Administrative relations between the centre and the states in the light of recent controversies

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Chapter II of Part XI of the constitution is concerned with the “Administrative Relations” between centre and states. In this administrative field also the union has been given a dominant position.

Recent events have brought to light a number of contentious issues which effects centre state relations. The approach paper of the tenth plan and events in Tamil Nadu have reopened the pandoras box. The misuse of articles 355 or 356, the role of governor, partiality in distribution of taxes etc have once again raised the question of greater autonomy of states.

The question of arrest of two central ministers, the recall of governor Fatima Beevi and the question of misuse of article 355 and 356 once again resurfaced during the Tamil Nadu episode. What constitutes a breakdown of law and order or what is the scope of Art 163 (governor’s discreation) created an unpleasant situation between the centre and the state.

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There is little doubt that the constitution, for whatever reasons, makes the centre stronger than the states. Besides the Legislative, administrative and Financial weight age given to the centre, the constitution empowers the centre with power to dismiss a state ministry to impose president’s rule.

The dependence has become more stronger with the adoption of planning in India. The problems of Indian Federalism have been discussed by not less than Four committees which have reported since the inauguration of the Constitution. The nuances of this relationship are ultimately political and may not immediately be derived from the constitution.

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