Minto- Morley Reforms In India:
Morley-Minto Reforms 1909 - Historical Background:
Morley-Minto Reforms 1909 - Objective
- The Congress' reasonable intentions were not met by the Indian Councils
Act of 1892
- The division of Bengal was carried out by Lord Curzon in 1905. As a result,
there was a huge revolt in Bengal.
- Following this, the British rulers realized that some improvements in the Indian
government were required.
- The Indian National Congress (INC) also pushed for additional reforms and Indian
- Earlier Congress leaders were moderates, but now radical leaders who believed in
more confrontational tactics were on the increase.
- In 1906, the INC demanded home rule for the first time.
- In England, Gopal Krishna Gokhale met with Morley to stress the importance of
- The Simla Deputation met Lord Minto in 1906 and presented their proposal for a
separate electorate for Muslims, led by Aga Khan.
- John Morley was a member of India's Liberal government who aspired to improve
the country's governance.
- The Indian Councils Act of 1909 was passed to rally the Moderates in the Indian
National Congress and Muslims to its side
To apply the electoral principle to membership in India's imperial and local
legislative councils, as well as to increase Indian participation in the
governance of British India.
Morley-Minto Reforms 1909 - Key Provisions:
Members of the federal and provincial legislative councils were to be classified
into four groups:
- At both the federal and provincial levels, the size of legislative
councils has increased.
- The Central Legislative Council is made up of individuals ranging in age from 16
- There are 50 members in each of the Legislative Councils of Bengal, Madras,
Bombay, and the United Provinces.
- Each Legislative Council of Punjab, Burma, and Assam has 30 members.
- Members of the provincial legislative councils are chosen by local governments
via an electoral college. These individuals would elect members of the Central
- Those who were elected included local governments, chambers of commerce,
landlords, colleges, trade organizations, and Muslims.
- The bulk of provincial council members were non-official. In total,
however, a non-elected majority existed due to the nomination of several
- The Imperial Legislative Council welcomed Indians for the first time.
- Muslims have their own electorate. In some seats, only Muslims were allowed to
vote, and only Muslims could vote for their representatives.
- The budget could be debated and resolutions could be proposed. They could also
discuss problems that are important to the general population. They could also
inquire about the topic more.
- Foreign policy or relations with princely states could not be discussed.
- Satyendra P Sinha was named to the Viceroy's Executive Council as the first
Indian member (after great pressure from Morley).
- The Secretary of State's Council on Indian Affairs has been expanded by two
Morley-Minto Reforms 1909 - Significance
- Members of the executive council and the Governor-General are ex
- Members nominated by the Governor-General: The Governor-General
has nominated government officials.
- Members who were not government officials and were nominated by
- Various groups of Indians elected representatives to the board.
Morley-Minto Reforms 1909 - Defects:
- It was a forward step towards the responsible association of elected Indians
with the administration.
- The members for the first time got an opportunity to criticize the executives
and make suggestions for the better administration of the country.
What is Rowlatt Act 1919?
- To increase the divide between Muslims and Hindus, separate
constituencies were created. In Indian politics, this system ushered
in an era of unabashed communalism
- The size of the councils was expanded, but not their functions or powers.
- Although the Provincial Councils had a non-official majority, the outcome was
irrelevant because the non-official majority was invalidated by the election of
- The Governor-position General's and veto power were not affected by the Act.
- Members were able to discuss the budget, but they were unable to make any
significant changes to it.
- They could ask questions but not compel the executives to respond to the
resolutions, which were more like recommendations to the government.
- Morley-Minto Reform diverted attention away from political and economic
difficulties that afflicted all Indians, Hindu and Muslim alike.
