The Constitution of India divides all powers (legislative, executive and financial) between the Centre and the states and no division of judicial power (integrated judicial system to enforce both the Central and state laws).
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. The center'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.
1. Territorial Extent of Central and State Legislation
The Constitution defines the territorial limits of the legislative powers.
(i) The Parliament can make laws for the whole or any part of the territory of India.
(ii) A state legislature can make laws for the whole or any part of the state.
(iii) The Parliament alone can make ‘extraterritorial legislation’.
(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.
(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.
2. Distribution of Legislative Subjects
The Constitution provides for a three-fold distribution of legislative subjects between the Centre and the states,
- List-I (the Union List) - This list has at present 98 subjects (originally 97 subjects) - banking, foreign affairs, currency, atomic energy, insurance, communication, inter-state trade and commerce, census, audit
- List-II (the State List) - This has at present 59 subjects (originally 66 subjects) like public order, police, public health and sanitation, agriculture, prisons, local government, fisheries, markets, theaters, gambling.
- List-III (the Concurrent List) - This list has at present 52 subjects (originally 47 subjects) like criminal law and procedure, civil procedure, marriage and divorce, population control and family planning, electricity, labor welfare, economic and social planning, drugs, newspapers, books and printing press, in the Seventh Schedule.
- The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 transferred five subjects to Concurrent List from State List (a) education, (b) forests, (c) weights and measures, (d) protection of wild animals and birds, and (e) administration of justice.
- Parliament has power to make laws with respect to any matter for any part of the territory of India not included in a state even though that matter is one which is enumerated in the State List.
- The 101st Amendment Act of 2016 has made a special provision with respect to goods and services tax. Accordingly, the Parliament and the state legislature have power to make laws with respect to goods and services tax imposed by the Union or by the State.
- The power to make laws with respect to residuary subjects is vested in the Parliament. This residuary power of legislation includes the power to levy residuary taxes. India follows the Canadian model.
Articles Related to Centre-State Legislative Relations:
- 246A. Special provision with respect to goods and services tax
- 249. Power of Parliament to legislate with respect to a matter in the state list in the national interest
- 250. Power of Parliament to legislate with respect to any matter in the state list if a Proclamation of Emergency is in operation.
- The President’s rule can be imposed in the state under Article 356.
- The Centre and the states also have their separate public services called as the Central Services and the State Services respectively.
- There are all-India services–IAS, IPS and IFS. The members of these services occupy top positions (or key posts) under both the Centre and the states and they are recruited and trained by the Centre.
- These services are controlled jointly by the Centre and the states.
- The ultimate control lies with the Central government while the immediate control vests with the state governments.
- In 1947, Indian Civil Service (ICS) was replaced by IAS and the Indian Police (IP) was replaced by IPS and were recognized by the Constitution as All-India Services. In 1966, the Indian Forest Service (IFS) was created as the third All-India Service.
- Article 312 of the Constitution authorizes the Parliament to create new All-India Services on the basis of a Rajya Sabha resolution to that effect.