(1) The executive power of every State shall be so exercised as not to impede or prejudice the exercise of the executive power of the Union, and the executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of such directions to a State as may appear to the Government of India to be necessary for that purpose.

 

(2) The executive power of the Union shall also extend to the giving of directions to a State as to the construction and maintenance of means of communication declared in the direction to be of national or military importance:

 

   Provided that nothing in this clause shall be taken as restricting the power of Parliament to declare highways or waterways to be national highways or national waterways or the power of the Union with respect to the highways or waterways so declared or the power of the Union to construct and maintain means of communication as part of its functions with respect to naval, military and air force works.

 

(3) The executive power of the Union shall also extend to the giving of directions to a State as to the measures to be taken for the protection of the railways within the State.

 

(4) Where in carrying out any direction given to a State under clause (2) as to the construction or maintenance of any means of communication or under clause (3) as to the measures to be taken for the protection of any railway, costs have been incurred in excess of those which would have been incurred in the discharge of the normal duties of the State if such direction had not been given, there shall be paid by the Government of India to the State such sum as may be agreed, or, in default of agreement, as may be determined by an arbitrator appointed by the Chief Justice of India, in respect of the extra costs so incurred by the State.

Debate Summary

Article 234, Draft Constitution of India (1948)

(1) The executive power of every State shall be so exercised as not to impede or prejudice the exercise of the executive power of the Union, and the executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of such directions to a State as may appear to the Government of India to be necessary for that purpose.

(2) The executive power of the Union shall also extend to the giving of directions to a State as to the construction and maintenance of means of communication declared in the direction to be of national or military importance:

Provided that nothing in this clause shall be taken as restricting the power of Parliament to declare highways or waterways to be national highways or national waterways or the power of the Union with respect to the highways or waterways so declared or the power of the Union to construct and maintain means of communication as part of its functions with respect to naval, military and air force works.

 

Draft Articles 234 and 234A (Article 257) was debated on 13 June and 9 September 1949. It gave the Union certain power over the states.

 

The Drafting Committee Chairman proposed the insertion a new clause and an amendment, respectively. The clause stated that the Centre had to compensate the states for any additional costs undertaken under its direction. This was added without any objection. The amendment (Article 234A) was about the railways. It gave the Centre the power to direct the state to increase policing in any railway that might require it. This was disputed by a member who asserted that the provision was not required since the Centre already had enough power. The Chairman clarified that it was needed since ‘police’ was not a Union subject, and that ‘Railway Police’ is a subject within the authority of the State. Additionally, he cleared that the railways were given focus since people gathered there in masses.

 

Draft Article 234 was initially adopted without debate on 13 June 1949. Subsequently, the addition (234A) to the Draft Article was adopted on 9 September 1949.