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Nature of the Indian Federalism

Essential Features of

• Duality of Government
and Distribution of
• Supremacy of the
• A written Constitution
• Rigidity of the
• Authority of courts

There is Dual Central and State

polity- Government
Features in
Constitution There is an Apex
There is a written
Court in the form
of supreme court.

List II and III of the seventh schedule gives

plenary powers to the State Legislature;

Division of Authority to parliament to legislate in a field

Functions covered by the States under Art.252,only with
the consent of two or more states
between the Art 249- Parliament to Legislate in matters
state and pertaining to state list, only for a limited period.
Art 258- functions related to the executive
power of the union can be entrusted to a state
government with governor’s consent.
Deviations from Federal

Legislative Administrative Financial

Relations Relations Relations

Legislative Relations-Article 249

Matter In Parliament
State List Can Make

Article 253
Legitimacy for Giving Effect to International

Article 246

State law List Central Law

• State Law-Ideal Age for Marriage 21

• Central Law-Ideal Age for Marriage 22
• Then Central Law will prevail


Article 246-
Overlap,Union State List
List Will Prevail

Union List


• Sanction of the president

is required for the
introduction of certain
bills in the state

Administrative or Executive
Relations-Art 365
• If the state fails to comply with or
give effect to any directions given in
exercise of the executive power of
the union, then president can hold
that a situation has arisen in which
government of a state cannot be
carried in accordance with the
provisions of the constitution.

Financial Relations
States depend largely on the financial
assistance from the union, through grants
in aid.

Article 356-Emergency

• State legislature can be dissolved

and the president’s rule can be
imposed when there is failure of
constitutional machinery in the

Inter State Council-Article 263

President can set up interstate councils for

Inquiring and advising upon disputes between states

Investigating and discussing subjects in which some or all of the states,

or the union and one or more of the states have common interest
Making recommendation upon any subject for the better co-ordination
of policy and action with respect to that subject.

Part XIII-Freedom of trade and commerce

• To make India a single economic unit for the
purposes of trade and commerce under the
overall control of union parliament and union

Other provisions

Single and Uniform and

Appointment Emergency
uniform integrated
of governors Provisions
citizenship judicial system.

Views of Eminent jurists

Austin and
Prof.Wheare- A.H.Birch-
Quasi Federal Cooperative

Key Case Law- Kuldip Nayar v Union of India

Constitution does not cease to

be federal Constitution Simply
The Federalism in India Leans
because a Rajya Sabha
in favour of a strong Centre or
Member does not “ordinarily
Unitary Power.
reside "in the state from
which he is elected.

Ram Jawaya Kapur v State of Punjab

• The Federal Principle or doctrine of separation of
powers is not incorporated in the Indian
Constitution in the strict and rigid form.

State of Haryana v State of

A semi federal system of Government has
been Adopted under the Indian Constitution.