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Federalism: A Comparative Between Indian And American Systems

What is Federalism?

Federalism is a legal system that establishes two orbs of government in a country, one at the centre with power over the entire nation and the other at the State with regional jurisdiction.

As a result, a citizen of a federal country thus becomes subject to decrees of two governments.

It is part of a decentralization process that, among other specialities, is based on the principles of the legislature. Government standards are combined and defined by legal and regulatory norms.

It is a two-tiered system of government with the centre and the units/ states having clearly defined roles.

The central tenets of federalism are the legislature, the distribution of power, the State's supremacy, the right to a fair trial, the enactment of laws, the division of regions, and the distribution of tangible power.

The Essential features

Written Constitution

The most significant feature of a federation is that its Constitution should be written so that both the Union Government and the State can guide that as and when needed. The Constitution of India is a written document and is the most intricate Constitution on the planet. It establishes the supremacy of the Constitution because both the Union and the states are given powers by the Constitution to be self-reliant in their spheres of administration.

Rigid Constitution

The procedure of amending the Constitution in a federal system is commonly rigid. Indian Constitution provides that some amendments require a special majority. Such an amendment must be passed by a majority of the total members of each house of the Parliament and by the two-thirds majority of the members present and voting therein.

However, in addition to this process, some amendments must be approved by at least 50% of the states. After this procedure, the amendment is signed by the head of the State, i.e., the President. In India, important amendments can be amended through this procedure. Hence, the Indian Constitution has been rightly called a rigid constitution.

Supremacy of the Constitution:
In the Minerva Mills case whereby the Supreme Court held that "government, legislature, executive and judiciary are all bound by the Constitution, and nobody, is above or beyond the Constitution."

Division of Powers

In our Constitution, there is a clear division of powers, so the States and the Centre must enact and legislate within their sphere of activity. None violates its limits and tries to encroach upon the functions of the other. Our Constitution enumerates the Union, the State and the Concurrent List.

The Union List consists of 97 subjects of national importance such as Defence, Railways, Post and Telegraph, etc. The State List consists of 66 subjects of local interest, such as Public Health, Police etc. The Concurrent List has 47 subjects important to the Union and the State. Such as Electricity, Trade Unions, Economic and Social Planning, etc.

Supremacy of the Judiciary

Another important feature of a federation is an independent judiciary to interpret the Constitution and maintain its sanctity. The Supreme Court of India has the original jurisdiction to settle disputes between the Union and the States. It can declare a law unconstitutional if it contravenes any provision of the Constitution.

The concept of federalism in India emerged as early as 1927 during the Simon Commission. This led to deliberations during the constituent assembly meetings to focus on the concept of federalism and how it could be better than the pre-existing examples of the United States, Australia and Canada. This process of Reform continued until 1969, when all the states were properly formed.

He asserted that the Union was a "large corporation" and that it was not a federal government. At the Constitutional Court, Ambedkar stated that the Constitution of India is a Federal Constitution and defines what is called a dual policy, which is a Union in the Core and States on the periphery of each the powers of the monarchy to be exercised in their places of competence under the Constitution.

In Kesavananda Bharati vs the State of Kerala, the Supreme Court upheld its view of the constitutional nature of the Constitution.

In Rajasthan State vs Union of India, the Constitutional Court held that the Constitution is amphibian and can travel on a federal or corporate plane. In the case of work under Article 356, there is movement on a joint aircraft.

Article 249 is well-designed and intended to ensure a high level of consistency in the organization's work. States are obligated to comply with the laws outlined in the State List.

In America, one is a citizen of the State in which he is a resident and of the confederation.

Like in India, some powers are given to the centre and some to the states. A latent point to note is that the American Civil war took place because the states had the right to declare slavery legal or illegal with no provision for the centre to overrule this. Finally, the three-fifths compromise was reached, counting each enslaved person as 3/5th of a person.

All rights not granted by the Constitution to the United States of America are reserved for Americans or individuals.

Significant consequences for the separation between the states Given the local capital, trustworthiness has become as important as the commercial sector as a machine for centralized power control.

Do we say that the United States is a Confederation? In the case of Texas V. White, Chief Justice Salmon held that the United States was indelible.

In Chisholm vs Keokia, the first constitutional decision of the Northern Court of Justice was passed in 1793, Concerning public authority.

To conclude, Dr Ambedkar said that, unlike America, a confederation of states which had entered into an agreement and could secede at any time, the Indian structure was more of a union because division was now impossible.

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