Stating that the court has no authority to interfere in Constitutional powers vested with Parliament, a division bench of the High Court on Tuesday dismissed a public interest litigation challenging the Central government’s decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.
The bench comprising chief justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and justice KC Bhanu, in its order on a PIL by PV Krishnaiah, practicing advocate of the city, rejected the petitioner’s prayer for declaring that Article 3 is violating the basic structure and preamble of the Constitution. It said the issue cannot be decided in so far as Article 3 is concerned as the Article is in the original text of the Constitution. Basic structure theory applies only to the amendments made to the Constitution.
With regard to the prayer to declare the Constitutional (V Amendment) Act, 1955, as violating the basic structure and preamble, the bench declared that the said amendment cannot be said as illegal or unconstitutional. It is an exclusive power of the President of India to exercise power available under Article 3 duly applying his wisdom and wherein the court has no role to play. It is Parliament alone to act in accordance with the power exercised by the President in so far as bifurcation of a state is concerned.
The bench further said bifurcation of a state or formation of a new state is the prerogative of Parliament and the courts have no power to give a direction in this regard.
As for the petitioner’s contention that the Centre cannot exercise its power under Article 3 for bifurcation of existing state and forming a new state as long as Article 371(D) is in force, the bench clarified that Article 371(D) is a special provision made for the purpose of Andhra Pradesh giving protection in the fields of public employment and education specifically for areas covered under the state. Article 371(D) has no nexus or bearing on the operation of Article 3 as the latter totally functions in a different spectrum, particularly dealing with bifurcation and formation of a state. Therefore, the contention is devoid of merit, the bench said.