Competitive Exams: Political Science Study Material Sarkaria Commission

Sarkaria Commission

In the wake of the increasing strain in the Centre-State relations, the Parliament, in June 1983, appointed a Commission under the Chairmanship of Justice R S Sarkaria these go into details of the Centre-State relations and to recommend measures to make the relation efficient and cooperative. The Commission submitted its report in January 1988.

The Commission did not call for any structural change, but preferred to continue the existing arrangement because the disintegrative forces are active in the country. However, the Commission expressed the need for streamlining the provisions of the Centre-State relations. It suggested the Centre, to begin with, to relax its financial hold over the States and to give them more autonomy in this regard. This would make the regional powers more responsible. Major Recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission:

  1. On the Governor of a State-See Governor Section

  2. On Article 356. The Commission noted that this Article has been misused in 90% of the cases for political purposes. So it recommends that:

    1. The President's Proclamation should include the ‘reasons’ as to why the State cannot be run as per the normal provisions of the Constitution.

    2. As far as possible, the Centre should issue a warning to the State government before resorting to the use of Art. 356.

    3. It should not be used to serve political purposes.

    4. Art. 356 should be amended so that the President be empowered to dissolve the State Legislature only after approval by the Parliament.

  3. On Article 258. The Commission recommended that the President should delegate some of the Union executive functions in concurrence with the States. This will help in furthering the spirit of cooperative ‘federalism’

  4. On Concurrent List. The Centre should have a loose control over the subjects of the Concurrent List and consult the State Governments before enacting any laws on such subjects.

  5. On Article 252. In case the Parliament makes a law under Art. 252 (by mutual consent of two or more states), such law should be in force for not more than three years. Currently, such law can only be repealed by the Parliament whenever it wants, although the power to legislate has been given by the Stales.

  6. The award of the Inter-State River Water Tribunal should be made binding automatically and not after the notification by the Centre.