Concordia Discors: Deployment of Central Armed Forces in the Federal Units of India

Dr N. Manoharan is Director, Center for East Asian Studies, at Christ University, Bangalore. He earlier served at the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), Prime Minister’s Office.
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  • January-March 2023

    India is a classic case of a ‘quasi-federal’ country. There is a plethora of literature available separately on the Indian armed forces and Indian federalism. However, the deployment of India’s Central Armed Forces in its federal units (States) is one of the most understudied and unexplained areas of research. To avert any grave disorder in the country, the Centre constitutionally enjoys power regarding the deployment of its armed forces in the federal units. However, in practice, there are various factors that come into play during the deployment. This study intends to throw light on the various aspects of force deployment: the rationale, the legal cover, and the state of civil power of the federal units during such deployment. In the process of inquiry, the study has relied on various primary sources that are available in the form of Indian Constituent Assembly Debates, the Constitution, pertinent legislations, parliamentary debates, judicial pronouncements, and government reports. In the end, the study offers certain policy recommendations for consideration.

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