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Understanding the Crisis of Power in Union Territories

In India at present there are 7 territories and 28 states , but these Territories have a bit different function than the states and this has always led to some eyebrows and it may be the root cause for not much development in these areas , In My article I will explain my point by taking two common examples which have been much talked but nothing have been done to resolve this it been over sixty years of our independence but neither the government nor the people residing there have taken this to account first let us study briefly the history of these Union Territories.

Brief History:In the original constitution of 1949 states were divided in mainly three categories 1. Part A 2. Part B 3. Part C Of the first schedule now these part C states were 10 in number and they were: Ajmer,Bhopal,Bilaspur,Coorg,Delhi,Himachal Pradesh, Kutch,Manipur,Tripura And Vindhya Pradesh . But after some time few of the above mentioned states were merged in the states or formed a new state altogether. At that time the Part C states had few special features which are listed below: 1. They were Administered under the direct supervision of president of India. 2. Chief Commissioner or lieutenant governor (LG) which is very famous these days acted that time as the main agent of the President. 3. Parliament had the power to relate any subjects of the part C states. 4. Also the parliament had the power to create council of advisers or in simple term minister to advice the LG and also to the Parliament but still the main decision authority is President and Parliament had the arbitrary powers above the legislature of the part C Sates. In Place of part C states , through 7th Amendment act in 1956 the name was changed to Union Territories further through state reorganization act 1956 Ajmer , Bhopal , Coorg, Kutch and vindhya Pradesh were merged into the states. To these Andaman and Nicobar and laccadive and Amindivi islands (Renamed Lakshadweep in 1973 ) were added to the list of Union Territories further by the 10th, 12th,14th and 27th Amendment act more Union Territories were added to the list .

So at present there are 7 Union Territories which are as follows: 1. Andaman and Nicobar 2. Chandigarh 3. Dadra and Nagar Haveli

4. Daman and Diu 5. Delhi 6. Lakshadweep 7. Puducherry

Legislative Difference in UTs:Though all these Union Territories have similar name and similar functions but they have differences in the legislative functions and these are the results of the different legislative acts and by the Amendments of the parliament. The main Article of the constitution ruling on the Union Territories is Article 239 which is explained as follows: The Article 239 says that every Union Territories shall be administered by the President to the extent as he or she thinks is fit in the situation, also appoint an administrator in the Union Territories to administer the Union Territories as he or she may specify. Now administrator could be a Governor of a state as well as the Adjoining Union Territories, and where a Governor is so appointed, he shall exercise his functions as such Administrator independently of his council of minister. So to conclude we can say the Union Territories are administered by the Governor as the agent of president and not by a Governor acting as the head of the state. In Year 1962 through Article 239A (Amended by the 39th amendment act ) was introduced in the constitution to empower the Parliament to create the legislative assembly or council of minister or both for the Union Territories. Now since then Parliament has converted all the rest Union Territories to the state formation except the Pondicherry which still does not have any legislature or the council of minister. In Year 1992, Article. 239AA and 239AB was added in to the constitution to supplement Delhi, by Government of National Capital Of Delhi act, enacted in 1991. This facilitated Delhi to form a legislative assembly and a council of minister in 1993 further the government of Delhi has all the legislative powers except three items of the State List. 1. Entry 1 (Public order) 2. Entry 2 (Police) 3. Entry 18 (land) Now the parliament has the executive powers over a Union Territories including the matters which are enacted in the State list [Art. 246(4)]. But here lies an exception for the case of Dadra and Nagar Haveli ; Daman and Diu ; Pondicherry ; Andaman and Nicobar ; Lakshadweep the President has the legislative powers to make regulations for the region in accordance to Peace , progress and Good governance of these Union Territories and this Power of the President overrides the powers of the parliament in as much as a regulation made by the president as regards these Territories may appeal or amend any act of the parliament which is for the time being applicable to the Union Territories[Art. 240(2)]. But further the president power to make any regulations shall remain suspended while legislature is functioning in any of these states.

All the Above forms the legal Constitutional provision for the legislative power distribution between the Union and Union Territories and also how these Union Territories differs from the functioning of the states.

