Prakash Chandra Jha analyses the importance and implications of the terms of reference of the Punchhi Commission on centre-state relations. T he central government has recently set up a commission headed by former Chief Justice of India, M M Punchhi, to take a fresh look at the centre-state relations, which is, in fact, a long-felt need. S ome of its terms of reference, however, have become controversial. T hese issues are related to law and order which falls under state jurisdiction, and hence, the appointment of the Punchhi commission has resulted in the ruling party and the opposition attacking the terms of reference of the commission. Some states see it as a design to interfere in their internal affairs.

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All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service. Politics and Nation. Defence Defence National International Industry. Company Corporate Trends Deals. International Business World News. Market Watch. Pinterest Reddit. Punchhi Commission deals with the responsibility and jurisdiction of the Centre during major outbreaks of communal and caste violence. A Home Ministry statement said the standing committee, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh , examined various recommendations of the commission.

Today's meeting completed the onerous task of deliberations on all the recommendations of the Punchhi Commission, the statement said. Chief ministers of all states were members of the council. A three-member commission, headed by the former chief justice of India M M Punchhi, was set up by the previous UPA government to take a fresh look at relative roles and responsibilities of various levels of government and their inter-relations.

The commission had submitted its report in to then home minister P Chidambaram. The mandate of the commission was to examine what could be the role, responsibility and jurisdiction of the Centre during major and prolonged outbreaks of communal violence, caste violence or any other social conflicts and to review other aspects of Centre-states relations, including taxes and linking of rivers.

It also examined whether there was a need to set up a central law enforcement agency to take up suo motu investigation of crimes having inter-state or international ramifications with serious implications on national security, role of a governor among others. In his opening remarks, the home minister recalled that during the previous two meetings held last year thorough deliberations were held on the recommendations contained in Volumes I to V of the report. He said today's discussions were focused on the remaining two volumes i.

VI and VII, that contained a total of 88 recommendations. The recommendations in Volume VI were related to environment, natural resources and infrastructure and covered the subjects of environment, water, forests, minerals and infrastructure.

The recommendations in Volume VII related to socio-economic development, public policy and good governance and covered the subjects of public policy, constitutional governance and public administration, socio-political developments and its impact on governance among others.

The recommendations pertained to history of Centre-state relations in India; constitutional governance and management of the relations; centre-state financial relations and planning; local self-governments and decentralised governance; internal security, criminal justice and centre-state co-operation besides others. In his concluding remarks, Singh expressed satisfaction that the standing committee, over a series of meetings since , had completed deliberations on all the recommendations of the commission report.

These recommendations of the standing committee finalised in the earlier two meetings as well as in today's meeting would be placed before the inter-state council for decision, the statement said. It may be noted that the ISC meeting in was held after a gap of 10 years. Under the chairmanship of Singh, the institutions of ISC standing committee as well as zonal councils were rejuvenated and regular meetings held to promote harmonious centre-state relations.

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Deliberations on Punchhi commission report completed

There should be an amendment in Articles and to enable the Centre to bring specific trouble- torn areas under its rule for a limited period. Such an emergency provision should however not be of duration of more than three months. The commission however supports their right to give sanction for the prosecution of ministers against the advice of the state government. It has proposed that state consent should not become a hurdle in deployment of central forces in a communal conflagration. However, such deployment should only be for a week and post-facto consent should be taken from the state. Among the significant suggestions made by the Commission is, lying down of clear guidelines for the appointment of chief ministers.


Punchhi Commission Report for IAS Preparation

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Deliberations on Punchhi commission report complete

Punchhi Commission. The Commission was appointed in April N R Madhava Menon. Later, Dr. This is a contradiction to the Liberhan Commission Report which was "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" and which wasted 15 years. A comprehensive review of Centre-State Relations was undertaken by the Sarkaria Commission in the mid-eighties.

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