DMPQ: Indian constitution is federation with strong centralist tendencies. Comment

Indian constitution with strong centre but it has federal elements too like dual polity, law making ability is vested separately to centre and states. Dual executives are also there but here are some provisions in the constitution which makes the federation with strong centre:

  • Single Constitution: There are no separate constitutions for the States. In a true federation, there are separate constitutions for the union and the States.
  • Centre’s control over States: The States have to respect the laws made by the central government and cannot make any law on matters on which there is already a central law.
  • Rajya Sabha does not represent the States equality: In a true federation, the upper house of the legislature has equal representation from the constituting units or the States.
  • Existence of States depends on the Centre: The boundary of a State can be changed by created out of the existing States.
  • Single citizenship: In a true federal state, citizens are given dual citizenship. In India however, the citizens enjoy single citizenship, i.e., Indian citizenship
  •  or citizenship of the country as a whole.
  • Unified judiciary: India has a unified or integrated judicial system. The Supreme Court is the highest court of justice in the country and all other subordinate courts are under it.
  • Proclamation of emergency: When emergency is declared, the Union or Central governments become all powerful and the State governments come under the total control of it. The State governments lose their autonomy.

Hence it can be concluded that Indian constitution has the element of unitary features.

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