Guv Role Supervisory, A-G’s Word on Art 371 (D) Ignored - The New Indian Express

Guv Role Supervisory, A-G’s Word on Art 371 (D) Ignored

Published: 07th December 2013 07:58 AM

Last Updated: 07th December 2013 07:58 AM

The fineprint of the AP Reorganisation Bill was out in public domain within hours after the Cabinet gave it the green signal Thursday night. The Bill proposes common Governor for the two successor States for not more than 10 years and a common High Court until a new one is set up in the residuary State.

It also envisages an elaborate mechanism consisting of various tiers for river waters management, both Krishna and Godavari, and adequately addresses the concerns of both employees and students — the former by retaining 371 (D) for both states and the latter by retaining the existing admission quotas in government and private professional colleges for five years.

Insofar as the Governor is concerned, the Bill proposes that in particular, his responsibility shall extend to matters such as law and order, internal security and security of vital installations. According to it, in the discharge of the functions, the Governor shall, after consulting the Council of Ministers of the State of Telangana, exercise his judgment as to the action taken.

Suggesting that it would be more of a supervisory role, the Bill says the decision of the Governor in his discretion shall be final and the validity of anything done by him shall not be called into question. A memorandum attached to the Bill reportedly throws up interesting information on the aspects that the Centre went into before finalising it. According to it,legal issues regarding creation of institutions such as Lt Governor or Administrator to look after issues related to law and order and police in the GHMC area of Hyderabad or a Coordination Council for law and order in the common capital area were studied. Sources said it confirms that the proposals were dropped on the advice of the department of legal affairs.

The memorandum also seems to have a note on Article 371 (D). Apparently, the GoM and the Cabinet have chosen to set aside the opinion given by the Attorney General that 371 (D) cannot be made applicable to Andhra Pradesh after the creation of the Telangana State.

The memorandum, sources said, goes into the objects and reasons of the 32nd Constitutional amendment and mentions that the Bill has been brought forward to provide necessary constitutional authority for giving effect to the six-point formula insofar as it relates to provision of equitable opportunities for people of different areas in the State in the matter of admission to educational institutions and public employment. Hence, it is not restricted to Telangana region alone, it opines.

It points out that there is continued demand from both the areas of the successor states to retain the provisions of 371 (D) to enable appropriate Presidential Orders to be issued to meet the objectives of the article. Adequate precedents exist whereby Article 371 was amended whenever new states were created — Bombay Reorganisation Act of 1960 when Maharashtra and Gujarat were formed or in 1971 when 371 (B) was amended by the North Eastern Areas (Reorganisation Act).

The GoM felt that though it would be legally more sound to bring in an amendment under Article 368 of the Constitution, considering the overall situation, the balance of convenience would lie in favour of following the precedents and make amendments to 371 (D) through the AP Reorganisation Act itself, the memorandum explains.

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