided that the trust is located inside the state’s borders and there is a sufficient link.

Conclusion

Because our constitution is federal in nature, it creates a dual polity between the union and the states. Parliament has the authority to create laws for some or all of India, as well as the authority to enact laws for extraterritorial activities. A state legislature, on the other hand, lacks the authority to enact legislation governing extraterritorial activity.

There is one exemption that allows the state legislature to pass legislation for extraterritorial purposes if the object and the state have a sufficient relationship. It indicates that the thing must be placed outside the state’s borders and have a territorial relationship to the state. The scope of territorial connection is broad and may be used outside of India’s borders. The theory of territorial linkage permits the impact of the law to extend beyond a nation’s borders.

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