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A Detailed Analysis Of Federalism And Constitutionalism In India

Constitutionalism is "a complex of ideas elaborating the principle that the authority of government derives from and is limited by a body of fundamental law". A political organization is constitutional to the extent that it contains institutionalized mechanisms of power control for the protection of the interests and liberties of the citizenry, including those that may be in the minority.

Constitutionalism means limited government or limitation on government. It is the antithesis of arbitrary powers. Constitutionalism recognizes the need for a government with powers but at the same time insists that limitation be placed on those powers. The antithesis of constitutionalism is despotism. A government which goes beyond its limits loses its authority and legitimacy. Therefore, to preserve the basic freedoms of the individual, and to maintain his dignity and personality, the Constitution should be permeated with 'Constitutionalism'; it should have some inbuilt restrictions on the powers conferred by it on governmental organs.

Federalism is the mixed or compound mode of government, combining a general government (the central or 'federal' government) with regional governments (provincial, state, territorial or other sub/ unit governments) in a single political system. Its distinctive feature, exemplified in the founding example of modern federalism of the United States of America

Article 1 of the constitution declares that India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.

Part XI of the Indian constitution defines the power distribution between the federal government (the Centre or union) and the States in India. This part is divided between legislative, administrative and executive powers. The legislative section is divided into three lists: Union list, States list and Concurrent list. The constitutional powers devolved to each state are not the same. The state of Jammu and Kashmir was accorded higher degree of federalism under Article 370 read with Appendix I {The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954} of the Indian constitution.The Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry are accorded lesser degree of federalism under Article 239A and 239AA respectively and these territories are not included in the list of states in Schedule I of the constitution. The other union territories are directly governed by the union government.

Federal Features of the Indian Constitution
The main federal features of the Indian Constitution are as follows:
  1. Written Constitution:
    The Indian Constitution is a written document containing 395 Articles and 12 schedules, and therefore, fulfils this basic requirement of a federal government. In fact, the Indian Constitution is the most elaborate Constitution of the world.
  2. Supremacy of the Constitution:
    India's Constitution is also supreme and not the hand/ made of either the Centre or of the States. If for any reason any organ of the State dares to violate any provision of the Constitution, the courts of laws are there to ensure that dignity of the Constitution is upheld at all costs.
  3. Rigid Constitution:
    The Indian Constitution is largely a rigid Constitution. All the provisions of the Constitution concerning Union/ State relations can be amended only by the joint actions of the State Legislatures and the Union Parliament. Such provisions can be amended only if the amendment is passed by a two/ thirds majority of the members present and voting in the Parliament (which must also constitute the absolute majority of the total membership) and ratified by at least one/ half of the States.
  4. Division of Powers:
    In a federation, there should be clear division of powers so that the units and the centre are required to enact and legislate within their sphere of activity and none violates its limits and tries to encroach upon the functions of others. This requisite is evident in the Indian Constitution.

    The Seventh Schedule contains three Legislative Lists which enumerate subjects of administration, viz., Union, State and Concurrent Legislative Lists.

    The Union List consisted of 97 subjects, the most important of which are defence, foreign affairs, railways, posts and telegraphs, currency, etc.

    The State List consisted of 66 subjects, including, inter/ alia public order, police, administration of justice, public health, education, agriculture etc.

    The Concurrent List embraced 47 subjects including criminal law, marriage, divorce, bankruptcy, trade unions, electricity, economic and social planning, etc.

    The Union Government enjoys exclusive power to legislate on the subjects mentioned in the Union List. The State Governments have full authority to legislate on the subjects of the State List under normal circumstances. And both the Centre and the State can't legislate on the subjects mentioned in the Concurrent List, The residuary powers have been vested in the Central Government.
  5. Independent Judiciary:
    In India, the Constitution has provided for a Supreme Court and every effort has been made to see that the judiciary in India is independent and supreme. The Supreme Court of India can declare a law as unconstitutional or ultra Vires, if it contravenes any provisions of the Constitution. In order to ensure the impartiality of the judiciary, our judges are not removable by the Executive and their salaries cannot be curtailed by Parliament.
  6. Bicameral Legislature:
    A bicameral system is considered essential in a federation because it is in the Upper House alone that the units can be given equal representation. The Constitution of India also provides for a bicameral Legislature at the Centre consisting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Relations between The Union and The States
Legislative powers
The power of the states and the Centre are defined by the constitution and the legislative powers are divided into three lists.

