After independence, in Indian democracy, many princely states were merged with the Indian Union. The federal constitution was accepted in the Indian constitution which was created after this. Although the word ‘Union’ has not been introduced in the Indian Constitution, the rule of government has been formed on the principle of federalism.
The Indian constitution basically provides for two-tier governance – first, the Union Government or the Central Government and the second, the State or Provincial Governments in the Indian federalism system. Later, the third level of federal governance was also added to the constitution in the form of panchayats and municipalities, which are basically a part of the provincial government. The federal constitution of India has its own separate jurisdictions of the three levels of governance. The legislative powers are clearly divided into three parts between the central and state governments in the constitution which is as follows-
1. Union List
In the Indian federalism system, the Union List includes topics of national importance, such as Defense, Foreign Affairs, Banking, Communications, Currency, Posts, Savings, Atomic Energy, Citizenship, etc. It is such a subject that is necessary to maintain the unity, integrity, and sovereignty of the country. Therefore, the rules and laws related to these should be uniform throughout the country. Only the Central Government has the right to make laws with respect to the subjects of this list. At the time of introduction of the constitution, there were 97 subjects under it, but currently, there are 100 subjects
2. State List
In the Indian federalism system, there are subjects of local importance on which the state government makes laws in the state list. The central government can also make laws related to the national interest. At the time of the enactment of the constitution, there were 66 subjects under it, at present, there are 62 subjects in it. These include police, public order, transport, health, agriculture, local government, drinking water facilities, sanitation, etc. There are also specific circumstances when the scope of the legislative powers of the federal parliament extends to the state list. The major provisions of the constitution that give Parliament such powers are as follows:
a) Being a Matter of National Interest
Under Article 249, Parliament has been given supremacy over subjects included in the State List. If the Rajya Sabha passes a resolution by a 2/3 majority on a matter of national importance that such legislation is necessary or expedient in the national interest, then Parliament gets the power to enact an Act. Parliament can legislate on it for one year. The resolution may again be passed to extend the period.
b) In Case of Emergency
Under Article 250, Parliament is empowered to legislate on matters relating to the State List in the event of an emergency. Likewise
c) With the Consent of Two or More States
According to Article 252, two or more states can confer with Parliament the right to legislate on a subject by mutual consent. But such a law will only apply to the states that requested it.
d) For Observance of International Treaty
Under Article 253, Parliament can also legislate on any matter enumerated in the State List for the observance of an international treaty.
e) In a Crisis Situation
Under Article 352, in case of a proclamation of emergency, the federal government can legislate on any of the subjects listed in the state list.
f) When the Constitutional System is Failure in the State
Under Article 356, on the basis of the report or self-satisfaction of the President, the Governor of a State, to know that the governance of the State concerned is not running in accordance with the constitutional provisions, then the State by proclaiming the Emergency in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution May exercise all executive powers of the Legislature itself.
g) With Respect to Residual Powers
According to Article 248 (1), Parliament has the exclusive right to make laws on all subjects which are not mentioned in the state and concurrent list.
h) In Case of Financial Emergency
According to Article 360, in the event of a financial emergency in the country, all the financial powers of the State Legislature are transferred to the Central Government.
3. Concurrent List
Under the concurrent list in the Indian federalism system, are the topics that are important for both the Union and the State. Both the state and the central government have the right to make laws on these subjects, but when there is a contradiction in the laws of the two, then the law made by the central government is valid. In such a situation, the law of the state government is automatically repealed. Such as foreclosure, law and procedure, preventive detention, marriage and divorce, adoption and succession, factories, labor unions, industrial disputes, social security and social insurance, rehabilitation and archeology, education and forests, etc. Initially, it had 47 subjects but currently, it has 52 subjects. Under the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1976, five subjects have been included in the Concurrent List from the State List. They are – education, forests, weighing, protection of wildlife and birds, administration of justice.