28 August 1959
Supreme Court


Case number: Appeal (civil) 342 of 1956






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 28/08/1959


CITATION:  1960 AIR   51            1960 SCR  (1) 605  CITATOR INFO :  RF         1973 SC1461  (1945)

ACT:        States,   Reorganisation   of-Modification.   of   Bill   by        Parliament  Such modification, if must be refered  to  State        Legislature-Constitution  of India, Art.  3,  Proviso-States        Reorganisation Act, 1956 (XXXVII Of 1956), s. 8(1).

HEADNOTE: A  Bill introduced in the House of the People on the  report of  the States Reorganisation Commission and as  recommended by  the  President  under  the proviso  to  Art.  3  Of  the Constitution,  contained  a proposal for  the  formation  of three  separate units, viz., (1) Union territory of  Bombay, (2) Maharashtra, including Marathawada and Vidarbha and  (3) Gujrat,  including  Saurashtra  and Cutch.   This  Bill  was referred   by  the  President  to  the  State   Legislatures concerned  and  their  views  obtained.   The  joint  Select Committee  of  the House of the People (Lok Sabha)  and  the Council  of  States (Rajya Sabha) considered the  -Bill  and made  its report.  Subsequently, Parliament amended some  of the  clauses and passed the Bill which came to be  known  as the  States Reorganisation Act, 1956.  That Act by  s.  8(1) constituted a composite State of Bombay instead of the three separate  units  as originally proposed in  the  Bill.   The petition  , out of which the present appeal has arisen,  was filed by the appellant under Art. 226 of the Constitution in the High Court of Bombay.  His contention was that the  said Act was passed in contravention of the provisions of Art.  3 of the Constitution, since the Legislature of Bombay had not been  given  an opportunity of expressing its views  on  the formation of the composite State.  The High Court  dismissed the petition. Held,  that the proviso to Art. 3 lays down  two  conditions and  under  the second condition therein  stated,  what  the President  has  to refer to the State  Legislature  for  its opinion  is the proposal contained in the Bill.  On  a  true construction,  the  proviso  does not  contemplate  that  if Parliament  subsequently modifies that proposal, there  must



be  a  fresh  bill  or  a  fresh  reference  to  the   State Legislature. The  word ’State’ in Art. 3 of the Constitution has  obvious reference  to Art. i and the States mentioned in  the  First Schedule   to   the   Constitution,   and   the   expression ’Legislature  of the State’ means the Legislature of such  a State.  There are, therefore, no reasons for the application of  any  special doctrine of democratic theory  or  practice prevalent  in other countries in interpreting  those  words; nor any justification for giving an extended meaning to  the word ’State’ in determining the true scope and effect of the proviso. 77 606 The requirements of Art.  IV, s. 3 of the American Constitu- tion  are  materially  different from those  of  the  second proviso   to  Art.  3  Of  the  Indian   Constitution   and, consequently,  decisions  based  on the former  are  not  in point. State of Louisiana v. State Of Mississipi, (1905) 202 U.S. I and State of Washington v. State of Oregon, (19O8) 2II  U.S. 127, held inapplicable. State  of  ’Texas v.. George W. White, (1869)  74  U.S.  700 referred to. It  is  not correct to contend that the word ’Bill’  in  the proviso  must be interpreted to include an amendment of  any of  the  clauses  of  the Bill or  at  least  a  substantial amendment  thereof, and that any proposal contained in  such amendment  must be referred back to the  State  Legislature. Such an interpretation of Art. 3 will nullify the effect  of Art.  122(1) and is untenable in view of the  provisions  in Arts. 117 and 118 of the Constitution. Although the formation of a composite State in terms of s. 8 of  the Act was without doubt a substantial modification  of the  proposal as originally contained in the Bill, it  could not  be said that the said modification was not  germane  to the subject matter of the original proposal or was a  direct negative  thereof,  so  as  to be beyond  the  scope  of  an amendment. T.   H.  Vakil v. Bombay Presidency Radio Club Ltd.,  (1944) 47 Bom.  L.R- 428, applied. Therefore, the Act could not be held to have been enacted in violation of Art. 3 Of the Constitution.

