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Explain the three fold distribution of India’s legislative powers between Union and State Government

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  • Last Updated : 24 Jul, 2022
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According to Article 264 of the Indian Constitution, the division of power between the Union and the State Governments is achieved by a three-fold distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the State Governments. 

The Union List specifies the issues over which the Parliament may pass legislation, whereas the State List specifies those over which state legislatures have authority. The Concurrent list, on the other hand, includes topics over which both Parliament and state legislatures have authority.

Union List

It is formed of concerns of national importance. This list contains topics or objects such as national defense, international affairs, banking, communications, and currency. The following things are included on the list due to the necessity for consistent policy on these issues across the country.  Only the Parliament of India has the authority to make legislation on the subjects specified in the list. The Centre has sole authority to create regulations on the subjects included in the Union List of the Indian Constitution.

The Union List represents the strong center because it contains more subjects than the state lists.  The Supreme Court’s jurisdiction and powers over topics on the Union list can be amended by Parliament. Defense, Army,  Ports, International Relations, Railways, Highways, and Communication are some of the important subjects under the Union List. Union lists consist of 97 subjects.

State List

It includes subjects of state and local significance. Law and order, police, prisons, public health, education, agriculture, local self-government, hospitals, justice, forests, revenue, and unemployment are among the items or entries in the list. Only the State legislatures have the authority to make legislation on the subjects included in the Indian Constitution’s State List. However, all of this is only achievable under “Reasonable Conditions.”

Article 249 allows Parliament to legislate in the national interest on a topic listed in the State List. The State List specifies issues of regional and local relevance, as well as issues that allow for a range of interests. The State List includes 20 subjects over which lawmakers have sole authority to collect taxes. Police, Public Order, Sanitation and public health, hospitals, and pharmacies are some of the important subjects under the State List.

Concurrent List

It covers topics of common significance to both the Union Government and the State Governments. It includes things like marriage, divorce, criminal law, civil process, newspapers, books, and printing presses, among other things. Both the Union and the state governments have the authority to enact legislation on the topics included in this list. If their laws clash, the law enacted by the Union Government will take precedence.

The concept of a ‘Concurrent List’ in the Indian Constitution was taken from the Australian Constitution. The Central Government and State Governments can both pass legislation on the Concurrent List of subjects. While both the Central and State Governments have the authority to act on the subjects included in the Concurrent List, in the event of a disagreement, the Central Government’s bill takes priority. Education, Forest, Trade unions, and Marriage are some of the important subjects under the Concurrent List.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: How are the powers classified among union and state governments?

Answer:

According to Article 264 of the Indian Constitution, the division of power between the Union and the State Governments is achieved by a three-fold distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the State Governments.

The Union List specifies the issues over which the Parliament may pass legislation, whereas the State List specifies those over which state legislatures have authority. The Concurrent list, on the other hand, includes topics over which both Parliament and state legislatures have authority.

Question 2: Write a Union list of important aspects?

Answer:

  1. The Union List represents the strong center because it contains more subjects than the state lists. 
  2. The Supreme Court’s jurisdiction and powers over topics on the Union list can be amended by Parliament.
  3. Defense, Army,  Ports, International Relations, Railways, Highways, and Communication are some of the important subjects under the Union List. Union lists consist of 97 subjects.

Question 3: How is the state list power are governed?

Answer:

  • It includes subjects of state and local significance. Law and order, police, prisons, public health, education, agriculture, local self-government, hospitals, justice, forests, revenue, and unemployment are among the items or entries in the list. 
  • Only the State legislatures have the authority to make legislation on the subjects included in the Indian Constitution’s State List. However, all of this is only achievable under “Reasonable Conditions.”
  • Article 249 allows Parliament to legislate in the national interest on a topic listed in the State List.
  • The State List specifies issues of regional and local relevance, as well as issues that allow for a range of interests.
  • The State List includes 20 subjects over which lawmakers have sole authority to collect taxes.
  • Police, Public Order, Sanitation and public health, hospitals, and pharmacies are some of the important subjects under the State List.
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