The Rowlatt Act or Rowlatt Satyagraha (famously known as the Black Act) refers
to the draconian law passed by the British government in March 1919. It is
officially called the Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act and gave enormous
power to the British government and police to arrest anyone suspected of
seditious activities. It was meant to replace the emergency law called the
Defence of India Act 1915. The Black Act was drafted by a committee headed by a
British Judge, Sir Sydney Rowlatt to curb the growing movement of nationalism in
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
- British Bill Rowlatt Act/ Rowlatt Satyagraha (Black Act)
- Enacted in the year-1919
- This act is drafted by Sir Sydney Rowlatt
- Objective is to replace the repressive provisions of the
wartime Defence of
India (1915) by a permanent law and curb the unrest in India
- Scope of the act is to take into custody of any suspected
persons without warrant and detain the person for up to 2 years
without a trail. It also takes away the right of habeaus corpus. Free limitation on press and gave undue right
to search private and public spaces without warrant.
- Impact results in Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and withdrawal of Rowlatt Act in
The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre took place on 13th April 1919 on the day of
Baisakhi when a large group of men, women and children unaware of the martial
law decided to assemble in the park. The peaceful protest was organised against
the Rowlatt Act and the wrongful arrest of Congress leaders in India. Without
any warning, General Dyer ordered its men to block all entrances and to open
fire on the peaceful gathering. This massacre took 400 civilian lives and
The incident created a rift between the Indian people and the British
government. Despite a massive outcry, no action was taken against the
perpetrators of the heinous crime. The massacre at Amritsar was a turning point
in the Indian national movement as the moderate leaders lost faith in the
fairness of the British regime. The Hunter Commission was set up to investigate
the event and condemned the actions of General Dyer yet no concrete punishment
was issued against the General behind the most brutal killings in modern India.
- A committee of inquiry to investigate the Jallianwala Bagh shootings was formed
by the Government.
- On October 14, 1919, Disorders Inquiry Committee was formed by the Indian
- After Lord William Hunter, the committee was named Hunter Commission. It also
had Indian members.
- In the final report submitted in March 1920, the committee unanimously condemned
- The Hunter Committee did not impose any penal or disciplinary action against
Non- Cooperation Movement
- Rabindranath Tagore renounced his knighthood in protest.
- Mahatma Gandhi gave up the title of Kaiser-i-Hind, bestowed by the British for
his work during the Boer War.
- Gandhi was overwhelmed by the atmosphere of total violence and withdrew the
movement on April 18, 1919.
- The Indian National Congress appointed its own non-official committee that
included Motilal Nehru, C.R. Das, Abbas Tyabji, M.R. Jayakar, and Gandhi to look
into the shootings.
- Congress put forward its own view. This view criticized
Dyer's act as inhuman and also said that there was no justification in the
introduction of the martial law in Punjab
The non-cooperation movement was launched in 1920 on 5th September. It was led
by Mahatma Gandhi & focused on abolishing the use of British products, declining
or resigning from British posts, educational institutions, prohibiting
government regulations, courts, etc. The movement was non-violent & launched to
withdraw the nation's cooperation after the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre & Rowlatt
Mahatma Gandhi stated India could achieve independence within a year if
this movement was a success. It was the transition of individuals to a mass
movement. Non-cooperation was focused to get full independence also known as Purna Swaraj.
Two movements that were initiated to oppose British rule in India during the
fight for India Independence were Khilafat and Non-cooperation movement. Both of
the movements followed non-violence acts. While there were many reasons behind
the movements, one major reason behind the Khilafat movement was when the
religious head of Muslims who was the sultan of turkey was killed by Britishers.
Khilafat movement led by Maulana Mohammed Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali, Maulana
Azad, Hakim Ajmal Khan, and Hasrat Mohani. This movement united Hindus and
Muslims as the leaders of the khilafat movement joined the non-cooperation
Sarkaria Commission was constituted by the Government of India in 1983 to look
after the situation on various matters, the most important being centre-state
relations. The most important recommendation that the Sarkaria Commission made
was the setting up of a permanent Inter-state council called the
Intergovernmental Council. The Commission recommended that this council should
be set up under Article 263 of the constitution.
