Government to replace the interstate water dispute tribunal with a permanent tribunal to adjudicate all disputes. The existing practice of appointing a tribunal once a dispute arises shall stop. The permanent tribunal shall have regional benches too. Currently whenever a dispute arises the disputing parties inform the center to constitute a tribunal. The center constitutes one if it feels that the differences are irreconcilable and all other remedies are exhausted. So far 8 tribunals were constituted and gave their awards. But a new dispute has emerged between Chhattisgarh and Odisha over water sharing of Mahanadi.
In the second part of this restructuring of Water conservation agencies, the Central Water Commission and Central Ground Water Board shall be subsumed or replaced by a National Water Commission. This shall maintain the databank of water related information like irrigation areas, rainfall, water flow etc. This is needed because the data collection starts whenever a dispute arises. Hence this body shall store data on real time basis and adjudication of disputes shall be faster.
Recognition of Public Acts, etc. Since the jurisdiction of each State IS
confined to its own territory , the
acts and records of one State might have been refused
to be recognised in another State, without a provision
to compel such recognition.
The Constitution, therefore, provides that
"Full faith and credit shall be given throughout the territory of India to public acts
records and judicial proceedings or the Union and State
This means that duly authenticated copies of statutes or statutory
instruments, judgments or orders of one State shall be given recognition in
another State in the same manner as the statutes, etc., of the latter State itself
Parliament has the power to legislate as to the mode of proof of such acts
and records or the effects thereof
Extra-judicial Settlement of Disputes :Since the States, In every
federation, normally act as Independent units in the
exercise of their internal sovereignty, conflicts of
interest between the units are sure to arise.
order to maintain the strength of the Union, it is
essential that there should be adequate provision for judicial determination
of disputes between the units and for settlement of disputes by extrajudicial
bodies as well as their prevention by consultation and joint action.
While provides for the Judicial determination of disputes between States by vesting the Supreme Court with exclusive jurisdiction in the matter,
Art. 262 provides for the adjudication of one class of such disputes by an
extra-Judicial tribunal, while Art. 263 provides for the prevention of interState
disputes by investigation and recommendation by an administrative
Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute
or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of,
or in any inter-State river or river valley and also provide for the exclusion
of the jurisdiction of all Courts, including the Supreme Court, to entertain
In exercise of this power, Parliament bas enacted the Inter-State Water
Disputes Act, 1956, providing for the constitution of an ad hoc Tribunal for
the adjudication of any dispute arising between two or more States with
regard to the waters of any inter-State river Or river valley.
The President can establish an inter-State Council for enquiring into
and advising upon Inter-State disputes, if at any time It appears to him that
the public interests would be served by the establishment of such Council
The power of the President to set up
inter-State Councils may be exercised not only for
advising upon disputes, but also for the purpose of
investigating and discussing subjects in which some Or
all of the States or the Union and one or more of the States have a common
In exercise of this power, the President has already constituted the
Central Council of Health, the Central Council of Local Self-Government,
the Central Council of Indian Medicine,' Central Council of Homeopathy.
In this connection, it should be mentioned that advisory bodies to
advise on inter-State matters have also been established under statutory
Zonal Councils have been established by the States Reorganisation
Act, 1956 to advise on matters of common interest
to each of the fIve zones into which the territory of
India has been divided,-NortheRN, Southern, Eastern, Western and
It should be remembered that these Zonal Councils do not owe their
origin to the Constitution but to an Act of Parliament, having been
introduced by the States Reorganisation Act, as a part of the scheme of
reorganisation of the States with a view to securing co-operation and co-
ordination as between the States, the Union Territories and the Union,
particularly in respect of economic and social development.
The creation of
the Zonal Councils was a logical outcome of the reorganisation of the States
on a linguistic basis.
For, if the cultural and economic affinity of linguistic
States with their contiguous States was to be maintained and their common
interests were to be served by co-operative action, a common meeting
ground of some sort was indispensable.
The object of these Councils, as
Pandit Nehru envisaged it, is to "develop the habit of co-operative working".
The presence of a Union Minister; nominated by the Union Government, in each of these Councils (and the Chief Ministers of the States concerned) also
furthers co-ordination and national integration through an extra-constitutional
advisory organisation, without undermining the autonomy of the
If properly worked, these Councils would thus foster the federal
sentiment' by resisting the separatist tendencies of linguism and provincialism.
(i) The Central Zone, comprising the States of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya
Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and Uttarakhand.
(ii) The Northern Zone, comprising the States of Haryana, Himachal
Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan , Jammu & Kashmir, and the Union Territories of
Delhi & Chandigarh.
(iii) The Eastern Zone,. comprising the States of Bihar, West Bengal,
Orissa, Sikkim and Jharkhand.
(iv) The Western Zone, comprising the States of Gujarat.. Maharashtra
and Goa and the Union Territories of Dadra & Nagar Haveli; Daman & Diu.