Two Examples:Now let us discuss the two most common examples which are currently facing many confusion over the whole decision making process of the Union Territories and there relation between the centre.

Delhi, first example which I have taken also New Delhi as Capital of our Country but faces a lot of problems
in the whole decision making process, as stated above its a Union Territories and Through Article 239A and further by Government of National Capital Of Delhi act, enacted in 1991 it has been given a Legislature with council of minister to aid and advice the Lieutenant governor and which further reports to the President for the decision making process. Now here lies all the confusion form the constitution there has been clearly written that president works on the Aid and Advice of the council of ministers and there advice on a proposal can be refused only once and if the council again resends the proposal the president has to give its consent to the proposal and same applies for the governor too but in the Union Territories there is a change as here the governor can act according to own discretion rejecting the recommendations of the council which creates a whole lot of misunderstanding further for introduction of any bill (specially the bill which has the provision of taking fund from the consolidated fund of union) in the states there is no restriction for the States but Union Territories council has to get prior approval of the governor and in case of Delhi through another order issued by the Home Ministry by Transaction of Business rules they need to approve form the centre too this is further very grim which feels that there is some confusion and no clear specification of the rules and laid in the constitution .

Chandigarh, my second example is also a Union Territories and got this status in the year 1966 when Punjab
and Haryana were divided and it was made a common capital of the both which worsened the problem even much as the Union Territories already applied many restriction and by making it a common capital the present situation is more grim than ever, for instance to approve any proposal, the present Chandigarh Administration has to take prior approval of the administration as well the President and even from the two adjoining states and if the governments rulings are different the situation gets more tricky and one of the live example is the metro Project in Chandigarh which has been in the pipeline for some years but till yet no solid action the ground has been taken because so many approval can create many problems and specially in the country like India where there are lots of diversity not only in the people living but also in the party ruling

Problems Faced:Following are some of the major problems faced by the Union Territories because of the misunderstanding of the constitution Slow development process More confusion causes more problems The Council which rules in the Union Territories feels they does not have any substantial powers in the Union Territories There is no clear specification for the tabling the bill specially in Delhi The Common capital further increases the problems No clear difference made in the powers of the president or governors and in relation of the council acting in the Union Territories

Role of Parliament and Centre is not clearly specified. The center has the arbitrary powers in the Union Territories and there is no challenge instead of taking every issue to the Courts. Further there are many other problems also which have time and again made the situation much more Grim than it looks

The Road Ahead:Since the Union Territories are governed by the president or unofficially we can say that by the ruling government which rules in the centre there needs to be reforms in the policy specially where the council of minister have been set up some recommendations are: The states where the council has been formed and they are still functioning as Union Territories should be given full Statehood Clear definition of the powers between state and centre and state should be there in the constitution Any further order from the Central should not be applicable to the Union Territories Clear definition of the powers of Governor or Lieutenant Governor should be defined President and Lieutenant Governor should act unbiased in case of Union Territories and in its administrative decisions. The Union Territories where the Council has been set up and is working perfectly should be give statehood as soon as possible I do Feel Supreme court to Suo Motu take action on the matter and clearly define the rules so the no confusion prevails in the administration of Union Territories

To Conclude:This is a really serious matter as the Union Territories have suffered much more due to no clear specification of the rules and misconception of the rules which need to be revisited and regularize in the case , Specially in case of Delhi there is a whole lot of more confusion and which has been since it has formed and any government which comes to the centre creates some sort of orders which further creates more sense of misconception , there is a serious need for the reforms also in Chandigarh which has been suffering and I feel it should been mutually given to one of the state and the two state capital hood should be revoked which has led to more confusion over the years and slow in the development of the city and that is well known as the city beautiful which has now been left out in the way of development, in the end I would like to say that enough created nuisance to the matter but the matter need to be solved.

Suggested Readings:
Introduction to Constitution of India By D.D Basu http://joaag.com/uploads/6_1_-8_Case_Study_Sharma.pdf Our constitution By Subash. C. Kashyap By YASH CHAUDHARY