Sarkaria Commission Report - Historical Background
Sarkaria Commission Report - Recommendations
- With a view to reviewing the working of the existing arrangements between the
Union and the States in the changed socio-economic scenario, the Ministry of
Home Affairs constituted a Commission in June 9, 1983 under the Chairmanship of
Retd. Justice R.S. Sarkaria with Shri B. Sivaraman and Dr. S.R. Sen as its
- The Commission examined and reviewed the working of the existing arrangements
between the Union and States in regard to powers, functions and responsibilities
in all spheres and recommended such changes or other measures as may be
- The commission keep in view the social and economic developments that have taken
place over the years and have due regard to the scheme and framework of the
Constitution which the founding fathers have so sedulously designed to protect
the independence and ensure the unity and integrity of the country which is of
paramount importance for promoting the welfare of the people.
- The Commission submitted its report in October 1987 with 247 recommendations.
- It out-rightly rejected the demand for curtailing the power of centre and stated
that a strong center is essential to safeguard national unity and integrity.
However, it observed the over-centralization as an avoidable phenomenon.
The Central government has implemented 180 (out of 247) recommendations of the
Sarkaria Commission. Some of the proposals, such as having the governor come
from outside the state, have been implemented. The Supreme Court has often
highlighted the importance of putting the Sarkaria commission's recommendations
on governor selection and appointment into action. Government has accepted a few
recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission of Articles 356 & legislative matter.
What is Constitution?
A constitution means a document having a special legal sanctity which sets out
the frame work and principal functions of the government, Constitution of a
country gives idea about basic structure of the political system under which its
people are to be governed. It defines the powers of the main organs of the
state, demarcates their responsibilities and regulates their relationships which
each other and with the people. It can also be termed as "Fundamental Law" of a
country which reflects people's faith and aspirations.
Framing of the Constitution:
Though the major part of the constitution came into force on January 26,1950 the
provisions relating to:
- The Constitution of India was framed by a constituent Assembly set up
under the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946
- The Assembly consisted of 389 members representing provinces (292),
states (93) the Chief Commissioner Provinces (3) and Baluchistan ( l )
- The Assembly held its first meeting on December 9, 1946, and elected Dr. Sachidanand Sinha, the oldest member of the Assembly as the Provisional
- On December I l, 1946 the Assembly elected Dr. Rajendra Prasad as its
- The strength of the Assembly was reduced to 299
- (229 representing the provinces and 70 representing the States)
following withdrawal of the Muslim league members after the partition of the
- The Constituent Assembly set up 13 Committees for framing the
constitution. On the basis of the reports of these committees, a draft of
the constitution was prepared by a seven-member. Drafting Committee under
the Chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
- The draft constitution was published in January, 1948 and people were
given eight months to discuss the draft and purpose amendments.
Provisional parliament and temporary and transitional provision came into force
with immediate effect viz. from November 26, 1949.· Dr. B.R. Ambedkar is the father of the constitution.
Sources of constitution:
- The British Constitution. -
The Parliamentary system of the government, rule of law, lawmaking procedure and
- The U.S constitution
Independence of Judiciary, Judicial Review, Fundamental Rights, and guidelines
for the removal of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts
- The Canada
Federal system, with a strong central authority.
- The Republic of Ireland
Directive Principles of State Policy
- The Austrian Constitution
Idea of concurrent list
- The Weimar constitution
Provisions relating to emergency
Above all the Government of India Act 1935, exercised great influence on the
Indian Constitution. The federal scheme, office of governors, powers of federal
judiciary etc. were drawn from this act.
In short, the Indian constitution incorporated the best features of several
Objectives of the Constitution of India.
The objectives of the constitution were outlined in the objective Resolution
moved by Pt.Jawaharlal Nehru and adopted by the constituent Assembly on January
22, 1947. The main principles outlined in the resolution were:
Salient features of the Indian Constitution:
- Resolve to proclaim India as an Independent sovereign republic
- To establish a democratic Union with an equal level of self-government
for all the constituent parts.
- All power and authority of the union government and governments of the
constituent parts are derived from the people.
- To guarantee and secure to all people of India:
- Justice, Social, Economic and Political.
- equality of status, of opportunity and before law.
- freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship, vocation
association and action.
