History of Article 3 of the Constitution of India

 Section 290, Government of India Act, 1935, ran as follows:

“290(11 subject to the provisions of this Section, His Majesty may by order in Council–

(a) create a new province;

(b) increase the area of any province;

(c) diminish the area of any province;

(d) alter the boundaries of any province.

Provided that, before the draft of any such order is laid before Parliament, the Secretary of State shall take such steps as His Majesty may direct for ascertaining the views of the Federal Government and the Chambers of the Federal Legislature and the views of the Government and the Chamber or Chambers of the Legislature of any province which will be affected by the Order, both with respect to the proposal to make the order and with respect to the provisions to be inserted therein.”

After the Independence Act of 1947, and under the Section as adapted by the India Provisional Constitution Order 1947, the above power was vested in the Governor-General, and now under the Constitution it is vested in Parliament.

12. Article 4, Section 3(1) of the American Constitution lays down:

“But no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State; nor any ‘ State be formed by the junction of two or more States, or part of States, without the consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as the Congress.”

13. Section 123-4 of the Australian Constitution states as follows:

“The parliament of the Commonwealth may with the consent of the Parliament of a State and the approval of the majority of the electors of the State voting upon the question, increase, diminish or otherwise alter the limits of the State, upon such, terms and conditions as may be agreed on, and may, with the like consent, make provision respecting the effect and operation of any increase or diminution or alteration of territory in relation to any State affected.

A new State may be formed by separation of territory from a State but only with the consent of the Parliament thereof, and a new State may be formed by the Union of two or more States or part of States, but only with the consent of the Parliaments of the States affected”.

It will thus be seen that the provisions in Article 3 of the Constitution, confer wider powers upon Parliament than either under the American or the Australian Constitution. In the latter, the consent of the Component States or a majority of its electors must be obtained. Thus there must be either consent or a referendum. In India it is sufficient if the view of the State is ascertained.

In other words, the powers under Article 3 may be enforced upon an unwilling component State. It, therefore, approximates more to the Government of India Act, 1935 than its foreign counterparts. Under Article 3, Parliament may by law form a new State by uniting two or more States. For this purpose, a Bill must be introduced in Parliament.

But before the introduction of such a Bill, the recommendation of the President must be obtained. In the case of a Part A or Part B State, if the boundaries or names are affected, the President must obtain the views of the legislature of each of the States concerned.

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