Chapters :
  • RELATIONS BETWEEN THE UNION AND THE STATES  – 01
  • Centre-State Relations
  • Legislative Relations
  • The territorial jurisdiction of laws of Parliament and State Legislatures
  • Division of legislative subjects between the centre and the states
  • Parliament’s power to legislate on subjects in the state list
  • Administrative Relations

RELATIONS BETWEEN THE UNION AND THE STATES  – 01

Centre-State Relations

The Constitution of India provides a federal system of government in which the states share administrative, legislative and financial powers with the centre.
  • Legislative Relations
Articles 245 to 255 under Part XI of the constitution consist of provisions that deal with the distribution of legislative powers between the centre and the states. The centre-state relations on legislative matters can be studied from the following four aspects.
  1. The territorial jurisdiction of laws of Parliament and State Legislatures;
  2. Division of legislative subjects between the centre and the states;
  3. Parliament’s power to legislate on subjects in the state list and
  4. Centre’s control over state legislation.
  • The territorial jurisdiction of laws of Parliament and State Legislatures:
Parliament: It can make laws that are applicable to either a part or the entire territory of India. It alone can make laws that are applicable outside the territory of India to the Indian citizens and their properties abroad. Exception: The laws of Parliament are not applicable in the following three categories of areas within the territory of India. They are
  1. The President can make regulations for the promotion of peace, progress and good governance in the four Union Territories(UTs) – Andaman and Nicobar islands, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. These regulations can amend or repeal any laws of Parliament that are operating in these UTs.
  2. The Governor can direct that a law of Parliament is not applicable or applicable with modifications to the Scheduled Areas in the state.
  3. The Governor of Assam can direct that a law of Parliament is not applicable or applicable with modifications to the Tribal Areas in the state.
  4. The President can direct that a law of Parliament is not applicable or applicable with modifications to the Tribal Areas in Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
State Legislature: It can make laws that are applicable to either a part or the entire territory of the state. It can also make laws that are applicable outside the state territory on matters that have a strong nexus with the state.
  • Division of legislative subjects between the centre and the states:
The seventh schedule of the constitution distributes the subjects of legislation between the centre and the states under three lists namely, the union list, the state list and the concurrent list. Union List: It consists of subjects of national importance such as the defence, foreign affairs and so on.The Parliament has the exclusive right to legislate on subjects in this list. State List: It consists of subjects of regional or local importance such as public health, sanitation and so on. The State legislatures have the exclusive right to legislate on subjects in this list only during normal times. Concurrent List: Both the Parliament and the state legislatures can make laws on subjects in this list. However, in case of conflict between the Parliamentary law and the state law on a subject, the Parliamentary law prevails. Exception: In case of conflict between a state law and a parliamentary law on a subject in the concurrent list, the state law prevails over the parliamentary law, if it has been reserved by the Governor for the President’s consideration and receives the assent of the President.
Note: In case of conflict between a Parliamentary law and a concurrent law, the former prevails. In case of conflict between a Parliamentary law and a state law, the former prevails and in case of conflict between a concurrent law and a state law, the former prevails.
Parliament’s power to legislate on subjects in the state list: The Parliament can legislate on subjects in the state list under the following five circumstances.
  1. When the RajyaSabha passes a resolution to enable the Parliament to make laws on a subject in the state list. Such a resolution is valid for one year.
Majority required: 2/3rd of the members present and voting.
  1. During National Emergency, the Parliament becomes authoritative to make laws on any subject in the state list. All such laws will cease to operate after the expiry of six months from the date of revocation of emergency.
  2. When two or more states request the Parliament to make laws on a subject in the state list. Such Parliamentary laws are applicable only to the concerned states and can be amended or repealed only by the Parliament.
  3. To implement international treaties, agreements and so on, the Parliament makes laws on state list as it requires uniformity of laws throughout the entire territory of India,
  4. During the President’s rule in a state, the state government is dismissed and the Parliament becomes authoritative to make laws on the state list. Such Parliamentary laws will remain operative even after the revocation of President’s rule. However, the newly elected state legislature can amend or repeal such laws.
Centre’s control over state legislation The central government exercises control over the state legislation in the following three cases.
  1. The governors can reserve bills passed by the state legislatures for the consideration of the President.
  2. During Financial Emergency, the President can ask the state legislatures to reserve money bills and other financial bills for his consideration.
  3. Certain bills can be introduced in the state legislatures only with prior recommendation of the President. Example: Bills that restrict freedom of trade and commerce between the states.
Administrative Relations Articles 256 to 263 under Part XI of the constitution consist of provisions that deal with the distribution of administrative powers between the centre and the states. The Central Government: The centre government executes the laws that are made on subjects in the union list. The State Governments: The state governments execute the laws that are made on subjects in the state list and the concurrent list. The state governments must exercise their executive powers under two restrictions. They are
  1. The state governments should exercise their executive powers in accordance with the parliamentary laws.
  2. The executive powers of state governments should not obstruct the executive powers of centre in the states.
With respect to the above two cases, the centre has the power to issue directions to the state governments. Such directions must be followed by the states. In the cases of non-compliance with the centre’s directions, the President can impose President’s rule in such states
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