- Adequate safeguards for minorities backward and tribal areas and
depressed and other backward classes.
- To maintain the integrity of the territory of the Republic and its
sovereign rights on land, sea, and air according to justice and law of
civilized nations. To secure for India its rightful and honored place in the
- To contribute to the promotion of world peace and the welfare of
mankind. These objectives incorporated in the Preamble of the constitution.
To frame Indian Constitution some of the basic salient features are meant for
the drafting. The Indian Constitution is immortal to the Indian polity as well
as for judiciary in their administration and also in judicial decisions. So
there should be a distinguished salient features from other countries
constitution. The Indian Constitution begins with a preamble. The preamble
contains the ideals, objectives and basic principles of the constitution. All
the basic elements of the Constitution were discussed in brief through the
salient features of the Constitution.
The Bulkiest constitution of the world:
The constitution, originally consisting of 395 articles, now consists of 444
Articles divided into 25 parts and 12 schedules.
The main factors that led to
the constitution being bulky were:
Combination of Rigidity and Flexibility:
- Incorporation of good provisions of the constitutions of other countries
to avoid future loopholes.
- Absence of separates constitutions for the states and provision of both
central and state structure in the constitution.
- Incorporation of Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive
Principles of State Policy.
- Provisions regarding peculiar problems facing the country, such as
problem of scheduled cases and scheduled tribes, backward classes, official
- Inclusion of emergency provisions in the constitution for the protection
of the interests of the country and the people.
- Detailed provisions regarding the organization of the judiciary, the
services, election and other transitory provision.
- Codification of details regarding center, state relations to eliminate
- Enumeration of central practices, which in other countries operate on
the basis of conventions.
The Indian Constitution is a combination of rigidity and flexibility, while some
provisions of the constitution can be amended by the Parliament by a simple
majority, other require a two-thirds majority of the members of the Parliament
as well as a majority in the state legislatures, Again, some provisions of the
constitution can be amended by the Parliament alone by a two-third majority.
Further flexibility is introduced in the constitution by the provisions which
permit the parliament to supplement the provisions of the constitution by
Parliamentary system of Government:
The constitution provides for a parliamentary system of government under which
the real executive power rests with the council of ministers and the President
is only a nominal ruler. The council of ministers stay in office as long as they
enjoy the confidence of the Parliament.
The framers of the constitution decided to adopt a parliamentary system of
government for several reasons.
Federal system with a Unitary Bias:
- Firstly, the system was already in existence in India and people were
well acquainted with its working.
- Secondly, the vast size of the country and the diversity of its culture
necessitated the adoption of a parliamentary form of government.
- Thirdly, the desire to avoid conflicts between the executive and the
legislatures, which was a common feature in America also induced the members of
the constituent Assembly to opt for a parliamentary system.
'The Indian constitution provides for a federation with a strong center.
It is noteworthy that the constitution has not used the word 'federation', any
when, and has described India as a "Union of States", which implies that the
Indian federation is not the result of any agreement among the units and the
unit cannot secede from it.
India possesses most of the features of the federation but also several of the
The Indian federal structure acquired a unitary character during emergency,
where the normal distribution of powers between the center and the states
undergoes vital changes.
- The constitution contains an elaborate list of Fundamental Right.
- The state cannot make laws which take away or abridge any of the fundamental
right of the citizens. If it does so, the courts can declare such a law as
- It may be noted that the fundamental rights granted by the constitution are not
Directive Principles of State Policy.
- The constitution also contains a list of 10 fundamental duties of the citizens.
- These duties were added to the constitution by the 42 nd amendment in 1976.
These duties serve as constant reminders to the citizen that they have to
observe certain basic norms of democratic conduct.
The constitution outlines certain Directive Principles of State Policy which the
government has to keep in mind. While formulating any policy. These principles
seek to provide social and economic basis for democracy and the establishment of
a welfare state.
Unlike the Fundamental Rights, the Directive Principles of State Policy are
non-Justice-able, which implies that no action can be brought against the state
before a court of law for its failure to implement the Directive Principles.
