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Report No. 189

(c) Law on Court fees payable in Courts in Union Territories

As far as Court fees payable in other Courts exercising jurisdiction over the Union Territories are concerned, no doubt Parliament can enact any law by virtue of power conferred on it under Article 246(4) of the Constitution of India. Apart from Article 246(4), the President of India may also under Article 240 of the Constitution, make regulations for the peace, progress and good government for the Union Territory of:

(a) Andaman and Nicobar Island

(b) Lakshadweep

(c) Dadra and Nagar Haveli

(d) Daman and Diu

(e) Pondicherry

However, for Union Territory of Pondicherry, any regulation can only be made by the President when the Legislative Assembly of Union Territory of Pondicherry is dissolved or is under suspension.

Any regulation so made by the President under Article 240 of the Constitution, may repeal or amend any law made by Parliament which is applicable to the particular Union Territory for which regulation has been made and the regulation so made by the President shall have the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament [see Article 240(2)]. A five Judge Bench of the Supreme Court in T.M. Kanniyan v. I.T. Officer, Pondicherry, AIR 1968 SC 637, while interpreting Article 240 of the Constitution, has observed:

"By the express words of Art. 240, the President can make regulations for the peace, progress and good government of the specified Union Territories. Any regulation so made may repeal or amend any Act made by Parliament and applicable to that territory. When promulgated by the President, the regulation has the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament applicable to that territory. This general power of the President to make regulation extends to all matters on which Parliament can legislate."

At present there are only seven territories having status of Union Territory. These are:

(1) Delhi

(2) Andaman and Nicobar Island

(3) Lakshadweep

(4) Dadra and Nagar Haveli

(5) Daman and Diu

(6) Pondicherry

(7) Chandigarh

Among these seven Union Territories, Delhi and Pondicherry are having their own Legislative Assemblies also. These Legislative Assemblies can also enact any law on a subject falling in List II (State List) of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution. (See for Delhi - sub-clause (a) of clause (3) of Article 239AA of the Constitution of India; for Pondicherry - section 18 of the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963).

However, Parliament's power under Article 246(4) is unaffected and any law made by Parliament 52will prevail over any law made by any Legislative Assembly mentioned above. (See sub-clauses (b) and (c) of clause (3) of Article 239AA of the Constitution of India and sections 18(2) and 21 of the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963). In fact, Pondicherry Legislative Assembly has already enacted 'The Pondicherry Court Fees and Suit Valuation Act, 1972'.



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