Union List
The Union List consists of 100 items. For ex : defence, armed forces, arms and ammunition, atomic energy, foreign affairs, war and peace, citizenship, extradition, railways, shipping and navigation, airways, posts and telegraphs, telephones, wireless and broadcasting, currency, foreign trade, inter/ state trade and commerce, banking, insurance, control of industries, regulation and development of mines, elections, audit of Government accounts, constitution and organisation of the Supreme Court, High Courts and union public service commission, income tax, custom duties and export duties, duties of excise, corporation tax, taxes on capital value of assets, estate duty.

State List
State List consists of 61 items. For example maintaining law and order, police forces, healthcare, transport, land policies, electricity in state, village administration, etc. The state legislature has exclusive power to make laws on these subjects. But in certain circumstances, the parliament can also make laws on subjects 3 10. mentioned in the State list, then the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) has to pass a resolution with 2/3rd majority that it is expedient to legislate on this state list in the national interest. Though states have exclusive powers to legislate with regards to items on the State list, articles 249, 250, 252, and 253 state situations in which the federal government can legislate on these items.

Concurrent List
Concurrent List consists of 52 items. Uniformity is desirable but not essential on items in this list: Marriage and divorce, transfer of property other than agricultural land, education, contracts, bankruptcy and insolvency, trustees and trusts, civil procedure, contempt of court, adulteration of foodstuffs, drugs and poisons, economic and social planning, trade unions, labour welfare, electricity, newspapers, books and printing press, stamp duties. Residuary Subjects.

The subjects that are not mentioned in any of the three lists are known as residuary subjects. However, there are many provisions made in the constitution outside these lists permitting parliament or state legislative assembly to legislate. Excluding the provisions of the constitution outside these lists per Article 245, the power to legislate on residuary subjects (not mentioned anywhere in the constitution), rests with the parliament exclusively per Article 248.

Parliament shall legislate on residuary subjects following the procedure per Article 368 as constitutional amendments. In case the above lists are to be expanded or amended, the legislation should be done by the Parliament under its constituent power per Article 368 with ratification by the majority of the states. Federalism is part of the basic structure of the Indian constitution which cannot be altered or destroyed through

Constitutional amendments under the constituent powers of the Parliament without undergoing judicial review by the Supreme Court.

Legislative Powers
Distribution b/w Union and States The Federal system means division of power b/w Centre and States. The Constitution being federal divides all powers (Legislative Powers, Financial and Executive) b/w centre and states except judicial powers due to independence of judiciary.

Article 245- Doctrine of Territorial Nexus Article 2454 / Extent of laws made by parliament and by the legislatures of states:
  1. Subject to the provisions of this constitution, Parliament may make laws for the whole or any part of the territory of India,and the legislature of a state may make laws for the whole or any part of the state.
  2. No law made by parliament shall be deemed to be invalid on the ground that it would have extra/ territorial operation. Subject to the provisions of this constitution,this phrase means that the power enjoyed by the parliament to make laws for the whole or any part of the territory of India will be read in subject to other provisions of the constitution.

In other words, this power is not absolute. Other provisions like the distribution of powers, fundamental rights and other provisions of the constitution as interpreted by the courts. "Extra/ territorial operation" � Law made to operate outside territorial limits of India. State laws would be void if it has extra territorial operation i.e., takes effect outside the state. However,there is one exception to this general rule. A state law of extra- territorial operation will be valid if there is sufficient nexus between the object and the state.

This is clarified by the case State of Bombay vs. R.M.D.C. The Doctrine of Territorial nexus can be invoked under the following circumstances:
  1. Whether a particular state has extra territorial operations.
  2. If there is a territorial nexus between the subject matter of the Act and the state making the law.
It signifies that the object to which the law applies need not be physically located within the territorial boundaries of the state,but must have a sufficient territorial connection with the state.

A state may levy a tax on a person, property ,object or transaction not only when it is situated within its territorial limits,but also when it has a sufficient and real territorial connection with it. Parliament is empowered to make laws for extra territorial operations. It means legislation or legal protection for any Indian resident and their property anywhere in the world.
  1. Cases:
    State of Bombay v. RMDC5 FACTS :-
    The Respondent was not residing in Bombay but he conducted Competitions with prize money through a newspaper printed and published from Bangalore having a wide circulation in Bombay. All the essential activities like filling up of the forms, entry fees etc for the competition took place in Bombay. The state govt. sought to levy tax on the respondent for carrying on business in the state.

