Doctrine of Pith and Substance

The doctrine holds that if a law or legislative action falls within the core area of a subject matter assigned to a particular level of government under the constitution, it is valid even if it may have incidental effects on other areas of jurisdiction 

It involves analyzing the essential character and dominant purpose of the law to determine whether it falls within the legislative competence of the government that enacted it. 

The court will look at the "pith and substance" of the law or action to determine whether it is within the authority of the level of government that passed it. .

For example, if a law is passed by a provincial government that is related to a subject matter assigned to the federal government, the court will examine the "pith and substance" of the law 

to determine whether it is actually related to a matter that falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the provincial government. 

Landmark Judgements: 1.State of Bombay Vs. F.N. Balsara  2.Prafulla Kumar Mukherjee v. Bank of Khulna 


Where Passion Meets The Legal World

For collaborations, reach out to us at

Thank You