Section 290-A of Government of India Act 1935
“Administration of certain acceding States as a Chief Commissioner’s Province or as part of a Governor’s or Chief Commissioners Province.
(1) Where full and exclusive authority, jurisdiction and powers for and in relation to the governance of any Indian State or of any group of such States are for the time being exercisable by the Dominion of India, the Governor-General may by order direct –
(a) that the State or the group of States shall be administered in all respects as if the State or the group of States were a Chief Commissioner’s Province ; or
(b) that the State or the group of States shall be administered in all respects as if the States or the group of States form part of a Governor’s or a Chief Commissioner’s Province specified in the order:
Provided that if any order made under clause (b) of this sub-section affects a Governor’s Province, the Governor-General shall before making such order ascertain the views of the Government of that Province both with respect to the proposal to make the order and with respect to the provisions to be inserted therein.”
It will be noticed that the Governor- General could act under the new section only where full and exclusive authority, jurisdiction and powers for and in relation to the governance of any Indian State were for the time being exercisable by the Dominion of India. It follows that the Governor- General could, under this new section, make an order of merger with respect to these seven States only on the strength of the Articles of Agreements of December 1947. He could not make any such order by reason of the Instrument of Accession.
In exercise of the powers conferred on him by the new section 290-A, the Governor-General, on 17th July 1949, promulgated an Order called the States’ Merger (Governors’ Provinces) Order, 1949. Section 3 of this Order provided as follows:-
“As from the appointed day, the States specified in each of Schedules shall be administered in all respects as if they formed part of the Province specified in the heading of that Schedule and accordingly, any reference to an Acceding State in the Government of India Act. 1935, or in any Act or Ordinance made on or after the appointed day shall be construed as not including a reference to any of the merged States, and any reference in any such Act or Ordinance as aforesaid to a Province specified in a Schedule to this Order shall be construed as including the territories of all the States specified in that Schedule. “
Schedule III of the Order showed that the State at Seraikella was one of the two States merged in the Province at Bihar and Schedule IV showed that the other Orissa States including the plaintiffs in Suits Nos. 2 to 7 at 1950 were merged in the Province at Orissa.