Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s letter to the Indian Prime Minister informing him of her government’s decision not to permit IPL matches in Tamil Nadu is completely out of line as it violates the Constitutional guidelines in as far as it attempts to overstep the State’s powers to deal with an issue which is essentially a matter of Foreign affairs that is in the power of the Central government. The following is the part of the text of the letter to PM that is violative of the constitutionally defined clear roles for the Centre and State:
“The Government of Tamil Nadu will permit IPL matches to be held in Tamil Nadu, only if the organizers provide an undertaking that no Sri Lankan players, umpires, officials or support staff would participate in these matches.”
Article 257 (1) falling under Part XI of the Constitution that deals with ‘Relations between the Union and the States’ states:
“The executive power of every State shall be so exercised as not to impede or prejudice the exercise of the executive power of the Union, and the executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of such directions to a State as may appear to the Government of India to be necessary for that purpose.”
In this context, Jayalalithaa’s letter informing the PM about not permitting Sri Lankans to participate in IPL matches played in Tamil Nadu smacks of contempt for constitutional guidelines. Her statement tends to prejudice the Central Government’s exercise of executive power when it comes to the matter of Foreign affairs (all matters which bring the Union into relation with any foreign country); a matter that is placed on the Union List as regards the distribution of legislative powers between the Centre and the State.
As far as I know, the Government of India grants visitor visas to foreigners to enter India and not specific states. Thus Jayalalithaa’s statement restricting Sri Lankans to participate in the IPL matches contravenes the spirit in which the Government of India grants visas to foreigners. Either the government must specifically state in their visas that entry to specific states is not granted or call out Jayalalithaa’s attempts to intervene in a matter that is outside her constitutionally defined scope.