Centre-State Relations in India

Centre-State Relations in India

Conceptual symbol of multiracial human hands making a circle on white background with India space in the middle

Center state relationship

general introduction

Our constitution makers adopted the Canadian system, that is, a strong center. But he also included an additional list – concurrent list.

⇨ In the present Constitution, only the methods of the Government of India (Government) Act, 1935 have been adopted and the powers are divided between the Center and the States under three lists (Union List, State List and Concurrent List).

⇨ There are a total of 99 topics in the Union list. The topics mentioned in it are of faith national importance, such as immunity, foreign affairs, banking, currency, coins, citizenship, post and telegraph etc.

In fact, harmonizing the administrative relations between the Union and the States has been one of the complex problems of the federal governance system.

Constitution makers have made elaborate provisions in the administrative area only to avoid conflict between the Center and the States.

⇨ They can also deploy military and semi-military forces against their wishes in the center states.

The executive power of the states should be exercised in such a manner that it is in accordance with the law of the Central Parliament (Article 256) and does not prejudice or violate the executive power of the Center (Article 257).

If the state does not follow the instructions of the Center, then the Center can impose President’s rule using Article 356 and take the administration of the state in its hands.

States of All India Services can only be suspended in case of any unforeseen event, but cannot take any disciplinary action.

⇨ The center has the authority to decide in disputes related to water or river basins of inter-state rivers. Under this power, the Parliament has constituted a three-day river water tribunal, whose decisions, if published in the Gazette of the Central Government, are binding on the State concerned (Article 262).

Under Article 263 for better co-ordination of States, the President has the power to set up a Council for the settlement of disputes or to discuss matters of mutual interest between States or between the Center and the States. Using this power, the President has so far constituted three such councils

1. Central Health Council (C.H.C.)

2. Central Local Self-Government Council (C.C.L.S.G.)

3. Transport Development Council (T.D.C.)

Legislative control

Legislative control of the center not of Parliament over states (other than the power to legislate the Parliament on any subject in the State List)

⇨ Articles-31A, 31B and 31C mandate Presidential permission to state legislators under them.

⇨ Article-200D can reserve the bills passed by the state legislature for the consideration of the Governor, President. It is mandatory in a case – when the Bill affects the power of the High Court.

The State of Article 288D may levy a tax on any central authority engaged in the storage and distribution of water or electricity, but the President’s permission to such Bills is mandatory.

⇨ Article-340D states may impose some appropriate restrictions on inter-state trade, but such a bill can be introduced in the state legislature only after the President’s advance recommendation.

In the case of firm division of legislative subjects, the following principles and some help are provided.

Doctrine of Pith and Substance

This principle relates to the division of legislative powers between the Center and the States. If a Legislature makes a law on a subject that comes under its jurisdiction, but in that process, this method enters into a subject which is not very competent about it, then to check the validity of such method This principle is used for

⇨ If the law is subject to such a subject on which the Legislature has jurisdiction and incidentally enters into a subject about which it is not competent, then the law should be considered valid. This theory is based on the fact that complete division of subjects is not possible and some relationship among them is bound.

Principle of mutual legislation

This principle essentially applies in federal constitutions. This principle is only concerned with the question of legislative support. It is used when a legislature tries to appear in a matter directly, indirectly or confusingly, outside its constitutional power, within its jurisdiction. This theory says that the element of the method is important, not its external form or design. This principle underlines that, “What you do not do directly, you cannot do indirectly.”

Administrative relations

⇨ Two administrative systems – central and state systems do not run parallel to each other. They meet in some places and in these places, the center dominates over the states.

⇨ Article 256 – The executive power of the state will be used in such a way that the Acts of Parliament do not get disturbed.

⇨ Article 257 – The executive power of the states will be used in such a way that the executive power of the union is not disturbed.

⇨ Article 257 – Can direct states to protect and maintain the center and media.

⇨ If such a directive is not followed, then under Article 355, it can be considered a failure (failure) of the state’s redressal mechanism and President’s Rule can be imposed under Article 356.

Success and power of federal polity is based on cooperation and coordination between governments.

⇨ Article 258 – The center can use the administrative machinery of the states for the implementation of parliamentary acts. The Center also has the power to deploy military or paramilitary forces in any state without its consent.

⇨ Article 262 – This Article empowers Parliament to legislate for the resolution of a dispute related to inter-state river water. Under this right, the Parliament passed the “Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956”, according to which the President can constitute the Inter-State River Water Tribunal for adjudication of such disputes. Once the award granted by such tribunal is notified in the official gazette of the Center, it becomes binding on the parties concerned.

⇨ Article 312 – Recruitment, training and recruitment of All India Services is done by the center, but its officers mostly work at the state level. Thus, the center can control the functions of state administration.

⇨ Article 352 – The Center can give administrative instructions to the states on any subject when an emergency is established.

Financial relations

⇨ The Constitution manages the distribution of financial amendments between the Center and the States. Not the taxes levied by the states, but a portion of the taxes given by the Center and the grant of aid are the main sources of finance of the states.

⇨ The Constitution provides for the following five types of taxes –

1. Taxes levied by the Union, but collected and appropriated by the States. Examples – stamp duty, excise duty on medicinal and toiletries.

2. Taxes levied and collected by the Union but fully handed over to the States. For example

Tax on succession to property

⇨ Railway fare and freight tax,

Limit taxes imposed on goods or passengers carried by rail, sea or airways.

Tax levied and collected by the Union but distributed among the Union and the States.

⇨ Example- Income Tax, Central Sales Tax.

Cited and stored by the Union, which can be distributed between the Center and the States. Surcharge on customs, income tax.

Most of the provisions regarding financial relations between the Union and the States have been taken from the Government of India Act 1935.

⇨ The Constitution has shown a difference between the legislative power of taxation and the financial power of obtaining the proceeds of crores, but this distinction is not completely separate.

Residual powers with respect to taxes are with the center.

⇨ In practice, states have very limited powers in terms of taxation and are highly dependent on the Center in terms of financial sources, which is why they are often called Mahima Mandated municipalities.

The major source of state finances is centrally aided grants. Thus the center has wide control over the finances of the states.

In the Constitution, the central taxes have been classified into four categories based on their recovery and participation between the Union and the states –

1. Taxes, which are levied by the Center, but are collected and fully appropriated / received by the State (Article 270). These include postage stamp duty, excise duty (for medicines and cosmetics).

2. Taxes which are levied by the Center, but are fully appropriated by the States (Article 269) such as –

Duty on succession to other assets beyond agricultural land.

Asset duty on assets other than agricultural land.

Terminal taxes on goods and passengers (rail, airways, waterways).

⇨ Rail freight and freight tax.

Tax on stock exchange other than postage charges.

International Goods Vehicle Tax.

Purchase and sale of newspapers on its advertisements.

⇨ Taxes which are levied and collected by the Center, but which are distributed between the Center and the States (Article 270). This includes taxes on income other than agricultural income. The ratio of distribution is determined by the Finance Commission to be constituted every 5 years.


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