ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Delhi’s Conundrum and the Need for Collaborative Federalism

India’s federal structure is distinguished by differentiated and weighted equality. However, when we begin to discuss the union territory paradigm in Indian federalism, federal design takes a substantial turn. Governance of the megacity of Delhi maintains and coordinates intricate intergovernmental relations. In lieu of a conflict between Parliament’s legislative supremacy and Delhi’s executive supremacy, it would be preferable to strengthen the consultative mechanism between the union government and the Government of Delhi.

The recent attempt by the union government to pass an ordinance to override a judicial ruling has sparked concern in the federal discourse (Rajagopal 2023), and it appears that India’s experts are already concerned about the future of federalism. However, in order to comprehend this conundrum, we must first understand the legal and constitutional history of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi’s special status. Rushing to premature conclusions here should be refrained from. If the objective is collaboration in multilevel governance, then resorting to a blame game will never be a practical solution.

India has attempted to accommodate diversity by instituting an asymmetrical provision for power-sharing in which some states are more equal than others. Similar to many federations, India exhibits de facto asymmetrical federal characteristics in terms of disparities in size, population, wealth, and influence among the federating units (Saxena 2012). India also has various de jure or constitutional asymmetries in terms of the unique position, powers, and protection enjoyed by Nagaland (Article 371A of the Constitution), Sikkim (Article 371F), and Mizoram (Article 371G), as well as the former state of Jammu and Kashmir (Article 370 of the Constitution revoked in August 2019) (Singh and Saxena 2013).

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Updated On : 31st Jul, 2023
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