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SC declines to stay formation of Telengana
Friday March 7, 2014 11:27 PM, IANS

The Supreme Court Friday declined to put on hold the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh while issuing notice to the central government on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the state reorganisation act.

Issuing notice, a bench of Justice H.L.Dattu and Justice S.A.Bobde said that the matter should be heard by a larger constitutional bench as it involved constitutional issues, and the larger bench can decide whether carving out of Telengana could be put on hold or not.

The new state of Telengana will come into existence on June 2. Lok Sabha had passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, creating India's 29th state Feb 18 and the same bill was passed by Rajya Sabha two days later on Feb 20.

The issuance of notice on the batch of petitions came after apex court had Feb 7 and 17 declined to entertain petitions challenging carving out of Telengana saying it was then "premature".

The court issued notice on a batch of petition including one by former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy who had contended that the bifurcation of the state was against constitutional provisions and for political expediency.

Kiran Kumar Reddy, who resigned as chief minister as well as from the Congress to protest the bifurcation, has sought a declaration that the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014 was unconstitutional as it violated the constitution's basic structure and has been enacted without following the due procedure of law and the constitutional provisions.

The petition said that there are certain implied limitations on the power of parliament and while carving out new states from the existing states, it can't exercise unlimited power without giving due regards to the views of the state assembly.

Kiran Reddy's plea said that the implied limitations on parliament's power come into play with regard to the basic features of the constitution.

Parliament under article 3 of the constitution, the petition said, could only alter or adjust the boundaries but not extinguish an existing states.

"The power of parliament to alter the boundaries of states without their consent is a breach of federal principle and that parliament on its own has no power to alter the boundaries of states," the petition said.

Kiran Reddy said that under the constitutional convention, formation of a new state would follow the recommendation of a State Reorganisation Commission and any similar panel and whether a departure could be made from following such a procedure for bifurcating Andhra Pradesh for carving out Telengana.

The formation of the three new states - Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh - was preceded by unanimous resolutions of the concerned state legislatures, he noted.

"In a federal set up, where the states share considerable degree of sovereignty with the Union, the latter cannot act unilaterally in disregard of the wishes of the states," said his plea.

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