    Whether respondent i.e the organizer of the competition, who was outside the state of Bombay, could be validly taxed under the Act.

    It was held that there existed a sufficient territorial nexus to enable the Bombay Legislature to tax the respondent as all the activities which the competitor is ordinarily expected to undertake took place mostly within Bombay.
  2. Case:
    Tata Iron & Steel Company vs. Bihar State 6

    The State of Bihar passed a Sales Tax Act for levy of sales tax.

    whether the sale was concluded within the state or outside if the goods were produced, found and manufactured in the state . 5 AIR 1957 SC 699 6 AIR 1958 SC 482

    The court held there was sufficient territorial nexus and upheld the Act as valid. Whether there is sufficient nexus between the law and the object sought to be taxed will depend upon the facts and circumstances of a particular case. It was pointed out that sufficiency of the territorial connection involved a consideration of two elements/ a) the connection must be real and not illusory b) the liability sought to be imposed must be pertinent to that Connection.
Article 246:
Subject-matter of laws made by parliament and by the legislatures of states.
  • Union List( list 1)/ Parliament has exclusive power to legislate with respect to any of the matters enumerated in list 1 notwithstanding anything contained in clauses (2) and (3).
  • State list( list II)/ The state legislature has exclusive power to make laws with respect to any of the matters enumerated in list II.( subject to clause 1 and II).
  • Concurrent list (list III)/ Both parliament and the state legislature have concurrent powers of legislation with respect to any of the matters enumerated in this list. Parliament has power to make laws with respect to any matter for any part of the territory of India not included in a State notwithstanding that such matter is a matter enumerated in the State List.
Notwithstanding anything contained�. ( the non obstante clause in art.246(1) provides for predominance or supremacy of Union Legislature.This power is not encumbered by anything contained in clauses 2 and 3 for these clauses themselves are expressly limited and made subject to the non obstante clause in art.246(1) The words "notwithstanding anything contained in clauses 2 and 3, in article 246(1) and the words "subject to clause 1 and 2 in article 246(3) lay down the principle of federal supremacy which means that in case of inevitable conflict between Union and state powers, The Union Power as enumerated in list I shall prevail over the State power as enumerated in lists II and III.And in case of overlapping between lists II and III ,the former shall prevail.

Principles Of Interpretation Of Lists A.
Principle of Colourable Legislation
The doctrine of colourability is the idea that when the legislature wants to do something that it cannot do within the constraints of the constitution, it colours the law with a substitute purpose which will still allow it to accomplish its original goal. Maxim: "Quando aliquid prohibetur ex directo, prohibetur et per obliquum" which means what cannot be done directly cannot also be done indirectly. The rule relates to the question of legislative competency to enact a law. Colourable Legislation does not involve the question of bonafides or malfides. A legislative transgression may be patent, manifest or direct or may be disguised, covert or indirect. It is also applied to the fraud of the Constitution.

In India 'the doctrine of colorable legislation' signifies only a limitation of the law making power of the legislature. It comes into picture while the legislature purports to act within its power but in reality it has transgressed those powers. So the doctrine becomes applicable whenever legislation seeks to do in an indirect manner what it cannot do directly. If the impugned legislation falls within the competence of legislature, the question of doing something indirectly which cannot be done directly does not arise. In our Constitution, this doctrine is usually applied to Article 246 which has demarcated the Legislative competence of the Parliament and the State

Legislative Assemblies by outlining the different subjects under List I for the Union, List II for the States and List III for the both as mentioned in the seventh schedule. This doctrine comes into play when a legislature does not possess the power to make law upon a particular subject but nonetheless indirectly makes one. By applying this principle the fate of the Impugned Legislation is decided.

Important Case Laws Case 1:
KC Gajapati v. State of Orissa 8

The petitioners were the owners of estates. The Orissa state Legislature enacted the "Orissa State Estates Abolition Act, 1952" whose primary purpose of the Act is to abolish all zamindary and other proprietary estates and interests in the State of Orissa and after eliminating all the intermediaries, to bring riots or the actual occupants of the lands in direct contact with the State Government the compensation would be calculated at a certain number of years purchase of the net annual income of the estate during the previous agricultural year, that is to say, the year immediately preceding that in which the date of vesting falls. The other sum payable as income/ tax in respect of any other kind of income derived from the estate would also be included in the deductions. The amount of compensation thus determined is payable in 30 annual equated installments commencing from the date of vesting and an opinion is given to the State Government to make full payment at any time.

