The Constitution of India is the fountainhead from which all our laws derive their authority and force. This is next Article in the series on constitutional provisions in order to aid our readers in understanding them.
152. Definition.—In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires, the expression “State” **[does not include the State of Jammu and Kashmir].
Definition of “State”: The word “State” in article 131 meant a constituent unit of the Union along with its territory and permanent institutions.
The marginal heading of article 152 notwithstanding, the word “State” has not been defined in the Constitution. Article 1 of the Constitution described India as a Union of States. The First Schedule to the Constitution specified the States and their territories. Before the Seventh Amendment, the Schedule mentioned three categories of States viz., Part ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ representing the former Governors’ Provinces of British India, the former princely States or Unions thereof headed by Rajpramukhs and the former Chief Commissioners’ Provinces each headed by a Lt. Governor or Chief Commissioner.
Following the reorganisation of States and abolition of Part B States by the States Reorganisation Act 1956, the Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act, 1956 divided the territories of India only between the “States” and “Union Territories”. State of Jammu & Kashmir which was in Part B also became one of the States of the Union under article 1 and the First Schedule, as amended.
The General Clauses Act 1877, accordingly defines the word “State” (vide section 3) as follows:
“State” (a) as respects any period before the commencement of the Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act, 1956, shall mean Part A State, a Part B State or a Part C State; and
(b) as respects any period after such commencement shall mean a State specified in the First Schedule to the Constitution and shall include a Union territory.
The Constitution of India contains not only the Constitution of the Union but also a constitution for the States. In fact, with special provisions for some of the individual States, it may be said that there are several State Constitutions within the Constitution of India.
The State of Jammu & Kashmir which is an integral part of India, is the only one to have a separate State Constitution of its own. Its relationship with the Union is determined and regulated under the provisions of article 370.
Several other States enjoy special status and have certain special provisions applicable to only each one of them separately, e.g., States of Maharashtra and Gujarat (article 371), Nagaland (371A), Assam (371B), Manipur (371C), Andhra Pradesh (371D & 371E), Sikkim (371F), Mizoram (371G), Arunachal Pradesh (371H) and Goa (371I). [see under relevant articles]. But, all these are not excluded from the definition of the term ‘State’ in Part VI of the Constitution and the provisions of Part VI apply to all of them i.e., to all the other 27 States.
Source: Dr Subhash C Kashyap, Constitutional Law of India