The Indian Constitution, based on the principle of federalism, has a scheme of two fold distribution of legislative powers- with respect to territory; and with respect to subject matter. The constitutional provisions are spread out over Articles 245-254. Article 245 talks about distribution of legislative power between Union and State with respect to territory. In terms of Article 246, The VIIth Schedule of the constitution contains 3 lists, The Union List, State List and Concurrent list. However, In case of conflict between a central law and a state law on a subject in concurrent list; the union law should prevail. Also, In India residuary powers belong to the union government under article 248 and Entry 97 of Union list. This reflects the leaning of the constitution makers towards a strong centre. Though in normal times the distribution of powers must be strictly maintained and neither the State nor the Centre can encroach upon the sphere allotted to the other by the Constitution, yet in certain exceptional circumstances the powers of the Union Parliament are extended over the subjects mentioned in the Slate List. For example, in the national interests, during a Proclamation of Emergency, with the consent of the State, in case of failure of constitutional machinery in a State etc. Thus from the scheme of distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the States it is quite evident that the framers have given more powers to the Union Parliament as against the States. Yet, the states are not made subordinate units of the centre. In normal times, they have been granted enough autonomy to act as independent centers of authority.
Cite this article:
Poonam Sonwani. Distribution of Legislative Powers under the Indian Constitution. Research J. Humanities and Social Sciences 2016; 7(1): 39-46. doi: 10.5958/2321-5828.2016.00009.7