However, in actually the government has accorded due importance to the Directive
Principles in the formation of its policies.
The constitution makes India a secular state. This means that there is no state
religion and state is completely detached from religious dogmas.
It also implies that citizens are free to profess, practice and propagate any
religion. However, freedom of religion is not absolute and the same can be
regulated in the interest of the public.
The constitution provides an independent judiciary which ensures that the
government is carried out in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.
It acts as the guardian of the liberties and fundamental Rights of the citizen.
It also determines the limits of the powers of the center and the states.
People as source of Authority:
The constitution draws its authority from the people and has been promulgated in
the name of the people. This is evident from the preamble with states. "We the
people of India.. , 8 do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this
Universal Adult Franchise:
The constitution introduces universal adult franchise and accords the right to
vote to all citizens above 18 years of age without discrimination. However it
makes reservation of seats for Schedule Castes and Scheduled Tribes to provide
them adequate representation.
The constitution vests extraordinary powers in the President during emergencies
arising out of armed rebellion or external aggression, emergency due to
breakdown of constitutional machinery in the state and financial emergency where
the credit of the country is threatened. In fact during emergency the federal
constitution can virtually be converted into a unitary constitution.
It provides single citizenship. All persons residing in different parts of the
country are treated as Indian citizens and are entitled to the same rights of
citizenship. There is no separate citizenship of different States.
It provides a bicameral legislature at the center consisting of the Lok Sabha
and the Rajya Sabha. The former contains representatives of the people, while
the latter contains representatives of the States.
Special Provisions for minorities:
The constitution makes special provision for minorities, Scheduled Castes
Scheduled Tribes etc. It not only reserves seat for them in the Parliament and
state legislatures, but also grants them certain special rights and privileges.
The constitution provides constitutional basis to Panchayati Raj institution as
well as Urban local bodies. This was achieved through the seventy-third and
seventy-fourth amendment to the constitution carried out in December 1992.
Federal and Quasi Federal Constitution:
Federalism is a dual government system that performs its function independently.
Federalism generally is two levels of government. One is the Central Government
who perform their functions at the major issues of the country. The other is the
local or State Government which deals with day-to-day activities and functioning
of their particular State. Such as we know that we have two levels of law
enacted body at the central level Parliament in which the central government
enacts the laws for whole the nation and the other is State Legislature in which
the particular State Government enacts the laws for the particular state.
The Constitution of India is rigid and at the same time, it is flexible, which
can be amended according to the growing and changing needs of a developing
society and country. This is the reason it is called a living document. India's
constitution does not refer to the country as a federation. Article 1 of the
Constitution, on the other hand, refers to India as a "Union of States."
signifies that India is a union made up of many states that are all equally
important. The Indian Union is unbreakable. The states are unable to secede from
the union under this situation. They do not have the authority to leave the
union. The constituent entities, or States, in a real federation, have the
ability to leave the union.
It is described as a "quasi-federal state" by Prof. K.C Wheare. It is also
described as "a federal system with a significant leaning towards the Centre" by
the Supreme Court of India. The Indian constitution has elements of both a
federal and a unitary constitution. To comprehend the quasi-federal government,
we must first grasp the federal and unitary characteristics of the Indian
Federalism is a tool for articulating and protecting a society's
many traits. It was created to ensure regional autonomy as well as national
unity. In multiple societies, it is the result of historical processes. The
central government will have more authority if the forces of national unity are
particularly strong in such a society.
A quasi-federal government is one in which the division of powers between the
federal government and the states is not equal. Because of its strong central
apparatus, India is a federation with a unitary bias and is referred to as a
quasi-federal state. The Government of India Act, 1935 proposed a federal system
for India for the first time, even though the process of decentralization and
devolution of authority had been underway since the Government of India Act,
1919, when the term "federation" was first used in legal terms.