Whether "Orissa State Estates Abolition Act '', 1952 is a piece of colourable legislation? Legal Proposition That the doctrine of colourable legislation does not involve any question of bonafides or mala fides on the part of the legislature. The whole doctrine resolves itself into the question of competency of a particular legislature to 8 AIR 1953 SC 375 enact a particular law.

If the legislature is competent to pass a particular law, the motives which compelled it to act are really irrelevant9 . On the other hand, if the legislature lacks competency, the question of motive does not arise at all. Whether a statute is constitutional or not is thus always a question of power "Malice or motive is beside the point, and it is not permissible to suggest parliamentary incompetence on the score of malafides. A distinction, however, exists between a legislature which is legally important like the British Parliament and the laws promulgated by which could not be challenged on the ground of incompetency, and a legislature which enjoys only a limited or a qualified jurisdiction.

The validity of this provision has been challenged on the ground that it is a piece of colourable legislation which comes within the principle enunciated by the majority of this court in the Bihar case10 . It is difficult to appreciate this argument of the learned counsel. It is not legislation on something which is non/ existent or unrelated to facts. It cannot also be seriously contended that what section 37 provides for, is not giving of compensation but of negativing the right to compensation as the learned counsel seems to suggest. There is no substance in this contention and we have no hesitation in overruling it. The result is that all the points raised by the learned counsel for the appellants fail and the appeals are dismissed. Having regard to some important constitutional questions involved in these cases which needed clearing up, we direct that each party should bear his own costs in these appeals. Appeal dismissed. 9 MP Jain, Indian Constitutional Law, Wadhwa Nagpur, 5th Ed., 537 10 State of Bihar vs. Maharaja Kameshwar Singh & ors, 1955 SCR 889

Principle of pith and substance
Pith means 'true nature' or essence of something and substance means 'the most important or essential part of something'. The basic purpose of this doctrine is to determine under which head of power or field i.e. under which list (given in the seventh schedule) a given piece of legislation falls. Union & State Legislatures are supreme within their respective fields. They should not encroach into the field reserved to the other. If a law passed by one trespasses upon the field assigned to the other�the Court by applying Pith & Substance doctrine, resolve the difficulty declare whether the legislature concerned was competent to make the law. If the pith & substance of law (i.e. the true object of the legislation) relates to a matter within the competence of the legislature which enacted it ,it should be held intra vires though the legislature might incidentally trespass into matters not within its competence. The true character of the legislation can be ascertained by having regard�to the enactment as a whole / / to its object � to the scope and effect of its provisions.

Case: State of Bombay vs. FN Balsara11 Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949 which prohibited sale & possession of liquors in the State, was challenged on the ground that it incidentally encroached upon Imports & Exports of liquors across custom frontier a Central subject. It was contended that the prohibition, purchase, use, possession and sale of liquor will affect its import. The court held that act valid because the pith & substance fell under Entry 8 of State List and not under Entry 41 of Union List. 11 AIR 1951 SC 318

Principle of Harmonious Construction

The doctrine or the rule of harmonious construction is adopted when there is a conflict between two or more statues or between the parts or provisions of the statues. As per this doctrine the courts try to avoid conflicts between the provisions of the statutes. The doctrine follows a very simple rule that every statute has made for a purpose and specific intent as per law and it should be read as a whole and interpreted accordingly. Thus the provisions are so interpreted that the conflict between the two statues or its provisions is avoided and each of them is given effect. For this purpose, the scope and meaning of one may be restricted so as to give meaning also to the other. So, The aim of the courts are:/
  1. An interpretation which makes the enactment consistent.
  2. A construction which avoids inconsistency or repugnancy between the various sections or parts of the statute. However, in the case in which it shall be impossible to harmonize both the provisions, the court's decision shall prevail.
The Supreme Court laid down five principles of rule of Harmonious Construction in the landmark case of Commissioner12 Of Income Tax vs M/S Hindustan Bulk Carriers on 17 December, 2000
  1. The courts must avoid a head on clash of seemingly contradicting provisions and they must construe the contradictory provisions so as to harmonize them.
  2. The provision of one section cannot be used to defeat the provision contained in another unless the court, despite all its effort, is unable to find a way to reconcile their differences.
  3. When it is impossible to completely reconcile the differences in contradictory provisions, the courts must interpret them in such a way so that effect is given to both the provisions as much as possible.
  4. Courts must also keep in mind that interpretation that reduces one provision to a useless number or a dead lumbar, is not harmonious construction.
  5. To harmonize is not to destroy any statutory provision or to render it ineffective.

