Home       Top Rated       Submit Article     Advanced Search     FAQ       Contact Us       Lawyers in India       Law Forum     RSS Feeds     

Register your Copyright Online

We offer copyright registration right from your desktop click here for details.

Latest Articles | Articles 2014 | Articles 2013 | Articles 2012 | Articles 2011 | Articles 2010 | Articles 2009 | Articles 2008 | Articles 2007 | Articles 2006 | Articles 2000-05

Search On:Laws in IndiaLawyers Search

Mutual Consent Divorce in Delhi
We provide fast, cost effective and Hassle free solution.
Contact us at Ph no: 9650499965 (Divorce Law Firm Delhi)
File Caveat in Supreme Court
Contact Ph no: +9650499965

Main Categories
 Accident Law
 Animal Laws
 Aviation Law
 Bangladesh Law
 Banking and Finance laws
 Case Laws
 Civil Laws
 Company Law
 Constitutional Law
 Consumer laws
 Contracts laws
 Criminal law
 Drug laws
 Dubai laws
 Educational laws
 Employment / Labour laws
 Environmental Law
 family law
 Gay laws and Third Gender
 Human Rights laws
 Immigration laws
 Insurance / Accident Claim
 Intellectual Property
 International Law
 Juvenile Laws
 Law - lawyers & legal Profession
 Legal Aid and Lok Adalat
 Legal outsourcing
 Media laws
 Medico legal
 Real estate laws
 Right To Information
 Tax Laws
 Torts Law
 Woman Issues
 Workplace Equality & Non-Discrimination
 Yet Another Category

More Options
 Most read articles
 Most rated articles

Subscribe now and receive free articles and updates instantly.


Published : June 03, 2011 | Author : arnav.upes
Category : Constitutional Law | Total Views : 18997 | Rating :

Arnav Raj Chakravorty III year law student at UPES,College of Legal Studies,Dehradun

Federalism in India

The constitutional law consists both of legal in the strict sense and of usages , commonly called as conventions, which without being enacted are accepted as binding by all who are concerned in government. Many rules and practices are not part of the law in the sense that there violation may lead to proceeding in a court of law.

Indian Constitution is aid to be a federal structure only because it is said that it has clear demarcation of boundaries between central & the state government similar to that of U.S. India having legislative and executive authority divided between the centre and the state.

Chief essentials for a constitution to be federal are:
1. Dispersion of powers between the center and the unit states forming federation among a number of co-ordinate bodies, controlled by constitution.
2. Rigidity – neither the center nor the state has power to amend the provision of constitution relating separation of powers.
3. A written constitution
4. Domination of the constitution – neither of center or state have power to nullify the constitution
5. An independent body and unprejudiced authority (Eg. Judiciary)

India is often also claimed to be non- federal in matter such as the Center can impinge upon the areas earmarked only for the states in some cases. Therefore, it infringes the principle of federalism as it makes the state hyponym to the center. Hence, it is also said to be in a unitary form of government too.

The phenomena of such unitary form of government arises only during the period of wars or emergency period.

A federal constitution establishes a duple polity with Union at the center and the States at the fringe, each dowered with autonomous powers to be exercised in the field assigned to them respectively by the constitution. Both are in a way co-ordinate to powers of each other.

In fact, the basic principle of federalism is that the legislative, executive and financial authority is divided between the centre and the states not by law passed by the center but the Constitution itself.

Indian Constitution also defines a counterpoise of powers between the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. If courts are deprived of the powers, the fundamental rights conferred on the people of the country will become just equal to a decoration and people as puppet in the hands of the sovereign. Thus, it will also lead to a system wayward to that of democracy and undermine its spirit. The bestowal of the right to spifflicate the identity of the Constitution twinned with provision that no Court of Law shall pronounce upon the validity of such wipeout and no limit to the amending powers. If the constitutional amendment cannot be pronounced to be invalid even if it destroys the basic structure of the Constitution, a law passed in pursuance of such will be beyond the pale of judicial review as it will receive the protection of Constitutional amendment thus made and no organ has power to overrule it.

The first significant case where this issue was discussed at length by the apex Court was State of West Bengal V. Union of India. The main issue involved in this case was the exercise of sovereign powers by the Indian states. The legislative competence of the Parliament to enact a law for compulsory acquisition by the Union of land and other properties vested in or owned by the state and the sovereign authority of states as distinct entities was also examined. The apex court held that the Indian Constitution did not propound a principle of absolute federalism.

Article 13 of the Indian Constitution will then become a non-issue and could be easily neglected as even ordinary laws will escape the scrutiny of the courts on the ground that they are passed on the strength of the Constitutional Amendment which is not open to challenge. It was stated under a leading case decided by the Apex Court in the [Minerva Mills Ltd. & others V/s Union of India;AIR 1980 SC 1789].

