CENTRE-STATE RELATION (ARTICLE 246).

Introduction

In this blog we’ll look into Article 246 of the Indian Constitution. We must first understand and know the types or forms of government present in India.

Federal form of government division of powers between Centre and State it is an essential feature of our constitution.

There are 2 forms of in indian government namely, unitary government and federal government.

  • Unitary Government: Unitary Government has the maximum powers or they are the only source of powers. Centre has the powers here. This government comes in practice only when national emergency are declared.

Countries such as Japan, China, France are the example of unitary form of government.

  • Federal Government: Under Federal Government the main features/agenda is to divided powers between the Centre and state. Most of the time, in India we follow federal form of government.

Countries such as US, India are the example of Federal form of government.

Further, in Part 11 of the Indian Constitution, the powers between centre and state has been distributed into three heads namely, Legislative relations (Article 245 – Article 255), Administrative relations (Article 256 – Article 263) and Financial relations (Article 264 – Article 293). 

Today we’ll discuss Article 246 which comes under legislative relations.

Legislative relation Article 245- Article 255:

The Centre and state powers has been divided into two aspects such as, territorial jurisdiction and subject matters jurisdiction.

What is territorial jurisdiction?

It means under which territory who can make laws for a specific territory.

Subject matter jurisdiction?

It means or refer to under a specific subject matter laws like agriculture, electricity, etc. who can make laws related to such specific matters.

On a specific subject matters who has the power to make laws.

The powers Centre and state has been categorized by Seventh Schedule in list 3, namely

  • Union list also known as list 1:

Union list includes all those things which are of national importance. Such as defence, atomic energy, foreign affairs, banking currency and coinage, union duties and taxes. In total 97 subjects consist in union list. But entry 33 was deleted by the constitution (7th Amendment) Act, 1956 and Entries 2-A, 92-A, 92-B and 92-C were added by the various amendments.

  • State list also known as list 2:

State list includes all those things which are of local importance or regional importance. Such as public order and police, local government, public health and sanitation, agriculture, forest, fisheries, education, state taxes and duties. In total 66 subjects consist in state list. But entries 19, 20, 29 and 36 have been deleted by constitutional amendments. The states have exclusive power to make laws on subjects mentioned in the state list.

  • Concurrent list also known as list 3:

Concurrent list includes both Centre and States can make laws on the subject matters mentioned in the concurrent list. The concurrent list consist of 47 subjects. But in case of conflict between the centre and state law on concurrent subject matters, the central laws will be conquer/win, shall be binding and final.

The concurrent list is not found in any federal constitutions. The farmers added this concurrent list to the constitution with a view to secure uniformity in the main principles of law throughout the country.

The concurrent list was to serve as a device to avoid excessive rigidity to two-list distribution.

Here we have talk about article 246 which says that under list 1 and list 3 whatever subject matters are included parliament can make laws on any of them.

What is Article 246 ?

Article 246 deals with subject matter laws made by Parliament.

According to the bare act of Indian Constitution Article 246 mentions the following:

Article 246 of the Indian Constitution states that Subject-matter of laws made by Parliament and by the Legislatures of States.

(1) Notwithstanding anything in clauses (2) and (3), Parliament has exclusive power to make laws with respect to any of the matters enumerated in List I in the Seventh Schedule (in this Constitution referred to as the Union List).

(2) Notwithstanding anything in clause (3), Parliament, and, subject to clause (1), the Legislature of any State 1  also, have power to make laws with respect to any of the matters enumerated in List III in the Seventh Schedule (in this Constitution referred to as the Concurrent List).

(3) Subject to clauses (1) and (2), the Legislature of any State has exclusive power to make laws for such State or any part thereof with respect to any of the matters enumerated in List II in the Seventh Schedule (in this Constitution referred to as the State List).

(4) Parliament has power to make laws with respect to any matter for any part of the territory of India not included 2 [in a State] notwithstanding that such matter is a matter enumerated in the State List.

What if any new subject matters comes into existence?

Or is it possible that subject matters mentioned in the above 3 lists any new subject matter cannot exist? If yes, then who will make laws for it?

The above question has been answered in Article 248 (residuary powers) of the Indian Constitution. Article 248 of the Indian Constitution states that if any new subject matters comes up which has not been mentioned in any of the three list and on that subject matter any law is requied to be made so that powers is given to the union to make laws on the new subject matter which has been arised.

And if any conflict arise between the three list

Case 1: Conflict between union list and concurrent list then union list will have the power to make laws

Case 2:  Conflict between state list and concurrent list then concurrent list will have the power to make laws.

Case 3: Conflict between union list and state list then union list will have the powers to make laws.

Which are the extra ordinary circumstances where the powers of making laws can be changed?

National Emergency / President Rule: Under this situation, Parliament has the powers to make laws on subject matters from state list.

Rajya Sabha passes resolution: Under this situation, if Rajya Sabha feels that there is any subject matter on which the Parliament shall make laws then it can pass a resolution, then parliament can make law on the concerned subject matter.

On state’s request: Under this, when two or more than two legislature come together and make a request that the parliament shall make law on the concerned subject matter, then the parliament can further make law on that subject matter.

Implementating international agreement: Under this circumstances, for the purpose of implementing the international agreement, parliament can make laws on any subject matter mentioned in the state list.

Conclusion

We have seen the complete detail understanding of article 246 of Indian Constitution. Who has the powers to make laws, seventh schedule and three list, namely; union list, state list, concurrent list. When the parliament can make laws on any subject matters on extra-ordinary circumstance and what those extra-ordinary situation. Who has the power to make law in case of conflict, Forms of government; unitary government and federal government.

Reference:

Bare act of Indian Constitution

Constitutional law of india by Dr. J.N. Pandey.

Youtube video by finology legal.

Indian Kanoon. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/77052/

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