Article 254: Doctrine of Repugnancy
It is Article 254 of the Constitution of India that firmly entrenched the Doctrine of Repugnancy in India. According to Black's Law Dictionary, Repugnancy could be defined as "an inconsistency or contradiction between two or more parts of a legal instrument (such as a statute or a contract)".

The Supreme Court's Interpretation of Doctrine of Repugnancy Article 254 has been beautifully summarized by the Supreme Court in M. Karunanidhi v. Union of India13 .

The court said that:
  1. Where the provisions of a Central Act and a State Act in the Concurrent List are fully inconsistent and are absolutely irreconcilable, the Central Act will prevail and the State Act will become void in view of the repugnancy.
  2. Where however a law passed by the State comes into collision with a law passed by Parliament on an Entry in the Concurrent List, the State Act shall prevail to the extent of the repugnancy and the provisions of the Central Act would become void provided the State Act has been passed in accordance with clause (2) of Article 254.
  3. Where a law passed by the State Legislature while being substantially within the scope of the entries in the State List entrenches upon any of the Entries in the Central List, the constitutionality of the law may be upheld by invoking the doctrine of pith and substance if on an analysis of the provisions of the Act it appears that by and large the law falls within the four corners of the State List and entrenchment, if any, is purely incidental or inconsequential.
  4. Where, however, a law made by the State Legislature on a subject covered by the Concurrent List is inconsistent with and repugnant to a previous law made by Parliament, then such a law can be protected by obtaining the assent of the President under Article 254(2) of the Constitution. The result of obtaining the assent of the President would be that so far as the State Act is concerned, it will prevail in the State and overrule the provisions of the Central Act in their applicability to the State only. Such a state of affairs will exist only until Parliament may at any time make a law adding to, or amending, varying or repealing the law made by the State Legislature under the proviso to Article 254.

Now, the conditions which must be satisfied before any repugnancy could arise are as follows:
  1. That there is a clear and direct inconsistency between the Central Act and the State Act.
  2. That such an inconsistency is absolutely irreconcilable.
  3. That the inconsistency between the provisions of the two Acts is of such nature as to bring the two Acts into direct collision with each other and a situation is reached where it is impossible to obey the one without disobeying the other.
Thereafter, the court laid down the following propositions in this respect:
  1. That in order to decide the question of repugnancy it must be shown that the two enactments contain inconsistent and irreconcilable provisions, so that they cannot stand together or operate in the same field.
  2. That there can be no repeal by implication unless the inconsistency appears on the face of the two statutes. 26.
  3. That where the two statutes occupy a particular field, but there is room or possibility of both the statutes operating in the same field without coming into collision with each other, no repugnancy results.
  4. That where there is no inconsistency but a statute occupying the same field seeks to create distinct and separate offences, no question of repugnancy arises and both the statutes continue to operate in the same field.

Further in the case of Govt. of A.P. v. J.B. Educational Society14

The court held that:
  1. There is no doubt that both Parliament and the State Legislature are supreme in their respective assigned fields. It is the duty of the court to interpret the legislations made by Parliament and the State Legislature in such a manner as to avoid any conflict. However, if the conflict is unavoidable, and the two enactments are irreconcilable, then by the force of the non obstante clause in clause (1) of Article 246, the parliamentary legislation would prevail notwithstanding the exclusive power of the State Legislature to make a law with respect to a matter enumerated in the State List.
  2. With respect to matters enumerated in List III (Concurrent List), both Parliament and the State Legislature have equal competence to legislate. Here again, the courts are charged with the duty of interpreting the enactments of Parliament and the State Legislature in such a manner as to avoid a conflict. If the conflict becomes unavoidable, then Article 245 indicates the manner of resolution of such a conflict." The Court also said that:
    1. Where the legislations, though enacted with respect to matters in their allotted sphere, overlap and conflict. Second, where the two legislations are with respect to matters in the Concurrent List and there is a conflict. In both the situations, parliamentary legislation will predominate, in the first, by virtue of the non obstante clause in Article 246(1), in the second, by reason of Article 254(1).
    2. Clause (2) of Article 254 deals with a situation where the State legislation having been reserved and having obtained President's assent, prevails in that State; this again is subject to the proviso that Parliament can again bring a legislation to override even such State legislation.

