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Legislative Relations Between Centre And State

Legislative Relations Between Centre And State
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Highlights

India has a federal form of government with one at the centre andthe other in the States. A federalgovernment is characterized with decentralizationand division of powers.

India has a federal form of government with one at the centre andthe other in the States. A federalgovernment is characterized with decentralizationand division of powers.

The Constitution of India dividespowers between the Centre and Statesin the three spheres of legislation, administrationand financial.

The division of powers in the legislativesphere is done on the followingtwo lines:
1. The territory over which the centreand the states will have jurisdiction
2. The subjects of legislation onwhich they have the power tomake laws
Article 245 defines the extent oflaws made by the Parliament and theState Legislatures in terms of the territorywhere the laws would be enforced.The laws made by the StateGovernments are confined to theterritorial boundaries of the statewhere as the laws madeby the Parliament areapplicable to the territoryof India as well asthe Indian citizens livingabroad and theirproperty situated anywherein the world.
Therefore the legislative power of theParliament is called Extra-territoriallegislation where as the legislativepower of the State Legislatures iscalled territorial legislation.Article 246 deals with the distributionof the subjects of legislation betweenthe Centre and the States.
TheConstitution under this article providesfor a threefold distribution in theform of the following three lists
1. Union List or List I – consists of97 subjects on which the Parliamentalone can legislate. All subjectsof national interest such asforeign affairs, defence and so onare included in this list and the subjectsare exclusive to the centre;under any given circumstancesstates cannot legislate on the subjectsin this list
2. State List of List II – consists of 66subjects on which the states canlegislate. All subjects of local interestsuch as law and order areplaced in this list. However, thislist is not exclusive to thestates; the Parliamentcan legislate ofthe subjects in this list under thefollowing five situations:
i. Article 249 empowers the RajyaSabha to declare any subject in thestate list as a subject of nationalimportance by passing it with aspecial majority of two-thirds presentand voting. The effect of thisdeclaration is that the parliamentwill have thepower to legislate on this subjectfor a period of 1 year. This declarationcan be further extended fora period of one year if RajyaSabha again passes a resolution tothis effect.
ii. Article 250 empowers the Parliamentto make laws on any subjectin the state list when Nationalemergency is in force.
iii. Article 252 empowers two or morestates to pass a resolution in theirrespective state assemblies with asimple majority empowering theParliament to make a law on astate subject. The law made the Parliament on such a subject canbe enforced only in those statesthat passed the resolution If anyother state wants to adopts thesame law, it has to pass a resolutionin its assembly to this effect.
However the laws made by theParliament can be repealed oramended by the Parliamentonly; the states will not have anypower to amend or repealthese lawsiv.Article 253 empowersthe Parliament to make a law on anysubject in the state list in order togive effect to an internationalagreement.
In making such a law,there is no condition that the Parliamentmust inform the concernedstate or states or take theirconsent.When state emergency or President’srule is declared in a State,the Government (executive andlegislature) of that State is suspendedand therefore the Parliamentcan make a law on anysubject in the State list applicablein that state only
According to Article 251, in case ofinconsistency between the lawmade by Centre and the state in asubject in the state list, then theCentral law will prevail over thestate law.
3. Concurrent List of List III – consists of 47 subjects on which boththe states and the centre can legislate.
All subjects of common interestsuch as education are placed inthis list. However, according to Article254, in case of an inconsistencybetween the central law andthe state law on a subject in theconcurrent list then the central lawshall prevail. The only exception tothis is if the state law is assentedby the President then the state lawshall prevail for that state Apart from the above mentionedthree lists, Article 248 empowers theParliament to legislate on subjectswhich are not listed in any of the threelists. Such subjects are called residuarypowers and the Constitution veststhese powers in the Parliament.
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