New Delhi, Feb 19 (): Telangana bill was passed by the Lok Sabha yesterday by a voice vote on the presumption that only a simple majority is required for such legislation. The House went by the precedent that states like Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh were created 14 years ago after a simple majority vote. Since there was no opposition of the scale witnessed now, the legal luminaries of Seemandhra have now raised two points.
Nowhere in the Constitution has it said specifically that a simple majority vote is sufficient to create a state. Added to this, as per Constitution Andhra Pradesh enjoys a special status. Carving out Telangana state from the place which enjoys special status needs an amendment. These two factors will have pass legal scrutiny. For an amendment to the constitution one needs two third majority and not simple majority.
The focus is on Article 3 of the constitution that empowers Parliament to form a new State or merge two States. This article is silent on whether the consent of the State assembly of the region from where a new State is formed is mandatory. It only spells out the procedures of the President introducing the bill and sending to State Assembly to get their views.
In 1972, the Telangana region under Article 371 D was entitled to quota in State jobs and educational institutions. AG had cited that this article will have to amend before dividing the State. Law ministry took the stance that Article 3 overrides all and gives the House the power to create a State.
A PIL was filed on the bill being presented to Parliament without amendment. SC, however, rejected it as it cannot interfere with a bill in the House and can do so only after Telangana bill becomes an act approved by President.
If the court is moved after it becomes an act, then it will stay it till both the sides are heard. If the act is quashed then the three States formed earlier might go through a new act if the court mandates that a simple majority in the House is not enough.