Doctrine of Harmonious Construction of Entries [ Complete Notes ]
In case of overlapping between entries in the different lists, the conflict has to be resolved, reconciled and the entries must be read and interpreted harmoniously. The court should make an attempt to reasonably and practically construe the entries so as to reconcile the conflict and avoid overlapping. This is known as the harmonious construction of various entries or harmonious interpretation of various entries.
To harmonise and reconcile the conflicting entries in the list, it may be necessary to read and interpret the relevant entries together and wherever necessary, restrict the entries of the broader entry in the favour of the narrower entry so that the latter one is not eaten up by the former.
To overcome such a problem, the scheme of Article 246 of the Indian Constitution is to secure the predominance of the Union List over the two other lists, and the concurrent list over the state list.
Article 246 (1) of the Indian Constitution refers, ” Notwithstanding anything in clauses (2) and (3) “, makes it nonobstant clause and its effect is to make the Union power prevail in case of the Union and State powers overlap.
An entry in one list cannot be so interpreted or constructed as to cancel or obliterate another entry or make another entry meaningless.
Therefore in case of conflict, it is the duty of the court to iron out the crease and avoid conflict by reconciling the conflict.