In Pradeep Jain V. Union of India, the Apex Court expressed as India is not a federal State in the traditional sense of that term. It is not a compact of sovereign State which have come together to form a federation by ceding undoubtedly federal features. In Ganga Ram Moolchandani v. State of Rajasthan the Supreme Court restated: Indian Constitution is basically federal in form and is marked by the traditional characteristics of a federal system, namely supremacy of the Constitution, division of power between the Union and States and existence independent judiciary. The apex Court in ITC LTD v Agricultural Produce Market Committee expressed a similar opinion.

In the Kesavananda Bharati vs. state of Kerala(1976) case, the Supreme Court ruled that all provisions of the constitution, including Fundamental Rights can be amended. However, the Parliament cannot alter the basic structure of the constitution like secularism, democracy, federalism, separation of powers. Often called the "Basic structure doctrine", this decision is widely regarded as an important part of Indian history.

In the 1978 Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India case, the Supreme Court extended the doctrine's importance as superior to any parliamentary legislation. According to the verdict, no act of parliament can be considered a law if it violated the basic structure of the constitution. This landmark guarantee of Fundamental Rights was regarded as a unique example of judicial independence in preserving the sanctity of Fundamental Rights. The Fundamental Rights can only be altered by a constitutional amendment, hence their inclusion is a check not only on the executive branch, but also on the Parliament and state legislatures. The imposition of a state of emergency may lead to a temporary suspension of the rights conferred by Article 19 (including freedoms of speech, assembly and movement, etc.) to preserve national security and public order.

The Supreme Court is an independent authority to declare the Acts of the Union and States ultra-vires if either of them entrenches the defined powers of each other. Thus while in normal times our Constitution is federal, in emergency period it becomes unitary. Therefore, we can even call our Indian Constitution as semi-federal.

Authors contact info - articles The  author can be reached at: joy.joy14@legalserviceindia.com

1 2 3 4 5
Rate this article!     Poor

Most viewed articles in Constitutional Law category
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, The Father of Indian Constitution
Right To Privacy Under Article 21 and the Related Conflicts
Principles of Natural Justice In Indian Constitution
Position of Fundamental Rights during Emergency
Prospective Vs. Retrospective
Reasonable Classification under article 14
Concept of Welfare State and Its Relevance in Indian Scenario
Vulnerable Groups in India - Status, Schemes, Constitution of India
Three types of emergencies under the Indian Constitution
Emergence of Article 31 A, B and C and its validity
Doctrine of Pleasure as under the Indian Constitution
Maneka Gandhi
Election Commission of India
Critical Analysis on Reservation Policy in India
Res Sub Judice, Res Judicata and Constructive Res Judicata
Most recent articles in Constitutional Law category
Procedures and Powers of Claim Tribunals
Central State Relation - Legislative, Administrative and Financial
Freedom of expression - Democracy
Right To Privacy A Fundamental Right-Uidai Violative of Individuals Right To Privacy
Debate over Sitting or Standing at Cinema Hall Whether Violation of Right to freedom of Speech and Expression
Voting Rights in India to Non-Resident Indians
Right to Privacy is a Fundamental Right - A Study
Freedom of Religion
Article 44 of Constitution: A Dead Letter to be Retrieved
Fundamental Right of The Child To Education in Andaman And Nicobar Islands
Transfer Petition in India
Role of Writs In Administrative Law
The Importance of Article 370
Judicial Activism and Judicial Restraint
Fundamental Duties Under Article 51-A
Is Preamble a Part of Constitution

Article Comments

there are no comments...

Please login or register a new free account.

Random Pick
The concept of human rights is an essentially contested concept, with legal , moral and political connotations . The central questions that have engaged philosophers relate to whether human rights are a part of moral rights or legal rights . And whether we have any human rights at all

» Total Articles
» Total Authors
» Total Views
» Total categories

Law Forum

Legal Articles

Lawyers in India- Click on a link below for legal Services

lawyers in Chennai
lawyers in Bangalore
lawyers in Hyderabad
lawyers in Cochin
lawyers in Pondicherry
lawyers in Guwahati
lawyers in Nashik

lawyers in Jaipur
lawyers in New Delhi
lawyers in Dimapur
lawyers in Agra
Noida lawyers
lawyers in Siliguri

For Mutual consent Divorce in Delhi

Ph no: 9650499965
For online Copyright Registration

Ph no: 9891244487
Law Articles

lawyers in Delhi
lawyers in Chandigarh
lawyers in Allahabad
lawyers in Lucknow
lawyers in Jodhpur
Faridabad lawyers

lawyers in Mumbai
lawyers in Pune
lawyers in Nagpur
lawyers in Ahmedabad
lawyers in Surat
Ghaziabad lawyers

lawyers in Kolkata
lawyers in Janjgir
lawyers in Rajkot
lawyers in Indore
lawyers in Ludhiana
Gurgaon lawyers


India's Most Trusted Online law library
Legal Services India is Copyrighted under the Registrar of Copyright Act ( Govt of India) 2000-2017
 ISBN No: 978-81-928510-1-3