Part 1 of the Indian Constitution
Part I of the Indian Constitution is titled The Union and its Territory.
- It includes articles from 1- 4.
- Part I is a compilation of laws pertaining to the constitution of India as a country and the union of states that it is made of.
- This part of the constitution contains the law in the establishment, renaming, merging, or altering of the borders of the states.
- Articles under Part I were invoked when West Bengal was renamed, and for the formation of relatively new states such as Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, or Telangana.
The Union and its Territory
Articles 1 to 4 under Part-I of the Constitution deal with the Union and its territory.
Article 1 deals with the Name and territory of the Union
- India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.
- The States and the territories thereof shall be as specified in the First Schedule.
- The territory of India shall comprise - the territories of the States; the Union territories specified in the First Schedule; and Such other territories as may be acquired.
Article 2 deals with admission or establishment of new States.
Formation Of New States And Alteration Of Areas, Boundaries Or names Of Existing State.
Parliament may by law:
- form a new State by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to a part of any State;
- increase the area of any State
- diminish the area of any State
- alter the boundaries of any State
- alter the name of any State.
Article 3 notably relates to the formation of or changes in the existing states of the Union of India.
However, Article 3 lays down two conditions in this regard:
- One, a bill contemplating the above changes can be introduced in the Parliament only with the prior recommendation of the President; and
- Two, before recommending the bill, the President has to refer the same to the state legislature concerned for expressing its views within a specified period.
- The President (or Parliament) is not bound by the views of the state legislature and may either accept or reject them, even if the views are received in time.
- Further, it is not necessary to make a fresh reference to the state legislature every time an amendment to the bill is moved and accepted in Parliament.
- In the case of a union territory, no reference need be made to the concerned legislature to ascertain its views and the Parliament can itself take any action as it deems fit.
Article 4: declares that laws made under Article 2 and 3 are not to be considered as amendments of the Constitution under Article 368
- Article 4 declares that laws made for admission or establishment of new states (under Article 2) and formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries, or names of existing states (under Articles 3) are not to be considered as amendments of the Constitution under Article 368.
This means that such laws can be passed by a simple majority and by the ordinary legislative process.
The Supreme Court held that the power of Parliament to diminish the area of a state (under Article 3).
Dhar Commission and JVP Committee
- There has been a demand from different regions, particularly South India, for the reorganization of states on a linguistic basis.
- Accordingly, in June 1948, the Government of India appointed the Linguistic Provinces Commission under the chairmanship of S K Dhar to examine the feasibility of this.
South Indian States prior to the States Reorganisation Act.
- The commission submitted its report in December 1948 and recommended the reorganization of states on the basis of administrative convenience rather than linguistic factors. This created much resentment and led to the appointment of another Linguistic Provinces Committee by the Congress in December 1948 itself to examine the whole question afresh. It consisted of Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallahbhai Patel, and Pattabhi Sitaramayya and hence was popularly known as JVP Committee.
- It submitted its report in April 1949 and formally rejected language as the basis for the reorganization of states. However, in October 1953, the Government of India was forced to create the first linguistic state, known as Andhra state.
Fazl Ali Commission
- The creation of the Andhra state intensified the demand from other regions for the creation of states on a linguistic basis.
- This forced the Government of India to appoint (in December 1953) a three-member States. Reorganisation Commission under the chairmanship of Fazl Ali to re-examine the whole question.
- Its other two members were K M Panikkar and H N Kunzru.
It identified four major factors that can be taken into account in any scheme of reorganization of states:
- Preservation and strengthening of the unity and security of the country.
- Linguistic and cultural homogeneity.
- Financial, economic, and administrative considerations.
- Planning and promotion of the welfare of the people in each state as well as of the nation as a whole.