(v) The Southern Zone, comprising the States of Andhra Pradesh,
Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and the Union Territory of Pondicherry.
(vi) The North Estern Zone, comprising the States of Assam,
Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh.
Each Zonal Council consists of the Chief Minister and two other
Ministers of each of the States in the Zone and the Administrator In the case
of a Union Territory.
There is also provision for holding joint meetings of
two or more Zonal Councils.
The Union Home Minister bas been
nominated to be the common chairman of all the Zonal Councils.
The Zonal Councils. as already stated, discuss matters sf common
concern to the States and Territories comprised in each Zone.
economic and social planning, border disputes, inter-State transport, matters
arising out of the reorganisation of States and the like, and give advice to the
Governments of the States concerned as well as the Govemment of India.
Besides the Zonal Councils, there is a North-Eastern Council, set up
under the North-Eastern Coucil Act, 1971, to deal with the common
problems of Assam, Meghalaya, Mantpur, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal
Pradesh and Mizoram,
(b) The River Boards Act, 1956, provides for the establishment of a
River Board for the purpose of advising the Governments
interested in relation to the regulation or
development of an inter-State river or river valley.
(c) The inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956, provides for the reference
Water Disputes of an inter- State river dispute for arbitration by a
Water Disputes Tribunal, whose award would be final
according to Art. 262(2).
The great problem of any federal structure is to minimise inter-State
barriers as much as possible, so that the people may feel that they are
members of One nation, though they may, individually, be residents of any of the Units of the Union.
One of the means to achieve this object is to
guarantee to every citizen the freedom of movement and residence throughout
Our Constitution guarantees this right by Art. 19(1)(d) & (e).
No less important is the freedom of movement or passage of commodities
and of commercial transactions between one part of the country and
The progress of the country as a whole also
requires free flow of commerce and intercourse as
between different parts, without any barrier.
particularly essential in a federal system.
is sought to be secured by the provisions contained In
Part XIII of our Constitution.
These provisions, however, are not confined to
inter-State freedom but include intra- State freedom as well.
In other words,
subject to the exceptions laid down in this Part, no restrictions can be
imposed upon the flow of trade, commerce and Intercourse, not only as
between one State and another but as between any two points within the
territory of India whether any State border has to be crossed or not
Article 301 thus declares-
"Subject to the other provisions of this Part; trade. commerce and Intercourse
throughout the territory of India shall be free."
Art. 303(1) declares that neither the Parliament nor the State
Legislature shall have power to make any law giving, or authorising the
giving of any preference to one State over another; or making or authorising
the making of, any discrimination between one State and another, in the
field of trade, commerce or intercourse.
Hence, if a State prohibits the sale
of lottery tickets of others and promotes that of its own, It would be
discriminatory and violative of Art. 303.
The limitations imposed upon the above freedom by the other
provisions of constitution are
(a) Non-discriminatory restrictions may be imposed by Parliament, in
the public interest
By virtue of this power, Parliament has enacted the Essential
Commodities Act, which empowers. in the interest of the general
public', the Central Government to control the production, supply and
distribution of certain 'essential commodities', such as coal. cotton, iron and
(b) Even discriminatory or preferential provisions may be made by
Parliament, for the pwpose of dealing with a scarcity of goods arising in any
part of India
(c) Reasonable restrictions may be imposed by a State "in the public
(d) Non-discriminatory taxes may be imposed by a State on goods
imported from other States or Union Territories, similarly as on intra-State
(e) The appropriate Legislature may make a law
for the carrying on by the State, or by a corporation owned or controlled by the State, of any trade, business, industry or service, whether to the
exclusion, complete or partial, of citizens or otherwise
Before leaving this topic, we should notice the difference in the scope
Freedoms under of the provisions of Arts. 19(1)(g) and 301 both of
which guarantee the freedom of trade and commerce.
Though this question has not been finally
settled, it may be stated broadly that Art. 19(1)(g) looks at the freedom from
the standpoint of the indiuidual who seeks to carry on a trade or profession
and guarantees such freedom throughout the territory of india subject to
reasonable restrictions, as indicated. in Art 19(5).
Article 301, on the other
hand, looks at the freedom from the standpoint of the movement or passage
of commodities or the carrying on or commercial transactions between one
place and another, irrespective of the individuals who may be engaged in
such trade or commerce.
The only restrictions that can be imposed on the
freedom declared by Art. 301 are to be found in Arts. 302-305.
But if freedoms be restricted, the aggrieved individual or even a
State may challenge the constitutionality of the order, whether imposed
by an executive order or by legislation.
When there is a violation of
Art. 301 or 304, there would ordinarily be an infringement of an individual's
fundamental right guaranteed by Art. 19(1)(g), In which case, he can bring
an application under Art 32, even though Art. 301 or 304 is not included in
Part III as a fundamental right.