GS Paper 2
Syllabus: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure
Direction: The article explores different methods to resolve inter-state boundary disputes. It also briefly covers the border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Context: As the border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka (over Belagavi, Karwar and Nipani in North Karnataka) is intensifying, the article highlights formal methods in the Constitution of India to resolve inter-state disputes.
- Often, attempts are made to resolve inter-state disputes with the cooperation of both sides, with the Centre working as a facilitator or a neutral mediator.
- This was followed by Parliament bringing a law to alter state boundaries, such as the Bihar-Uttar Pradesh (Alteration of Boundaries) Act of 1968 and the Haryana-Uttar Pradesh (Alteration of Boundaries) Act of 1979.
Methods available to resolve inter-state disputes:
- Article 131: Supreme Court has the original jurisdiction in any dispute between –
- The Government of India and one or more States; or
- The Government of India and any State or States on one side and one or more other States on the other; or
- Two or more States,
- If the dispute involves any question (whether of law or fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends.
- Exemption: The said jurisdiction shall not extend to a dispute arising out of any treaty, agreement, covenant, or engagement, having been entered into or executed before the commencement of this Constitution.
- Inter-State and Zonal councils’ role in resolving inter-state disputes has been covered in a recent article which can be accessed through this link.
Q. How far do you think cooperation, competition and confrontation have shaped the nature of the federation of India? Cite some recent examples to validate your answer. (UPSC 2020)
Prelims Links: (UPSC 2014)