In India, the
federal system does not exist as a consequence of an agreement or treaty between
the many components and states that make up India. With the enactment of the
constitution, India's unitary system of government was transformed into a
The Indian constitution's creators wanted to create a federal
structure in the country because of the country's diversity and vastness. With
so many models to choose from, the Constituent Assembly correctly chose the
Government of India Act, 1935 as the foundation for its new constitution.
Federalism is a complicated governmental process that allows a country to have
both a central and state government at the same time. The constitution is the
source of authority for both administrations. The powers are divided between the
Centre and State governments in a federal constitution, and the Central
Government may make laws for the entire country, while the respective state
governments may make laws for the entire state, allowing each government to be
legally independent within its own sphere.
Each government has its own set of
powers and exercises them independently of other governments; as a result,
neither is submissive to the other, yet both work together. This system is built
on a compromise between regional variety and national unity, as well as the
necessity for an effective central power and checks and balances on that power.
Features of federal system:
The best way to comprehensively understand the federal system is to learn about
its features. These qualities consolidated to reflect the genuine quintessence
of federalism. Let us know them carefully:
- Bi-Cameral Legislature:
The main feature, which is the definition of
federalism in which there are at least two levels of governance in the country.
There can even be more than two levels of governance but the entire power is not
concentrated with one government.
- Single Citizenship:
All levels of governance with their different
jurisdiction govern the same citizens. This means that to make laws, legislate
and implement these laws by each level of government with their definite power.
- Written Constitution:
Another essential feature is that the federal system
of government is guaranteed by the constitution. It means that the constitution
of that country where is the federal system of government listed down all powers
and duties in the written form of all levels of government. Without a written
constitution there is not a federal system of government. For example, the UK is
not a federal country because there is not a written constitution. In the
written constitution there is no denying fact that stability maintains in the
governance as a whole of the country. In the absence of a written constitution,
there is the possibility of conflicts and misunderstandings arises in the Center
and the State and would cross the boundary of each other.
- Participation of the Centre and State:
As stated above the federalism of a
country must be governed by the constitution. It is also important to know that
any amendment or changes cannot be made unilaterally in the main parts or
essential provisions of the constitution. Such changes or amendments must also
be approved by all the levels of government to go through.
- Dual Government:
It is also stated that there are two levels of government
with separate jurisdictions and separate duties. There may be a possibility to
arise a conflict between the two governments. In a federal state, it is the duty
of the courts to interfere in such a situation to resolve this conflict and
reach a resolution.
- Revenue Sharing:
In case of a federal country there should be a system of
Revenue-Sharing between the Center and the State like as a system of
Power-Sharing between the two levels of government.
Our constitution makes a clear demarcation about legislative powers and
It is done through the
This incorporates subjects that convey national significance, similar to
defense, finance, railroads, banking and so forth. So such subjects just the
Central Government is permitted to make laws.
Incorporates all issues essential to the working of a specific exchange like
transport, Trade, Commerce, farming and so on. The state government is the
appropriate authority for making laws regarding these matters.
This incorporates matters on which both the Union and the state government can
make laws. These are identified with education, forests, trade associations and
so forth. It should be noted that Central government is the final authority on
any conflicting issue if the two governments are in conflict relating to making
Why India is not a federal country?
A unitary system is administered constitutionally as one single unit, with one
constitutionally created legislature. All power invests in top authority. A
unitary state is that all the powers governed in one single unit in which the
central government is the ultimate authority to enact the laws for the country.
These are some unitary features in the constitution by which we can say that
India is a quasi-federal country in nature:
Case Laws on the Federalism of the Country
- Strong Centre:
The central government has the unitary authority to the
appointment of the Governors for various states. Governor is the representative
of the central government and he is also the constitutional head of the state.
Constitution provides under article 355 that the central government is the
duty-bound to ensure that there is no failure of constitutional machinery in the
state and the states are protected from the internal disturbance and external
aggression and war.
