When the Constituent Assembly was deliberating in November 1948 on the scope and content of Article 3, there was a proposal by Prof. KT Shah that the legislation constituting a new State from any region of a State should originate from the legislature of the State concerned. Had this procedure been approved, the power to decide the statehood of a region seeking separation would have been vested with the State legislature dominated by the elite of developed regions.so, why did the centre duck its constitutional 'dharma'? it is all clearly laid out: the whole ground rules for creating a new state, so why did the centre not follow its mandate? i am genuinely curious, don't have any major dispute with this legal interpretation. why didn't everything fall into place as neatly as the lawyer says they should have?
Opposing the same and using the then demand for an Andhra Province as an example, Shri K Santhanam stated as under: “I wonder whether Professor Shah fully realises the implications of his amendment. If his amendment is adopted, it would mean that no minority in any State can ask for separation of territory, either for forming a new province or for joining an adjacent State unless it can get a majority in that State legislature. I cannot understand what he means by “Originating”. Take the case of Madras Province for instance. The Andhras want separation. They bring up a resolution in the Madras Legislature.
It is defeated by a majority. There ends the matter. The way of the Andhras is blocked altogether. They cannot take any further step to constitute an Andhra province... (Pg.440, Vol. No. VII, CAD) Thus Article 3 emerged in its current form. It is the Constitutional intent that the will of the people of a region to form a separate State be the sole criterion for the Centre to initiate the process of State formation. This is the Constitutional benchmark for creating a new State for a region, as amply demonstrated in the deliberations of the Constituent Assembly and as reflected in the current phraseology of Article 3 of the Constitution of India.
There seems from the evidence of the general election (wherein the manifestos of all the political parties (except CPM) promised a separate State), the current united stand of the legislators from the Telangana region and the ongoing civil society agitation for a separate state in the Telangana region, that the constitutional prerequisite for the creation of a separate State has been satisfied in a manner far superior to anything the Justice Srikrishna Committee can do.
It is, however, alarming to read the Terms of Reference of the Committee, as announced on the 12th of February 2010. The very first point is “To examine the situation in the State of Andhra Pradesh with reference to the demand for a separate State of Telangana as well as the demand for maintaining the present status of a united Andhra Pradesh.” In fact, asking the committee to examine both the issues of the State of Telangana alongside maintaining the present status of united Andhra Pradesh would amount to subjecting the minority belonging to the Telangana region to the majoritarian vested interests, which is precisely what the founding fathers of the Constitution intended to avoid.
Had the Centre abided by the constitutional mandate, the said reference would have been: “Do the people of Telangana want a separate State?” and the ensuing consultative process, as foreseen in the subsequent terms of reference, would have been restricted to stakeholders and actors from Telangana alone.
The committee is but a smoke screen deployed by the Centre to duck its Constitutional Dharma, that is, to recognise the legitimate interests of the people of Telangana region seeking statehood and facilitate the State - formation process, by acting as a Constitutional guardian of the region in course of the said transition. [emphasis mine].
why didn't the centre stick to its 'dharma'?
adithya krishna chintapanti, a lawyer, says: