Union and Its Territory

Article 2 enables Parliament by law to admit into the Union or establish new States on such terms as it thinks
fit. It will be noted that there are two powers given to Parliament by •Article 2 namely : (i) the power to admit into the Union new States and (ii) the power to establish new States. The first refers to the admission of duly organised political communities and second to the admission or formation of a State where none existed before. It will be recalled that the territory acquired by the Union becomes Indian territory by virtue of clause (3) (c) of Article 1. No Parliamentary sanction is required for the acquisition of territory. But a territory acquired by the Government of India, though factually becomes territory of India from the date of its acquisition, the formal or legal assimilation is brought about only by Parliamentary legislation made either under this article when the acquired territory is established as a new State of the Union, or when the acquired territory is merged into an existing State Under Article 3 of the Constitution.

The admission or establishment of a new State will be on such terms and conditions as Parliament may think fit. There is nothing in the Constitution which would entitle a new State, after its formation or admission into the Union, to claim complete equality of status with a state existing at the commencement of the Constitution, or formed thereafter under Article ; 3 of the Constitution.

The analogy of the Australian Constitution where complete equality of status with other States and to all “State rights ” are guaranteed is inapplicable to the Indian Constitution because Section 6 of the Constitution of Australia expressly provides that the expression “State” shall include such colonies or territories as may be “admitted into or established” by the Commonwealth as States. In India, on the other hand, Article 2 gives complete discretion to Parliament to admit or establish new States on such terms and conditions as “it thinks fit”.

Formation of New States And Alteration of Areas, Boundaries or Names of Existing States –

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 name of any State;

The Constitution contemplated changes of the territorial limits of the constituent States and there was no guarantee about their territorial integrity. The new States may be established in different ways laid down in the article, namely : (i) by separation of territories from any State (ii) by uniting two or more States, (iii) by uniting parts of States and (iv) by uniting any territory to a part of any State. The law referred to in Articles 2 and 3 may alter or armed the First Schedule to the Constitution which sets out the names of the States and description of territories thereof, and the Fourth Schedule allotting seats in the Council of State in the Union Parliament. The law so made may also make supplemental, incidental and consequential provisions which would include provisions relating to the setting up of the legislative, executive and judicial organs of the State essential to effective State administration under the Constitution, expenditure and distribution of revenue, apportionment of assets and liabilities, the provision as to services, application and adaptation of laws, transfer of proceedings and other related matters.

No State can, therefore, be formed, admitted or set up by law under Article 4 by Parliament which has not effective legislative, executive or Judicial organs. In regard to a Bill under Article 3, there are two conditions. Firstly, no Bill shall be introduced in either House of Parliament except on the recommendation of the President. Secondly, where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of the States, the Bill has to be referred by the President to the Legislature of the State for expressing its views thereon.

The period within which the State Legislature must express its views has to be specified by the President, but he may extend the time so specified. If the period specified or extended expires and no views of the State Legislature are received, the second condition laid down in the provision is fulfilled. Also, it is not necessary to make fresh reference to the State Legislature every time an amendment of the proposal contained in the Bill is proposed and accepted in accordance with the rules of procedure of Parliament so long as the amendment is germane to the subject-matter of the original proposal or is not a direct negation thereof.

States Reorganisation Act
The Government appointed a commission under S.K. Dhar to examine the feasibility of reorganisation of States on linguistic basis. The S.K.Dhar commission preferred reorganisation for administrative convenience rather than on a linguistic basis. A Congress Commit¬tee under Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramayya (the JVP Committee) too did not favour a linguistic base. However, in 1953 the first linguistic state came into being fn Andhra Pradesh, created by separating the Telugu speaking areas from the State of Madras. This followed a prolonged agitating and the death of Potti Sriamulu after a 56- day hunger strike. AS there were several more demands for States on a linguistic basis, a commission was set up under justice F.Fazl Ali with H.N. Kunzru and K.M. Panikkar, as members to study the demand. It submitted its report in 1955. Its suggestions were accepted with modifications and the States Reorganisation Act was passed in 1956. As a result, the fourfold distribution of States was replaced by 14 States (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Bombay, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal) and six Union Territories (Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Laccadive, Minicoy and Amandivil Manipur and Tripura) vide the Seventh Constitution Amendment.

Agitation and violence again resulted in the bifurcation of the State of Bombay into two States, viz. Maharashtra and Gujarat in 1960. Then in 1963, the State of Nagaland was created comprising a tribal area from the State of Assam. In 1966 the State of Punjab was reorganised on linguistic basis on account of growing pressure over the creation of a Punjabi Suba: as a result of the J.C Shah commission report, the Punjabi speaking areas were constituted into the State of Punjab, while the predominantly Hindi-speaking areas were constituted as the new State of Harayana, and the hill areas were merged with the contiguous Union Territory of Himachal Pradesh; Chandigarh became a Union Territory serving as the common capital of two States.

Meghalaya, which had been created as an autonomous sub-state within, the State of Assam in 1969, was made a State in 1971. Himachal Pradesh was upgraded into a State in 1971. In 1972 Manipur and Tripura were elevated to statehood. In 1975 Sikkim was admitted as the 22nd State of India. Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh (erstwhile Union Territories cared out of Assam in 1969) and Goa (23rd, 24th, and 25th in no.) became States in 1987 while the latest reorganization took place in 2000 with the formation of Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttaranchal States (26th, 27th and 28th in No. )

Reorganisation of States

The grouping of the States at independence was done more on the basis of historical and political principles than social, cultural or linguistic divisions. There was not enough time to undertake a proper reorganisation of the units at the time of making the Constitution. Article 2 empowers Parliament to admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit. By Article 3, Parliament has the power by law to form a new State from the territory of any State or by uniting two or more states, increase or de¬crease the area of any State, or alter the boundaries or the name of any State.

The only conditions laid down for the making of such a law are that (i) such a bill must be introduced only on the recommendation of the President is to refer it to be the concerned State Legislature which would express its views within a specified period. The President is not, however, bound by the views of the State Legislature. However, in the case of Jammu and Kashmir, the consent of the State Legislature is required before a bill on such alterations is introduced in Parliament. Article 4 stipulates that any such law may make supplemental, incidental or other consequential provisions and may amend the First and Fourth Schedules without going through the Constitutional Amendment process. A simple majority and ordinary legislature procedure are enough for Parliament to form new States or alter existing State boundaries. It may be noted that the Article does not apply to the cession of the territory to a foreign state. Any treaty or agreement involving carding Indian territory to an outside authority re¬quires a constitutional amendment to be implemented.

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