In this article, we will discuss Centre State Relations (Part-1). So, let’s get started.
Centre State Relations
The Constitution of India, being federal in structure, divides all powers (legislative,executive and financial) between the Centre and the states. However, there is no division of judicial power as the Constitution has established an integrated judicial system to enforce both the Central laws as well as state laws.
Though the Centre and the states are supreme in their respective fields, the maximum harmony and coordination between them is essential for the effective operation of the federal system. Hence, the Constitution contains elaborate provisions to regulate the various dimensions of the relations between the Centre and the states.
The Centre-state relations can be studied under three heads:
• Legislative relations.
• Administrative relations.
• Financial relations.
Articles 245 to 255 in Part XI of the Constitution deal with the legislative relations between the Centre and the states. Besides these, there are some other articles dealing with the same subject.
Like any other Federal Constitution, the Indian Constitution also divides the legislative powers between the Centre and the states with respect to both the territory and the subjects of legislation. Further, the Constitution provides for the parliamentary legislation in the state field under five extraordinary situations as well as the centre’s control over state legislation in certain cases. Thus, there are four aspects in the Centre-states legislative relations, viz.,
• Territorial extent of Central and state legislation;
• Distribution of legislative subjects;
• Parliamentary legislation in the state field; and
• Centre’s control over state legislation
Territorial Extent of Central and State Legislation
The Constitution defines the territorial limits of the legislative powers vested in the Centre and the states in the following way:
(i) The Parliament can make laws for the whole or any part of the territory of India. The territory of India includes the states, the union territories, and any other area for the time being included
in the territory of India.
(ii) A state legislature can make laws for the whole or any part of the state. The laws made by a state legislature are not applicable outside the state, except when there is a sufficient nexus
between the state and the object.
(iii) The Parliament alone can make ‘extraterritorial legislation’. Thus, the laws of the Parliament are also applicable to the Indian citizens and their property in any part of the world. However, the Constitution places certain restrictions on the plenary territorial jurisdiction of the Parliament. In other words, the laws of Parliament are not applicable in the following areas:
(i) The President can make regulations for
the peace, progress and good government of the five Union Territories-the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Ladakh. A regulation so made has the same force and effect as an act of Parliament. It may also repeal or amend any act of Parliament in relation to these union territories.
(ii) The governor is empowered to direct that an act of Parliament does not apply to a scheduled area in the state or apply with specified modifications and exceptions.
(iii) The Governor of Assam may likewise direct that an act of Parliament does not apply to a tribal area (autonomous district) in the state or apply with specified modifications and exceptions. The President enjoys the same power with respect to tribal areas (autonomous districts) in Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.