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Nature of the Federal System I

Nature of the Federal System I

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Published by: Sahil on Aug 23, 2009
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08/31/2010

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Nature of the Federal System I
 “Article 1(1) “ – ‘India that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States’ 
1
 
Dr. Ambedkar Although its Constitution maybe Federal instructure, the word Union’ is used to provide followingadvantages:1.Indian federation is not the result of an agreement by theunits2.The component units have no freedom to secede from it
Different types of federal constitutions in the modernworld
No agreed definition of a Federal State
Always compared with the model of United States (1787)
Only the Constitutions of Switzerland and Australia confirmto United States model closely
So the questions of decisions are:
Whether unitary or federal
Whether basically unitary or federal
Federal with unitary characteristics
How many federal features
Indian constitution basically Federal with Unitaryfeatures
Essential features of federal policy
1.Dual government2.Distribution of powers
3.
Supremacy of the Constitution4.Authority of courtsAbove features existing in Indian Constitution
Peculiar features of Indian Federalism
1.
Mode of Formation
American type –> Voluntary agreement between anumber of Sovereign and Independent States
Canadian type > Not formed out of separateindependent existence
India –> Provincial governments were virtually theagents of Central Government deriving powers of delegation from centre
Government of India Act, 1935 set up a federalsystemSimilar to that of Canada – “By creating autonomousunits and combining them to a Federation by one andthe same act” 
2
 
Like in America, there is no agreement of sovereignStates
Our constitution is the result of Constituent Assemblyrepresented by the people of India
Progress has been from unitary to federal
During British rule, they lacked ‘Federal Sentiment’ andwith lapse of British crown, the States acceded todominion of India
Credit to the Constitution makers gave equality of status to the provinces
2.
Position of States in Federation
USA –> Federation of Sovereign States and thereforereluctant to give up their sovereignty –> State rights
India –> No such need as they were not SovereignStates
a)
USA –> residuary powers vest in StatesIndia –> residuary powers vest in Union (Canada)
b)
USA > drew up constitution of nationalgovernmentIndia –> Constitution of State also except Jammuand Kashmir
c)
USA –> amendment subject to StateIndia –> States need not be consulted
d)
USA and Australia –> lack of central control overState legislation and administrationIndia and Canada –> Union control over Statelegislature and executiveEg. Governor of State appointed by PresidentState legislation can be vetoed by President
e)
The American Federation described by its SC asfollows: “
 An indestructible Union composed oindestructible States
” 
Results in two propositions
i.
Union can’t be destroyed by any Stateseceding from it
Accepted by Indian constitution
ii.
United States Union has no power toredraw its States
India has deviated – Article 4(2)
Indian States not indestructible
States Reorganisation Act, 1956 number reduced from 27 to 14
3

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