Tharani Vemuganti, Tharani Vemuganti has a masters degree in law with specialization in Public Law and Legal Theory from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad
The challenge of federal laws by the constituents of a federation for the violation of individual’s rights has been a debatable issue across the world. A recent example is the challenge of India’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 by an Indian state on the ground that it violates the fundamental rights of citizens. While the issue is yet to be decided by the Supreme Court, the author, through a comparative lens, attempts to understand whether the state can do so. The position in the U.S.A is that the states may challenge in the capacity of Parens Patriae demanding benefits under the federal laws, but not while demanding protection from the same. Australia, on the other hand, bestowed upon the Advocate General, the role of Parens Patriae and allows them to check the Commonwealth’s Constitutional boundaries. The position in India is however not simple since the Constitution neither recognises the principle of Parens Patriae nor allows the states to check the centre's powers. The author finds that the quasi-federal nature of India allows states to challenge central laws involving states’ legal rights but does not allow the states to act as representatives to the individuals residing within its bounds.