The administrative relations between the Union and the States is defined under Article 256-263 of Indian Constitution. A federal scheme involves the establishment of dual government i.e. state and center and division of powers. Success and strength depend on maximum cooperation and coordination between the Union and the States.
The framers of the constitution included elaborated provisions to avoid clashes and disputes between central, state and local bodies. But in the time of emergency, the Government of India exercise its all powers with full control over the states and other local bodies.
Article 246 of the Constitution deals with the laws made by Parliament and State Legislatures. The Constitution lays down its three lists under Schedule VII. These lists divide subjects between the Union and the States. Union List is list 1, the State List is list 2 and Concurrent List is list 3.
Article 256: – Obligation of Union and State
The executive power of each state are to be ensure in such a way that it may compliance with the laws made by the Parliament and any existing law which is in force in that state, and the executive power of the Union shall extend to give such directions to a state thereon. It is necessary to appear to the Government of India for the purpose.
The Constitution enforces this provision with the assumption that states will be guilty to some extent, either for disobeying a will or for negligence of their duties.
- Article 256 is the successor to section 122 of the Government of India Act, 1935. While this provision is silent about the consequences, particularly in the case of non-compliance, Article 365 of the Constitution provides for stricter approval. To explain that if a state fails to follow the instructions issued by the Centre, it is appropriate for the President to determine that a situation arises in which the state government cannot be carried out according to the provisions of the Constitution.
Article 257: – Control of Union over State
- Article 257(1) of the Indian Constitution states that the executive powers of the state should not exercise in such a manner that it may hamper or prejudice the executive powers of the centre. Further the second part of this article is similar to article 256, which states that centre can give directions to state government when it seems necessary.
- Article 257(2) states that the executive power of the Union to issue guidelines to the states would also be extended the matters of the creation and maintenance of means of communication declared to be of national or military importance. However, communication is a state subject under Entry 13, List II, and Schedule VII of the Constitution and the Union is empowered to issue directions. Proviso states that nothing in this special provision shall be construed as restricting the power of Parliament: –
- Declare some highway or waterway as a national highway or waterway;
- Creation and maintenance of means of communication as part of its functions in the context of naval, military and air force purposes.
- Article 257(3) states that the executive power of the Union to issue directions to the States shall extend the measures necessary for the safety of railways within a particular state.
- Article 257(4) states that for the purpose of fulfilling the direction given by union under article 257(2) and 257(3) the state may incur some extra charge, which may not occur in fulfilling their normal duties in such case, the extra expenses shall be paid by the government of India. If the agreement defaults, the sum of the additional costs incurred by the state will be determined by an arbitrator appointed by the Chief Justice of India.
Article 258: – Power of union to confer powers etc. on states in certain cases
- Article 258 (1) begins with a non-hindrance clause. It states that the President, with the permission of the Governor of the State which may conditionally or unconditionally entrust the State Government or its officers to perform such functions which are related to any matter which is within the purview of the executive power of the Union.
- Article 258(2) states that a law made by Parliament which is in force in any state may confer certain powers and impose duties on officers. It states that the State Legislature does not have the power to legislate on that matter, even if the law of Parliament is in force.
- Article 258(3) states that the extra cost of administration, which state may incur in exercising of such conferred powers then the extra expenses shall be paid by the government of India. If the agreement defaults, the sum of the additional costs incurred by the state will be determined by an arbitrator appointed by the Chief Justice of India.
Article 259: – Power of state to assign functions to the Union
This power is placed under Article 258-A of the Constitution of India. The article begins with a non-interrupted section. It states that the Governor of a State may, with the consent of the Central Government, assign conditional or unconditional functions to the Government or its officials of that particular state, which are related to any matter which is within the purview of the executive power.
Article 260: – Jurisdiction of the Union in relation to the areas which are outside India
Article 260 of the Indian Constitution deals with jurisdiction in relation to foreign territories. This article states that the Government of India can enter into an agreement with the Government of any region which is not part of the Indian Territory.
The agreement is made to perform any executive, legislative or judicial functions vested in the government of that region. All such agreements are subject to and governed by any law that relates to the practice of foreign jurisdiction as applicable for the time being in force.
Article 261: – Public acts, records and judicial proceedings
- Article 261(1) provides that all public acts, records and judicial proceedings of the Union and each state in the entire territory of India should be given full confidence and credit.
- Article 261(2) provides that the manner in which and the conditions under which the aforesaid works, records and proceedings are to be proved, shall be provided by such legislation, as made by Parliament.
- Article 261(3) states that final decisions or orders which are delivered or passed by civil courts located in any part of Indian territory are capable of execution within the territory as per law.
Article 262: – Adjudications of disputes related to water of inter-state rivers or river basins
Article 262 of the Constitution of India deals with the adjudication of disputes related to the above mentioned issues.
- Article 262(1) states that Parliament may make laws that provide resolution of any dispute or complaint, which is in reference to the use, distribution or control of an inter-state river or inter-state river valley.
- Article 262(2) states that Parliament may by law provide that neither the Supreme court nor any other court shall exercise its jurisdiction in relation to any such dispute or complaint mentioned in section (1).
- States have the power to legislate on this issue of water under Entry 17, State List, Schedule VII. The Union has the right to make laws under Entry 56, Union List, Schedule VII.
Article 263: – Provisions in relation to an Inter-State Council
Under Article 263 of the Constitution of India, if the President believes that the establishment of an Inter-State Council will help in serving the public interest, then it is legal to establish such a council as ordered by the President. It will also define the nature of duties to be performed by the council, its organization and the procedure to be followed.
The President may charge the Council with the following duties: –
- To inquire into and advise on disputes that may arise between states;
- To examine and discuss topics in which some or all states, or union, and one or more states shows a similar interest;
The Inter-State Council was established on the basis of the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission, 1988. The Council was established in 1990 by order of the President. It serves as a permanent independent national forum for consultation. The council was recently reorganized in 2019, with the Prime Minister as its chairman.
Precedents of Administrative relations between Union and the States
Precedents of Administrative relations between Union and the States are as follows: –
- Rameshwar Oraon vs. State Of Bihar And Ors. AIR 1995 Pat 173
- In this case, the court observed that it mandatory for central government to act according to the directions given by the state government.
- State of Rajasthan vs. Union of India (1977)
- The apex court held that under Article 256 it is justifiable for the Central Government to issue directions to the State Government if the Central Government is of the opinion that the manner in which the executive power of the State is exercised may be a violation to implement the Central Law.
- GVK Inds. Ltd. & Anr. vs. The Income Tax Officer & Anr. (2011)
- The apex court states that Article 260 should only be applied in cases when such laws either have an effect or result in the people of India or the Indian Territory. The Parliament has also enacted the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1947, in accordance with this Article, to provide for the exercise of foreign jurisdiction of the Central Government.