List I or the Union list includes 99 subjects over
which the Union has exclusive power of legislation. The subjects include defence, foreign affairs, banking, currency and coinage, communication, atomic energy, etc.
List II or the State List comprise 61 items over which the State Legislature has exclusive power of legislation.
- The subjects include public order and police, local government, prisons, public health and sanitation, agriculture, fisheries, State taxes and duties, betting and gambling, moneylending, fairs and market, capitation taxes tolls, treasure trove gas and gasworks, inns, etc.
List III or the Concurrent List gives the subjects on which both Parliament and State Legislature can legislate.
- The 52 subjects include criminal law and procedure, civil procedure, marriage, contracts, torts, trusts, welfare of labour, economic and social planning, forests, trade unions, family welfare., vital statistics (births etc.) price control, factories, boilers, electricity, education, drugs, newspapers, books and printing presses, etc.
- In case of a matter overlapping between the three Lists, predominance has been given to the Union legislature.
- However, if a law passed by the State Legislature has received Presidential assent before the enactment of law on the same subject by Parliament, the State law prevails. l But it would still be within Parliament’s power to override such State law by subsequent legislation.
- The residual power under the Constitution (i.e., subjects not included in any of the Lists) is vested in the Union Legislature (Article 248). Whether a particular matter falls under the residuary power or not is finally determined by the Courts.
- There are certain circumstances under which the above system of distribution in either suspended or Parliament’s power is extended over State subjects.
- Parliament has the power to le gislate on a state subject if the Rajya Sabha passes a resolution by two-third majority that it is in the national interest to do so. The resolution remains in force for a period not exceeding one year. The operation of the law can be extended by one year. The law thus passed by Parliament ceases to be operative on the expiration of six months after the resolution has ceased to have force (Article 249).
- During times of emergency, Parliament can made laws on subjects in the State List. However, such a law ceases to have effect on the expiration of a period of six months after the proclamation has ceased to operate (Article 250).
- Parliament can also make laws with respect to any subject on the State List if the Legislatures of two or more States resolve that is shall be lawful for Parliament to do so (Article 252).
- Parliament has the power to legislate on a State subject for the implementation of treaties or international agreements and conventions (Article 253).