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Inter-State Relations


Although in a Federal system, each of the states or units have complete sovereignty in their territorial limits, but these states or units can never remain in isolation from each other; so it is necessary to lays down certain rules of comity which units or states are required to observe and follow while contacting with each other.

These are:

  1. Recognition of Public Acts
  2. Inter State Water Disputes
  3. Coordination b/w States Inter State Council
  4. Freedom of Inter State Trade & Commerce

In addition,  Zonal Councils have been created to strengthen the federal system and to foster or develop habits of cooperative working among states and/or Union.

Inter State Water Disputes


Article 262 of the Constitution states that:

“Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any Inter State river or river valley.

Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, Parliament may by law provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such Inter State water dispute or complaint.”

As per above provisions, the Parliament has enacted two laws so far:

  1. a) River Boards Act (1956)
  • Provides for regulation and development of Inter State river and river valleys ,


  1. b) Inter State Water Disputes Act (1956)
  • Empowers the Government of India to set up a Water Dispute Tribunal for settlement of Inter State water disputes b/w 2 or more states.

The decision of tribunal shall be final and binding on the parties to dispute.

Till now, six water tribunals have been established and these are Krishna, Godavari, Narmada, Ravi & Beas, Cauvery and 2nd Krishna Water disputes tribunals.

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