Report No. 24
22. Section 3(1)-
Possible overlapping in jurisdiction between Central and State Governments' Commissions.-Under section 3(1), read with the definition of 'appropriate Government' the power to appoint a Commission is given to,-
(i) the Central Government, if the inquiry is in connection with any matter relatable to any of the matters enumerated in List I, List II or List III in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution;
(ii) the State Government, if the inquiry is in connection with any matter relatable to any of the matters enumerated in List II or List III.
It would be noticed that so far as List II and List III are concerned, both the Central Government and the State Governments can appoint a Commission of Inquiry. The Act, however, eliminates any possible conflict or overlapping in jurisdiction by expressly providing that where a Commission has been appointed to inquire into any matter by the Central Government, no State Government is to appoint another Commission to inquire into the same matter so long as the Commission appointed by the Central Government is functioning except with the approval of the Central Government.
Conversely, where a Commission has been appointed by a State Government to inquire into any matter, the Central Government is also not to appoint another Commission to inquire into the same matter so long as the Commission appointed by the State Government is functioning, unless the Central Government is of opinion that the scope of the inquiry should be extended to two or more States.
Here, there is an omission, namely, the Act does not indicate what is to happen if, after the appointment of a Commission by a State Government, the Central Government decides that the scope of the inquiry should be extended to two or more States and accordingly appoints a Commission. In our opinion, in such a situation the Commission appointed by the State Government should cease to function,1 particularly as the inquiry is to be made into the same matter. We recommend that an express provision in this behalf may be made.
1. The provision that when a State Commission is functioning the Central Government should not appoint a Commission unless the scope of the inquiry is to extend to two or more States was not included in the Bill as originally introduced but was inserted by the Select Committee.