Articles 239 to 241 in Part VIII of the Constitution deal with the union territories. Even though all the union territories belong to one category, there is no uniformity in their administrative system.
Every union territory is administered by the President acting through an administrator appointed by him. An administrator of a union territory is an agent of the President and not head of state like a governor. The President can specify the designation of an administrator; it may be Lieutenant Governor or Chief Commissioner or Administrator. At present, it is Lieutenant Governor in the case of Delhi, Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Administrator in the case of Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Lakshadweep. The President can also appoint the governor of a state as the administrator of an adjoining union territory. In that capacity, the governor is to act independently of his council of ministers.
The Union Territories of Puducherry (in 1963) and Delhi (in 1992) are provided with a legislative assembly and a council of ministers headed by a chief minister. The remaining five union territories do not have such popular political institutions. But, the establishment of such institutions in the union territories does not diminish the supreme control of the president and Parliament over them.
The Parliament can make laws on any subject of the three lists (including the State List) for the union territories. This power of Parliament also extends to Puducherry and Delhi, which have their own local legislatures. This means that, the legislative power of Parliament for the union territories on subjects of the State List remain unaffected even after establishing a local legislature for them. But, the legislative assembly of Puducherry can also make laws on any subject of the State List and the Concurrent List. Similarly, the legislative assembly of Delhi can make laws on any subject of the State List (except public order, police and land) and the Concurrent List.
The President can make regulations for the peace, progress and good government of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu. In the case of Puducherry also, the President can legislate by making regulations but only when the assembly is suspended or dissolved. A regulation made by the President has the same force and effect as an act of Parliament and can also repeal or amend any act of Parliament in relation to these union territories.
The Parliament can establish a high court for a union territory or put it under the jurisdiction of the high court of adjacent state. Delhi is the only union territory that has a high court of its own (since 1966). The Bombay High Court has got jurisdiction over two union territories—Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu. Andaman and Nocobar Islands, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep and Puducherry are placed under the Calcutta, Punjab and Haryana, Kerala, and Madras High Courts respectively.
The Constitution does not contain any separate provisions for the administration of acquired territories. But, the constitutional provisions for the administration of union territories also apply to the acquired territories.