The Constitution makes the following provisions with regard to inter-state comity: 1. Adjudication of inter-state water disputes.
2. Coordination through inter-state councils.
3. Mutual recognition of public acts, records and judicial proceedings.
4. Freedom of inter-state trade, commerce and intercourse.
INTER-STATE WATER DISPUTES
Article 262 of the Constitution provides for the adjudication of inter-state water disputes. It makes two provisions:
1. Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution and control of waters of any inter-state river and river valley.
2. (Parliament may also provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court is to exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint.
Under this provision, the Parliament has enacted two laws [the RiverBoards Act (1956) and the Inter-State Water Disputes Act (1956)].
Article 263 contemplates the establishment of an Inter-State Council to effect coordination between the states and between Centre and states. Thus, the President can establish such a council if at any time it appears to him that the public interest would be served by its establishment. He can define the nature of duties to be performed by such a council and its organisation and procedure.
Establishment of Inter-State Council
The Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State Relations (1983-87) made a strong case for the establishment of a permanent Inter-State Council under Article 263 of the Constitution. In pursuance of the above recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission,the Janata Dal Government headed by V. P. Singh established the Interstate Council in 1990.5 It consists of the following members:
(a) Prime minister as the Chairman
(b) Chief ministers of all the states
(c) Chief ministers of union territories having legislative assemblies
(d) Administrators of union territories not having legislative assemblies
(e) Governors of States under President's rule
(f) Six Central cabinet ministers, including the home minister, to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
The Council may meet at least thrice in a year. Its meetings are held incamera and all questions are decided by consensus.
INTER-STATE TRADE AND COMMERCE
Articles 301 to 307 in Part XIII of the Constitution deal with the trade, commerce and intercourse within the territory of India. Article 301 declares that trade, commerce and intercourse throughout theterritory of India shall be free. The object of this provision is to break down the border barriers between the states and to create one unit with a view to encourage the free flow of trade, commerce and intercourse in the country. The freedom guaranteed by Article 301 is a freedom from all restrictions,except those which are provided for in the other provisions (Articles 302 to 305) of Part XIII of the Constitution itself. These are explained below:
(i) Parliament can impose restrictions on the freedom of trade , commerce and intercourse between the states or within a state in public interest.6 But, the Parliament cannot give preference to one state over another or discriminate between the states except in the case of scarcity of goods in any part of India.
(ii) The legislature of a state can impose reasonable restrictions on the freedom of trade, commerce and intercourse with that state or within that state in public interest. But, a bill for this purpose can be introduced in the legislature only with the previous sanction of the president. Further, the state legislature cannot give preference to one state over another or discriminate between the states.
(iii) The legislature of a state can impose on goods imported from other states or the union territories any tax to which similar goods manufactured in that state are subject. This provision prohibits the imposition of discriminatory taxes by the state.
Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal
Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh
Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal
Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh Madhya Pradesh and Odisha
Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal
Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra
Ravi and Beas Water Disputes Tribunal
Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan
Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal
Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry
Second Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal
Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh
Vansadhara Water Disputes Tribunal
Odisha and Andhra Pradesh
Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal
Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra
1. Northern Zonal Council
Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Chandigarh
2. Central Zonal Council
Uttar Pardesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pardesh
3. Eastern Zonal Council
Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha
4. Western Zonal Council
Gujarat, Maharastra, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and
Daman and Diu
5. Southern Zonal Council
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil N adu, Kerala and Puducherry
The Zonal Councils are the statutory (and not the constitutional) bodies. They are established by an Act of the Parliament, that is, States Reorganisation Act of 1956. The act divided the country into five zones. Each zonal council consists of the following members:
(a) home ministerof Central government,
(b) chief ministers of all the States in the zone,
(c) Two other ministers from each state in the zone.
The objectives (or the functions) of the zonal councils, in detail, are as follows: