Supreme Court agrees to judge Andhra Pradesh division process

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SC-rejects-plea-to-remove-BThe Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine the constitutional validity of the March 1, 2014 notification to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh into two states of AP and Telangana from June 2, 2014.

A Bench of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, admitted a batch of petitions filed by former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh Kiran Kumar Reddy, former ministers and MLAs to declare the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014 as unconstitutional as being violative of the basic structure of the Constitution, having been enacted without following the due procedure of law.

During the resumed hearing today, counsel for the petitioners argued that the court should examine the validity of the notification particularly the procedure followed in bifurcation. It was pointed out that even during the voting in Parliament, there was a black-out of the proceedings in the television and people are not aware of what exactly happened.

When the CJI pointed out that the people of Telang-ana wanted a new State, counsel said there was no formal request from the State of AP for bifurcation and yet the division took place. However, additional solicitor-general P.S. Patw-alia said due procedure was followed.

A Committee was set up and its recommendations were considered and only thereafter the bifurcation took place. The Bench said it would examine the validity and admitted the petitions. The Bench said the matter would come up for final hearing in due course.

Mr Reddy and others contended that the law violated various Articles of the Constitution. They said the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh is in breach of federalism, one of the basic features of the Constitution.

The Act was unjust, unfair and unreasonable to the people of Andhra region and it was passed without following the due procedure as laid down in the Rules. They said the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 was cleared in the Lok Sabha within a short span of 23 Minutes on February 18, 2014.

It is pertinent to mention here that what transpired in the Lok Sabha is not known to anybody as the Proceedings of the House were not telecast as a blackout was declared on the ground of technical reasons.

As such the petitioners are praying for a direction to call for the proceedings and records of the Lok Sabha in respect of the discussions on the AP Reorganisation Bill 2014.

They pointed out that even in the Rajya Sabha, it was passed on February 20, 2014 without carrying out the amendments suggested by the members. They said bifurcation was done for malafide reasons.