Federal System of Governance (Unitary features of the constitution …
Federal System of Governance
derived from the Latin word
Federation is a new political system which is formed through a treaty or an agreement between various units.
It is formed in 2 ways -
Many militarily weak or economically smaller units come together to form a unified and stronger nation. Eg: USA
A big unitary state is converted into a federation by granting autonomy to provinces to promote regional interests. Eg- Canada and India
In Indian context-
framers of Indian Constitution opted for federal structure to reconcile national unity with regional identity and autonomy
word 'federation' has nowhere been used in Indian Constitution and
describes India as a "
Union of states"
. This is because of 2 reasons- (1) Indian federations isn't an outcome of an agreement between the states (2) States have no rights to secede from the states.
Indian federation is basically,
indestructible union of destructible states
(Proximity to Canadian Model and drifting away from American Model)
The basic principle of federalism is that legislature and executive authority is partitioned between the center and the states not by any law made by the center but by the constitution itself. The states in India are in no manner dependent upon the center for their legislative or executive authority
SR Bommai versus Union of India Case, 1980
federalism is the basic feature of Indian Constitution and states have independent existence and aren't satellites to the center.
Federal features of the constitution
- defines the structure, powers, functions and limitations of both Union and the States
Division of Powers
- 3 lists in 7th Schedule
Supremacy of the constitution
is upheld via Basic Structure Doctrine, Judicial review and Writ Jurisdiction of SC and HCs.
amendments to federal arrangement can be made only by special majority along with ratification of half of the states.
The House of States is required to maintain federal equilibrium by protecting the interests of states against the undue legislation of Union
Unitary features of the constitution
with overriding powers over State legislatures in myriad cases.
The states can be renamed, their boundaries can be altered and their area can be diminished by simple majority of the parliament. Doing so, doesn't get counted as an Amendment Act and thus, is considered an ordinary legislation
for both center and the states
bulk of the constitution can be amended (non- federal features) by unilateral action of the Parliament, either by simple of special majority
No parity within states for representation in Rajya Sabha
Integrated Audit Machinery
wrt CAG's office
Parliament's authority over State List
Veto over State Bills
Appointment of Governor