What is Article 257 of the Constitution?

  • Article 257 deals with the control of the Union over States in certain cases. It provides that the executive power of every state shall be so exercised as not to impede or prejudice the exercise of the executive power of the Union, and the executive power of the Union shall extend to giving of such directions to a state as may appear to the Government of India to be necessary for that purpose.
  • In short, the Union Government can issue directions to the State Government even with regard to the subjects enumerated in the state list.
  • The Union Government can also give directions to the state with regard to the construction and maintenance of the means of communication declared to be of national or military importance.
  • It can also ask the state Governments to construct and maintain means of communication as part of its functions with respect to naval, military and air force works.
  • It can also issue them necessary directions regarding the measures to be taken for the protection of the railways within the jurisdiction of the state.

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