Union and its territory - Frontier IAS
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Polity

Union and its territory - Frontier IAS

The Union and its Territory (Articles 1 to 4) under (Part I) of the Constitution deal with the Union and its territory. Article 1 deals with the Name and territory of the Union — (1) India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States. Rest we will discuss in this article.

ARTICLE PROVISIONS
Art. 1 Name and territory of the Union
Art. 2 Admission or establishment of new States
Art. 3 Formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries, or name of existing States
Art. 4 Laws made under Articles 2 and 3 to provide for the amendment of the first and the Fourth Schedules and supplemental, incidental, and consequential matters

Art. 1:

Name and territory of the Union-

  1. India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.
  2. The States and the territories thereof shall be as specified in the First Schedule.
  3. The territory of India shall comprise-

  (a) the territories of the States;

  (b) the Union territories specified in the First Schedule; and

  (c) such other territories as may be acquired.

Explanation:

  • Art. 1 describes India, that is Bharat, as a ‘Union of States’. According to Dr. BR Ambedkar, the country is described as a ‘Union’ although its constitution is federal because it was indissoluble, and no state has the right to secede from the Indian Union. Also, Indian Union is not the result of an agreement among the states. The federation is a union because it is indestructible. Though the country and the people may be divided into different states for convenience of administration, the country is one integral whole. 

The Americans (America formed as a result of an agreement among states) had to wage a civil war to establish that the States have no right of succession and their federation was indestructible.

  • The ‘Union of India’ includes only the States which are the members of the federal system and share distribution of powers with the center. ‘Territory of India’ includes both the states and the Union Territories and such other territories as may be acquired by India. 
  • Being a sovereign state, India can acquire foreign territories by cession (following treaty, purchase, gift, lease, or plebiscite), occupation, conquest, or subjugation.

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Art. 2:

Admission or establishment of new States-

‘Parliament may by law admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.’

Explanation:

  • Under Art. 2, the Constitution vests power with Parliament for the admission or establishment of new States. It relates to the admission and establishment of new states that were not part of India.
  • Forex. The Parliament has admitted the French settlements of Pondicherry, the Portuguese settlements of Goa, and Daman and Sikkim into India.

Art. 3:

Formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries, or names of existing States-

Parliament may by law-

  1. form a new State by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to a part of any State;
  2. increase the area of any State;
  3. diminish the area of any State;
  4. alter the boundaries of any State;
  5. alter the name of any State.

Explanation:

  • Under Art. 3, the Constitution empowers Parliament to form a new State by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to a part of any State.
  • Parliament has the power to increase or diminish the area of any State or to alter the boundaries or names of any State.
  • A Bill to give effect to any or all of these changes can be introduced in either House of the Parliament, but only on the recommendation of the President
  • If such a bill affects the boundary or name of a State, then the President before introducing it in the Parliament shall refer the Bill to the State Legislature concerned, in its opinion within a fixed time. The President may extend the time limit so specified. 
  • If the State Legislature does not express its opinion within the time, it is deemed that it has expressed its views. If it has submitted the views, Parliament may or may not accept its views.
  • It is not necessary to make fresh reference to the State Legislature every time an amendment to the Bill is proposed and accepted. The Bill is passed with a simple majority.
  • In the case of Union Territories, it is not necessary to obtain the views of Legislatures of Union Territories before a Bill affecting their boundaries or names is introduced.
  • India is described as  ‘an indestructible union of destructible states’. The Union government can destroy the states but the states cannot destroy the Union.

Note Art. 2 deals with the admission or establishment of new states that are not part of India. Art. 3 deals with the establishment or creation of new states after the reorganization of existing states, which are already part of India.

Union and its territory - Frontier IAS

Art. 4:

Laws made under Articles 2 and 3 to provide for the amendment of the First and the Fourth Schedules and supplemental, incidental, and consequential matters.

  1. Any law referred to in Article 2 or Article 3 shall contain such provisions for the amendment of the First Schedule and the Fourth Schedule as may be necessary to give effect to the provisions of the law and may also contain such supplemental, incidental and consequential provisions (including provisions as to representation in Parliament and in the Legislature or Legislatures of the State or States affected by such law) as Parliament may deem necessary. 
  1. No such law as aforesaid shall be deemed to be an amendment of this Constitution for the purposes of Article 368.

Explanation:

Under Art. 4, the Constitution declares that laws made for admission or establishment of new states (Art. 2) and formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries, or names of existing states (under Art. 3) are not to be considered as amendments of the Constitution under Art. 368. So, such laws can be passed by a simple majority. 