Extraordinary Legislative Powers of Parliament
  1. National Interest
    If Rajya Sabha passed a resolution by a majority of not less than 2/3rd present and voting that it is necessary in national interest to make law on any matter enumerated in State List then Parliament can pass a law on that subject. Such resolution remains in effect for 1yr but can be renewed. The law ceased to have effect on expiration of 6months after such resolution ceased to be in force.
  2. National Emergency
    In case of Proclamation of Emergency, the Parliament can extend its legislative powers to make laws on state subjects but such laws cease to have effect on expiration of 6months after proclamation cease to operate. Either in national interest or emergency, if any provision of a law made by legislature is in repugnancy or in conflict with Parliament law then latter shall prevail till its existence.
  3. On Request of State Legislatures
    If any resolution passed by all legislatures of two or more states by declaring that it shall be lawful for the Parliament to pass an act on any matter included in state list for those state then such act passed by parliament shall apply to those state or any other state which passed resolution even after enactment of that act. But such law can be amended or repealed by the Parliament only and not by concerned states.
  4. International Agreements
    The Parliament has legislative power to make any law for execution of any treaty or agreement with other countries or at any international conference or association.
  5. President Rule
    On failure of constitutional machinery, the President rule can be imposed and under it Parliament is empowered to make laws on any matter in the State List. Such laws shall remain in force even after the President Rule but can be repealed or amended by the state legislature.

Executive Powers between The Union and The States
The 15 Union and states have independent executive staffs fully controlled by their respective governments and executive power of the states and the Centre are extended on issues they are empowered to legislate. As in legislative matters, in administrative matters also, the Central government can not overrule the constitutional rights/powers of a state government except when president rule is promulgated in a state.

It is the duty of the Union to ensure that the government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution per Article 355. Article 256 of the Constitution has made it clear that the State governments cannot go against the Central laws in administrative matters. When a State has failed to work according to the Constitution, the President's rule is imposed under Article 356 and the President takes over its (the State's) administration with post facto consent of the Parliament per Article 357.

Financial Powers  between The Union and The States
Article 282 accords financial autonomy in spending the financial resources available with the states for public purpose. Article 293 gives liberty to states to borrow without any limit to its ability for its requirements within the territory of India without any consent from the union government. However, the union government can insist on compliance of its loan terms when a state has an outstanding loan charged to the consolidated fund of India or an outstanding loan in respect of which a guarantee has been given by the Government of India under the liability of the consolidated fund of India.

The President constitutes a Finance Commission after every five years to recommend the modality for devolving union government revenues between central and state governments. Under Article 360 of the constitution, the President can proclaim a financial emergency when the financial stability or credit of the nation or of any part of its territory is threatened. However, until now no guidelines defining the situation of financial emergency in the entire country or a state or a union territory or a panchayat or a municipality or a corporation have been framed either by the finance commission or by the central government. Such an emergency must be approved by the Parliament within two months by simple majority. It has never been declared. A state of financial emergency remains in force indefinitely until revoked by the President.

The President can reduce the salaries of all government officials, including judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, in cases of a financial emergency. All money bills passed by the State legislatures are submitted to the President for approval. He can direct the state to observe certain principles (economic measures) relating to financial matters.

At last I would like to conclude that " Federalism is an aspect of Constitutionalism ". As Constitutionalism means limited government or limitations on government. Federalism is a philosophy which says power should be divided between the governments and there shall be no monopoly of power, and in India power is divided between The Union and The States. But according to Article 254 i.e Doctrine of Repugnancy which says that in case of conflict between the sub matters of the lists ( union list, state list, concurrent list ), the union prevails over the state. But the interpretation of the lists as said by the supreme court is done by keeping in mind these principles:
  1. Doctrine of colorable legislation
  2. Principle of pith and substance
  3. Principles of harmonious construction

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