JUDGMENT:        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No. 342 of 1956.        Appeal from the judgment and order dated September  14,1956,        of  the Bombay High Court, in Special Civil Application  No.        2496 of 1956.        R.   V. S. Mani, for the appellant.        C.   K. Daphtary, Solicitor-General of India, B. Sen, and R.        H. Dhebar, for the respondents.        1959.   August 28.  The Judgment of the Court was  delivered        by        S.   K. DAS J.-This is an appeal on a certificate granted by        the  High  Court  of  Bombay  under  Art.  132  (1)  of  the        Constitution, and the question involved in the appeal is the        true  scope  and  effect  of Art.  3  of  the  Constitution,        particularly  of the proviso thereto as it stands after  the        Constitution (Fifth Amendment) Act, 1955,        607        On  December  22, 1953, the Prime Minister of India  made  a        statement  in  Parliament to the effect  that  a  Commission



      would   be   appointed   to  examine   "   objectively   and        dispassionately’-’ the question of the reorganisation of the        States  of  the Indian Union " so that the  welfare  of  the        people  of each constituent unit as well as the nation as  a        whole is promoted ". This was followed by the appointment of        a Commission under a resolution of the Union Government  in.        the Ministry of Home Affairs, dated December 29, 1953.   The        Commission  submitted its report in due course and on  April        18,  1956; a Bill was introduced in the House of the  People        (Lok Sabha) entitled The States Reorganisation Bill (No.  30        of 1956).  Clauses 8, 9 and 10 of the said Bill contained  a        proposal for the formation of three separate units,  namely,        (1)  Union  territory of Bombay ; (2) State  of  Maharashtra        including  Marathawada  and  Vidharbha;  and  (3)  State  of        Gujurat  including  Saurashtra  and  Cutch.   The  Bill  was        introduced in the House of the People on the  recommendation        of  the President, as required by the proviso to art.  3  of        the  Constitution.  It was then referred to a  Joint  Select        Committee  of  the House of the People (Lok Sabha)  and  the        Council of State (Rajya Sabha).  The Joint Select  Committee        made  its report on July 16, 1956.  Some of the  clauses  of        the  Bill were amended in Parliament and on being passed  by        both  Houses, it received the President’s assent  on  August        31, 1956, and became known as the States Reorganisation Act,        1956 (37 of 1956) hereinafter called the Act.        It  is  necessary  to read here s. 8(1)  of  the  Act  which        instead  of constituting three separate units as  originally        proposed in the Bill constituted a composite State of Bombay        as stated therein.        " S.8 (1): As from the appointed day, there shall be  formed        a  new  Part  A State to be known as  the  State  of  Bombay        comprising the following territories, namely :- -        (a)  the  territories  of  the  existing  State  of  Bombay,        excluding-        608        (i)  Bijapur,  Dharwar  and Kanara  districts  and.  Belgaum        district except Chandgad taluka; and        (ii) Abu Road taluka of Banaskantha district;        (b)  Aurangabad,  Parbhani,  Bhir and  Osmanabad  districts,        Ahmadpur,  Nilanga,  and  Udgir taluks  of  Bidar  district,        Nanded  district  (except Bichkonda and  Jukkal  circles  of        Deglur taluk and Modhol, Bhiansa and Kuber circles of Modhol        taluk)  and Islapur circle of Boath taluk, Kinwat taluk  and        Rajura taluk of Adilabad district, in the existing State  of        Hyderabad,        (c)  Buldana,  Akola,  Amaravati, Yeotmal,  Wardha,  Nagpur,        Bhandara  and  Chanda  districts in the  existing  State  of        Madhya Pradesh;        (d)  the  territories of the existing State  of  Saurashtra;        and        (e)  the  territories  of the existing State of  Kutch;  and        thereupon  the said territories shall cease to form part  of        the  existing States of Bombay, Hyderabad,  Madhya  Pradesh,        Saurashtra and Kutch, respectively."        The  appointed day from which the new State of  Bombay  came        into existence was defined in the Act as meaning November 1,        1956.  But before that date, to wit, on September 12,  1956,        the appellant herein filed a petition under Art. 226 of  the        Constitution  in the High Court of Judicature at  Bombay  in        which  he alleged, in substance, that the formation  of  the        composite  State of Bombay as one unit instead of the  three        separate   units   as  originally  proposed  in   the   Bill        contravened  Art.  3 of the Constitution,  inasmuch  as  the        Legislature  of  the State of Bombay had no  opportunity  of        expressing  its views on the formation of such  a  composite



