Article 1 of Indian Constitution

Article 1 of the Indian constitution Define. Name and territory of the Union.- India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States. The States and the territories thereof shall be as specified in the First Schedule.

According to article 1 of the Indian Constitution, the territory of India shall comprise:-

  • the territories of the States;
  • the Union Territories specified in the First Schedule, and
  • such other territories as may be acquired. 

The Republic of India is described as a union and not a federation. The Constitution makers had a purpose in choosing the word ”Union”, in preference to ”Federation” in the Draft Constitution prepared by the constitutional adviser. They were of the view that the word ”Union” better expresses the fact that the Union of India is not the outcome of an agreement among any existing States, and, therefore, it is not open to any State or a group of states to secede from the Union or to vary the boundary of their States on their own free will. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee, Dr. Ambedkar, said. 

But I can tell you why the Drafting Committee wanted to make it clear that though India was to be a federation, the Federation was not the result of an agreement by the States to join in a federation and that the Federation not being the result of an agreement no State has the right to secede from it. The Federation is a Union because it is indestructible. Though the country and the people can be divided into different States for convenience of administration the country is one integral whole, its people a single people living under a single imperium derived from a single source. The Americans had to wage civil war to establish that the States have no right to secession and that their Federation was indestructible. The Drafting Committee thought that it was better to make it clear at the outset rather than to leave it to speculation.

Accordingly in “Article 1 the Indian constitution”, India is declared as a Union of States, and the States and territories are specified in the First Schedule. None of the constituent units of the Indian Union was sovereign and independent in the sense the American colonies or the Swiss Cantons were before they formed their federal unions. The Constituent Assembly of India, deriving its power from the sovereign people, was unfettered by any previous commitment in evolving a constitutional pattern suitable to the genius and requirements of the Indian people as a whole. The Constitution contemplates changes of the territorial limits of the constituent States and gives no guarantee of their territorial integrity. 

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The territory of India which is described in clause falls under three categories:

  • State territories.
  • Union territories”, and
  • territories which may be acquired by the Government of India. No parliamentary legislation is required to acquire foreign territory. It is an inherent attribute of a sovereign State to acquire new territories.

Article 1(3)(c), therefore, in including the acquired territory as part of the Indian territory, merely states a factual situation and does not confer a power on Parliament to acquire foreign territory. 

A territory can be said to have been acquired when the Indian Union acquires sovereignty over such territory. The expression ”acquired” should be taken to be a reference to ”acquisition”, as understood in public international law. If there was any public notification, assertion or declaration by which the Government of India had declared or treated a territory as part and parcel of India, the courts would be bound to recognise an ”acquisition” as having taken place, with the consequence that the territory would be part of the territory of the Union within Article 1(3)(c). A statement of the Government of India that it did not consider a particular area to have been acquired by it, is binding on the court. 

It does not matter how the acquisition has been brought about. It may be by conquest, it may be by cession following treaty, it may be by the occupation of territory hitherto unoccupied by any recognized ruler, it may be under the terms of an agreement between two States,14 or it may be by accretion. After the commencement of the Constitution, the annexation of Sikkim, Goa, Daman and Diu, Dadra and N agar Haveli and Pondicherry are examples of acquisition. 



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