Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Reddy moved the Supreme Court Thursday, seeking a direction to declare the Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Act for creation of Telangana as “unconstitutional for being violative of the basic structure of the Constitution of India.” The court will hear the plea Friday.
In a petition filed jointly by him and two other former ministers of his Cabinet, Reddy, who had resigned as Chief Minister over Telangana issue and floated a new political party Thursday, contended that the impugned enactment violated the basic feature of federalism.
“The President without applying mind, simply acted on the aid and advise of the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister in introducing the Bill in the Parliament after the State Legislature returned back by Resolution dated January 30,” stated his petition, drawn by advocate A D N Rao.
The plea claimed that in the absence of an affirmative resolution by the State Legislature, no state could be bifurcated or its boundaries affected and a law to be made in that regard must also have the assent of one half of the states of the Union.
“The Bill is vitiated as the President failed to exercise his discretion and simply acted upon the advise of the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister. The said action is unjust, unfair and unreasonable and hit at the doctrine of basic structure and equality clause,” it said.
Reddy has also sought an inquiry into as to what transpired in the Lok Sabha when the Telangana Bill was introduced since the proceedings were not telecast and a blackout was declared on the ground of technical reasons. The petition has requested the court to summon the proceedings and records of the Lok Sabha in respect to the discussion on the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill.
“The entire process went in hurry with a view to prevailing situation that the sitting of the Parliament almost comes to end and the announcement for the process of General Elections for 2014 was fast approaching. The matter has not received such scrutiny and attention as it demanded at all levels,” he claimed.
Reddy urged the court to scrutinise the “real purpose” behind the Act, which he said was liable to be struck down as violative of basic structure of the Constitution, unjust, unfair and unreasonable to the people of Andhra region.
The petition also invoked an assurance made by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the Parliament in 1972 that the state would not be divided under any circumstances. It questioned if this assurance “could be over turned by bifurcation of the State of Andhra Pradesh without any rational basis unsupported by the findings of an expert body as to the necessity of bifurcation.”
“When a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court declared that the Indian States are permanent entities, destroying one entity by splitting up the same into two is obviously an unconstitutional act forbidden by the federal principle, a basic feature of the Constitution,” it added.