Sunday, August 23, 2009

Editorial 'SHARING SOVEREIGNTY' in Law Animated World, 15 August 2009 issue. Volume 5: Part 2, No: 15

Courtesy: Reliance Industries Ltd. British North Sea Oil Platform; Courtesy: Wikipedia
on acceptable lines and satisfactory terms between the States and the Union is quite essential if even the quasi-federalism as existing now in our country is to survive and continue without calamitous crises. It is to be regretted that once Pakistan was a certainty, our constitution framers, in an over-reaction, adopted a basically centralist constitution ignoring the federal sentiments prevailing among other sections of the people of India. As a result of the current constitution, the States are left with nothing but sand and small stones to feed their mouths with all major minerals allotted to the Union share. All the residual powers which were originally intended to reside in States were taken away to strengthen the Union. And Article 297 vests all powers over the territorial waters and resources thereof exclusively in the Union and the Apex Court has also opined that natural gas in any form is an exclusive central subject, even overriding the item 25 of the States List. There is nothing akin to American federalism where Gulf of Mexico offshore oil and gas up to 3 nautical miles is the exclusive preserve of the State of Texas. The dispute over the natural resources in territorial waters is raging in Britain too and no wonder if the Scottish demands for independence over North Sea Oil disputes alleging that England is depriving her of billions of pounds of oil and gas revenues, to the tune of £2300 per a Scot per year, and that Scotland would be happier and better developed if freed from the clutches of the Union, also crop up in our country in no distant future though it is not sure how democratically our Union would deal with such demands. The present controversy about the Krishna Godavari Basin Oil and Natural Gas reserves and the injustice being done to the State of Andhra Pradesh in not paying any royalties and not allocating needed volumes of gas for its industries and domestic supply purposes is but an indication in that direction ...

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