By which to enforce that duty, article 356 provides to the
central government to impose Presidential rule and it is the duty of the
governor of the concerned state to make a report to the center about the
constitutional failure of the machinery of the state for political or any other
Like the President, Governor also enjoys some discretionary powers
related to withholding the bill for the consideration of the president. Thus,
the power of the central government to appoint governors who would be the head
of the particular states is an important unitary feature of the Indian
- Single Citizenship:
The constitution provides a single and uniform
citizenship for the whole of the country. However, in a federal state like the
United States of America, there is dual citizenship in which citizen firstly
owes the duty to the states and then to the union. But in the case of India,
there is single citizenship even though it also a federal country.
that all the Indian citizens owe allegiance to the Indian Union and not for the
state also. Any citizen of the country enjoys the civil and political rights
throughout India in all states and union territories irrespective of his birth
- Integrated Judiciary:
In India, the Supreme Court at apex defined the
Unified Judiciary which opposed to the federal system of the country having a
dual system of courts. In our unitary judicial system, the Supreme Court
occupies the highest place. We know that the decisions and verdicts of the
Supreme Courts are binding on an inferior court in India.
- Appointment of the Highest Position Machinery:
All the appointment on the
highest positions are made by the Union Government such as the Chief Election
Commissioner, the Comptroller, and Auditor General and All India Services such
as IAS and IPS have been created which are kept under the control of the Union.
- No Equality of State Representation:
Representation in the legislature in
the federal states is on an equal basis, which is also not applicable in case of
Indian States. The Representation of the States in Rajya Sabha is not equal
basis it depends from state to state and regulated by the center which is
basically a unitary feature of the state.
- Parliament's Authority Over State List:
In general the power to make laws
under the state list given to the State Government but in certain cases, the
central government has the power to make laws under the state list. If Rajya
Sabha passes a resolution under article 249 of the constitution with the 2/3rd
majority that the parliament should make law with respect to a particular entry
in List II with respect to a particular state.
After passing the resolution the
parliament makes law and that law remains in force for 1 and ½ years which means
that the resolution remains in force for one year and the law also will remain
to cease after six months the resolution comes to an end.
- Emergency Provisions:
The provision of the article 356 provides that the
proclamation can be made and once such proclamation is made, the state
government can be either dismissed or the Assembly can be kept in suspended
- Kuldip Nair v/s Union of India
In this case, the issue was that before an amendment in 2003 there was a
domicile requirement that was removed in 2003 by which it was argued that the
amendment violated the federal character.
SC said that a specific sort of federalism or a US kind of model may
not be a piece of the fundamental structure of the Indian Constitution. The
Indian Federalism is one of a kind in nature and is custom fitted as per the
particular needs of the nation. Federalism is a fundamental element of the
Constitution of India in which the Union of India is lasting and indestructible.
In view of many historians such as according to KC Wheare, practically the
constitution of India is not strictly federal in nature whereas it is the
quasi-federal in nature. In the words of D.D. Basu, the constitution of India is
a combination of the federal and unitary system it's neither purely federal nor
- State of West Bengal v Union of India
The Supreme court held that decentralization of authority in India was mainly to
facilitate smooth governance of a large country and therefore, it contains many
centralization features also.
- S.R. Bommai v Union of India
In this case, Justice Ahmadi opined that the essence of the federal nation is
the existence of a division of power between the Union and the States.
- Sat Pal v State of Punjab and others
In this case, the court held that in the absence of the terms federal or
federation and the existence of unitary features single citizenship, a single
constitution, integrated Judiciary, strong Centre, etc can help us conclude that
the Constitution of India is more Quasi-federal than federal or unitary.
The Chairman of the Drafting Committee, Dr. Ambedkar had therefor appropriately
said that "Our Constitution would be both unitary as well as federal as per the
prerequisites of time and circumstances".
In this article there is precise view regarding to the historical background for
evolvement of Constitutional framework and how the framing of the constitution
had taken place and also the forms of governance which we had adopted and how
the other countries are differed with our constitution.
Ours is a Government
which has adopted the concept of mixed forms of governance like as mixed
economy. Whereas in India there is a federal and unitary forms of governance so
in that case our government is considered as quasi federal. so in that instance
we had adopted and enacted a prescribed format of governance to set human in a