CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS RELATED TO LEGISLATIVE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE UNION AND THE STATES
Author: Manali Agrawal
The very first Article of the Constitution of India, i.e. Article 1(1), declares India to be a Union of State. India adopted the federal system of governance with a strong Union. This nature of the Indian Constitution calls for a balance between the powers and functions of the Union and the States. For that, the Constitution provides a clear demarcation of powers and functions between the two. However, these are not performed independent of each other and many a time, these powers and functions of the Centre and the States intersect.
The Relations between the Union and the States can be studies under the three heads:
1. Legislative Relations
2. Administrative Relation
3. Financial Relations
Here, the legislative Relations between the Union and the States are discussed in detail. Article 245 to 255 of Part XI relates to the Legislative relations between the Union and the State. It is further divided into the territorial jurisdiction and the subject matter jurisdiction.
TERRITORIAL DISTRIBUTION OF LEGISLATIVE POWERS:
Article 245 of the Constitution provides for the territorial jurisdiction of the centre and the States and thus, empowers the centre to make laws for the whole or any part of the territory of India and the state legislatures to make laws for the whole or any part of the State. It further states that a law made by the Union Parliament will be valid even if it has an extra-territorial operation. This power is not conferred upon the State legislatures.
SUBJECT-MATTER DISTRIBUTION OF LEGISLATIVE POWERS:
Schedule VII of the Indian Constitution enumerates three lists. By virtue of Article 246, Union Parliament is exclusively empowered to make laws on any subject-matter enumerated in List I, also called Union List, State legislatures can make laws with respect to any matter enumerated in List II, also called the State list. List III is called the Concurrent list wherein both, the Union and the States, are given the powers to legislate on the matters enumerated in it. Further, The Union Parliament is empowered to make laws with respect to any matter for any part of the territory of India which is not included in a State even if the matter is enumerated under the state list.
RESIDUARY POWER OF LEGISLATION:
By virtue of Article 248, the Parliament is vested with exclusive power to legislate on any matter which is not enumerated in any of the lists in Schedule VII of the Constitution. Such power to legislate also includes the power to make any law imposing taxes not mentioned in either of those lists.
PARLIAMENT’S POWER TO LEGISLATE ON MATTERS ENUMERATED IN STATE LIST:
1. In National Interest: Article 249(1) of the Constitution provides that the Council of States i.e. Rajya Sabha if it deems it to be necessary and expedient in National Interest, can pass a resolution that the Union Parliament must make laws with respect to GST or any other matter enumerated in the State list.
In this case, the Union can legislate on that matter specified in the Resolution while the resolution remains in force. Provided that the resolution is supported by not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting.
A Resolution passed in this regard can remain in force for the maximum period of one year. However, it can be extended if another resolution approving the continuance in force of any such resolution is passed with the support of not less than two-thirds of the membership present and voting. But even the second resolution passed can remain in force only for a further period of one year.
Further, after the period of six months from the time when the resolution ceases to remain in force, the law made by the Parliament under this provision will also cease to have any effect. However, things done or omitted to be done before the expiration of such period will not cease to have an effect.
2. When Emergency is in operation: When the proclamation of Emergency is in operation, the Union is empowered to make laws with respect to GST or any other matter enumerated in the State List for the whole or any part of the territory of India. However, such law will cease to remain in force after the expiration of a period of six months after the emergency has ceased to operate. But the things done or omitted to be done before the expiration of such period will not cease to have an effect.
3. By consent and Adoption: As per Article 252 of the Constitution, if it appears to be desirable to the legislatures of two or more states that the Union must legislate on a matter with respect to the states on which the Parliament cannot legislate ordinarily, but under Article 249 and 250, can pass a resolution in this regard and empower the Union to legislate and regulate the same matter.
The resolution with this regard must be passed by all the houses of the legislatures of those states. Further, the act or regulation passed by the Union to that effect can be made applicable to such states only if it is adopted by all the State legislatures by passing a resolution.
4. International Treaties and Agreements: The Union Parliament is exclusively empowered to make laws for the implementation of any treaty, agreement or convention with any other country or countries or any decision made at any international conference, association or body.
INCONSISTENCY BETWEEN THE LAWS MADE BY THE UNION PARLIAMENT AND THESTATE LEGISLATURES:
If the centre makes a law under Article 249 and 250 with respect to any matter, but the law made by the state legislature is inconsistent with it, legislation passed by the Union shall prevail and the law passed by the state will be inoperative to the extent of such inconsistency.
Article 254 provides that in case of inconsistency with respect to matters enumerated in the Concurrent List, the law made by the legislature shall prevail, and the state law, to the extent of the inconsistency, shall be void.
However, the Laws made by the State legislature can prevail over the legislation on the same subject matter in the Concurrent List of the Union only if the following two situations are satisfied:
i. It is passed after the legislation of the Union is passed, and
ii. It has received the assent of the President.
It can be concluded here that the Constitution has made clear demarcation of legislative powers between the Union and the States. It ensures that the identity and personality of the states are not lost, the centre does not act arbitrarily which may destruct the democratic nature of the Indian Union and at the same time, the states do not act inconsistently with the Union. Sometimes, inconsistencies between the two may arise but that is also resolved by the Constitution of India by providing various provisions.
 Article 246(4) of the Constitution of India, 1950  Article 249(2) of the Constitution of India, 1950  Article 249(3) of the Constitution of India, 1950  Article 250(1) of the Constitution of India, 1950  Article 250(2) of the Constitution of India, 1950  Article 253 of the Constitution of India, 1950  Article 251 of the Constitution of India, 1950