CAN TELENGANA STATE BE FORMED BY VIOLATING CONSTITUTION?

Keeping aside all the political promises made or debates and discussions so far conducted in last five years, or other socio-political-geographical-economic-cultural reasons shown for separation of ‘Telengana’ region from the state of Andhra Pradesh, as the Telengana State activists and its supporters have been furiously pleading that Andhra Pradesh State Legislature’s consent/views are not necessary for formation of a saparate state of ‘Telengana’ by introducing a bill ‘straightaway’ in the Indian Parliament by ignoring the law laid down in the Indian Constitution – is that contention legally Justifiable?

In fact that contention is gross violation of Indian Constitution. First a ‘proposal’ for formation of new states or merger of existing states must be sent by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Union Government, ‘for introducing a Bill’ which ( means that Proposal) in turn would be placed before the Caibinet and after its approval would be sent to the President of India. Then the Presidential Secretariate in turn would send it to the State Government to place it before the State Legislature for obtaining its views/consent within a specified period, wheather it is for formation of new state or to maintain status quo. And based on the consent/views obtained from the State Legislature, the President of India would take a decision wheather to ‘recommend’ or not to recommend ‘for placing the Bill for this purpose before the Indian Parliament’. This is the fundamental procedural aspect, which can not be violated by any one. Official Procedures can not be violated for political considerations.

According to Article 3 (a) of the Constitution of India, the Indian Parliament may by law form a new State by separating the terroritory from any existing State or by uniting two or more States or parts of the States, provided that no Bill for this purpose shall be introduced in the either House of Parliament except on the recommendation of the President and unless where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of the States, the Bill has been referred by the President to the Legislature of that State for expressing its views thereon within such period as may be specified by in the reference or within such further period as the President may allow and the period so specified or allowed has expired.

This Constitutional procedure can not be flouted by any one, and flouting this procedure means turning ‘anti-constitutional’. Even a single omission of official procedures or procedures laid down by the Constitution is violation and contempt towards the main law of the land.

So, the inviolable pre-requisites for beginning the process are:

1) A ‘proposal’ must be prepared by the Authorised Ministry for this purpose.

2)     That ‘Proposal’ must be for the Introduction of a Bill pertaining to the subject-matter of Article 3 of the Indian Constitution.

3)      ‘Proposal’ must be sent to the Government, by the authorized Ministry

4)      Government will place the ‘Proposal’ before the Cabinet

5) Approval of Cabinet is essential for that ‘Proposal’.

6)    Then Cabinet approved ‘Proposal’ must be sent to the Presidential Secretariate.

7)     President’s Secretariate will in turn approve the ‘Proposal’ for ‘Introduction of a Bill’

8)    Then Presidential Secretariate will ‘refer’ the Bill to the concerned State Legislature for expressing its views/consent thereon within specified period specified in the ‘reference’.

9) After getting the views/consent from the concerned State Legislature, the President of India would ‘recommend’ (or may not recommend) for introduction of such Bill in the Parliament.

Therefore no bill can be introduced in the Paliament on a subject matter of Article 3 (a) of Indian constitution straightaway, except for the purpose that affects the area, boundaries, and name of the states.

So, the demand being made by the politicians of Telengana region and the Bill so to be introduced in the Indian Parliament will begin with and must fulfill all the above said procedure. Had Article 3 of the Constitution clearly avoided the words if the "…bill has been referred by the President of India to the Legislature of that State for expressing its views" in the said Article, then there is no need to acquire the consent of State Legislature for formation of new state. But Article 3 clearly mentioned, that "…bill has been referred by the President of India to the Legislature of that State for expressing its views" means views of the State legislature is mandatory for the purpose of the ‘recommendation’ of the President on ‘introduction’ of a Bill in Parliament. Whereas to avoid State Legislature views, technically speaking, then Constitutional Amendment must be given first, to Article 3, by deleting the words "Bill has been referred by the President of India to the Legislature of that State for expressing its views". Legally speaking so long as such words exist in Constitution, State Legislature views become mandatory for introducing a Bill in Parliament for this purpose. So, the Bill (except Private Bill) can not be introduced straight away in the Indian Parliament by violating the Constitutional provisions.

Apart from the above procedural aspects, to sum up, three constitutional conditions which have to be fulfilled compulsorily, to form a separate State by dividing the existing state, are 1) The President of India has to refer the proposed Bill to the State Legislature for obtaining its views within a specified period 2) Then President of India has to ‘recommend’ for introduction of such Bill in the Indian Parliament. 3) Finally the Parliament has to unanimously approve that Bill for formation of a new state.

Even if all the plans are made to fulfill the official procedures and to meet the constitutional provisions for beginning the process, but if any one approaches the Higher courts, in the mean time on minute logical grounds on drinking and river water issues, then entire efforts would go in vain, until the Court cases are cleared.

So, unless a common consensus or majority approval is achieved at State Legislature for formation of Separate Telengana State by dividing the existing state of Andhra Pradesh, the ambition of separate Telengana state remains a remote dream. To fulfill their dream, the Telengana supporters must improve their majority in the State Legislature (both Houses) and in Indian Parliament in coming elections first, to get majority consent to the Presidential reference.  And this is the fact known to every one. So, when there is no majority approval and support for the proposed Bill at State level, such Bill may not be ‘recommended’ by the President of India, for introduction into the Indian Parliament, just for political reasons. By dchaitanya