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Does the power of Parliament to diminish the area of a state (under Article 3) include also the power to cede Indian territory to a foreign country?

In the Berubari Union case, the Supreme court held that the power of Parliament to diminish the area of a state (under Art. 3) does not cover the cession of Indian territory to a foreign country. So, Indian territory can be ceded to a foreign state only by amending the Constitution under Art. 368.

Evolution of States and Union Territories:

Before independence, most of the Princely States were integrated with the rest of India, and some states like Junagadh, Kashmir, and Hyderabad integrated later.

Many commissions were appointed for the re-organization of States. 

Dhar Commission:

  • A Linguistic Provinces Commission was established in June 1948, under the chairmanship of S.K. Dhar to examine the feasibility for the reorganization of states on the basis of language.
  • The Commission in its report in December 1948 recommended that the reorganization of States should be done on the basis of administrative convenience rather than linguistic basis.

JVP Committee:

  • When the Dhar Commission report created general disappointment, another Linguistic Provinces Committee was formed by the Congress, consisting of Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhai Patel, and Pattabhi Sitaramayya (JVP).
  • It reaffirmed the decision of the Dhar Commission.

Note: Andhra Pradesh was the 1st Linguistic State created after the death of Potti Sriramulu who had been on a hunger strike for 56 days.

Arrangement of States as on 26th January 1950:

Part A:

  • Part A states included former Governors’ Provinces. 
  • The states included were Assam, Bihar, Bombay, Madhya Pradesh (formerly Central Provinces and Berar), Madras, Orissa, Punjab (formerly East Punjab), Uttar Pradesh (formerly the United Provinces), and West Bengal.

Part B:

  • It included the former Princely States.
  • The states included were Hyderabad, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Bharat, Mysore, Patiala, and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU), Rajasthan, Saurashtra, Travancore-Cochin, and Vindhya Pradesh.

Part C:

  • It included both the former Chief Commissioners’ Provinces and some princely states.
  • The states included were Ajmer, Bhopal, Bilaspur, Cooch-Behar, Coorg, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Kutch, Manipur, and Tripura. 

Part D:

  • It only consisted of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Fazl Ali Commission:

  • The creation of Andhra Pradesh intensified the demand for the creation of more states on a linguistic basis.
  • In December 1953, a committee was set up under the chairmanship of Fazl Ali having H.N. Kunzru and K.M. Panikkar as its members to examine the whole issue.
  • The commission suggested the abolition of 4 fold classification of states and the creation of 16 states and 3 centrally administered territories.

The Commission laid down 4 major principles as the basis of reorganization-

  1. Preserving and strengthening the security and unity of the country.
  2. Financial, economic, and administrative viability.
  3. Linguistic and cultural homogeneity.
  4. Scope for the successful working of plans of development.

The States Reorganisation Act, 1956:

  • This act and the 7th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1956, removed the distinction between Part A and Part B states, and Part C states were abolished.
  • It provided for the creation of 14 States and 6 Union Territories.

States:

Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Bombay, J & K, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, Mysore, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.  

Union Territories:

Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Laccadive, Minicoy & Amindivi Islands, Pondicherry, Manipur, and Tripura

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States created after 1956:

  • The Bombay Reorganisation Act, 1960 divided the State of Bombay into Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • The State of Nagaland Act, 1962 created Nagaland as a separate state.
  • The Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 divided Punjab into Punjab and Haryana.
  • State of Himachal Pradesh Act, 1970 created a new state of Himachal Pradesh (former union territory).
  • New States of Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, and Union Territories of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh was established by the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971. Later, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh became states by the State of Mizoram Act, 1986 and State of Arunachal Pradesh Act, 1986 respectively.
  • Sikkim was established by the 36th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1975.
  • The State of Goa Act, 1987 created Goa.
  • Madhya Pradesh reorganization Act, 2000 created Chhattisgarh
  • Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2000 created Uttaranchal (northern districts of Kumaon and Garhwal hills of Uttar Pradesh).
  • Bihar Reorganisation Act, 2000 created the state of Jharkhand (18 southern districts of Chhota Nagpur and Santhal Pargana areas of Bihar).
  • Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 created the state of Telangana.

Union territories created after 1956:

  • Pondicherry (now Puducherry) created by the 14th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1962.
  • Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 created Chandigarh.
  • The 10th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1961 created Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
  • 12th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1962 created Daman & Diu.
  • Lakshadweep in 1973 (before known as Laccadive, Minicoy & Amindivi Islands).
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