      State.  The appellant asked for a declaration that s. 8  and        other consequential provisions of the Act were null and void        and  prayed  for  an appropriate writ  directing  the  State        Government of Bombay and the Union Government not to enforce        and implement the same.  This writ petition was heard by the        Bombay High Court on September 14, 1956, and by its judgment        of even date, the High        609        Court  dismissed  the petition, holding that  there  was  no        violation  or contravention of Art. 3 of  the  Constitution.        The appellant then obtained the necessary certificate  under        Art.  132(1)  of the Constitution, and filed his  appeal  in        this  Court  on  October 18, 1956 on the  strength  of  that        certificate.        Now,  it  is both convenient and advisable to read  at  this        stage  Art.  3  of  the  Constitution,  as  amended  by  the        Constitution  (Fifth  Amendment)  Act,  1955,  the   alleged        violation  of which is the main ground of attack by  learned        counsel for the appellant.        " Art. 3: Parliament may by law-        (a)  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 ;        (b)  increase the area of any State;        (c)  diminish the area of any State;        (d)  alter the boundaries of any State; and        (e)  alter the name of any State ;        Provided that no Bill for the purpose shall be introduced in        either  House of Parliament except on the recommendation  of        the  President and unless, where the proposal  contained  in        the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of  the        States  the Bill has been referred by the President  to  the        Legislature  of that State for expressing its views  thereon        within  such period as may be specified in the reference  or        within  such further period as the President may  allow  and        the period so specified or allowed has expired.  "        It is clear that by its substantive part the Article gives a        certain  power to Parliament, viz., the power to make a  law        in respect of any of the five matters mentioned in cls.  (a)        to (e) thereof.  This power includes the making of a law  to        increase  the  area of any State; diminish the area  of  any        State;  and  alter the name of any State.   The  substantive        part  is  followed  by a proviso, which  lays  down  certain        conditions for the exercise of the Power.  It states that no        Bill  for  the purpose (the word " purpose "  obviously  has        reference        610        to  the  power  of  making law in  respect  of  the  matters        mentioned  in the substantive part) shall be  introduced  in        either  House of Parliament except on the recommendation  of        the  President and unless, where the proposal  contained  in        the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of  the        States,  the Bill has been referred by the President to  the        Legislature of that State for expressing its views  thereon.        Thus,  the proviso lays down two conditions: one is that  no        Bill shall be introduced except on the recommendation of the        President,  and  the  second condition  is  that  where  the        proposal contained in the Bill affects the area,  boundaries        or name of any of the States, the Bill has to be referred by        the President to the Legislature of the State for expressing        its  views  thereon.   The period  within  which  the  State        Legislature  must express its views has to be  specified  by        the  President; but the President may extend the  period  so        specified.   If, however, the period specified  or  extended        expires and no views of the State Legislature are  received,



      the  second condition laid down in the proviso is  fulfilled        in spite of the fact that the views of the State Legislature        have not been expressed.  The intention seems to be to  give        an opportunity to the State Legislature to express its views        within  the time allowed; if the State Legislature fails  to        avail  itself  of that opportunity, such  failure  does  not        invalidate  the  introduction  of the Bill.   Nor  is  there        anything  in  the proviso to indicate that  Parliament  must        accept  or  act  upon the views of  the  State  Legislature.        Indeed, two State Legislatures may express totally divergent        views.   All that is contemplated is that Parliament  should        have before it the views of the State Legislatures as to the        proposals  contained  in the Bill and then be free  to  deal        with  the  Bill in any manner it thinks fit,  following  the        usual  practice  and procedure prescribed by and  under  the        rules of business.  Thus the essential content of the second        condition  is a reference by the President of  the  proposal        contained  in the bill to the State Legislature  to  express        its views. thereon within the time allowed.  It is worthy of        note, and this has been properly emphasised in the  judgment        of the High        611        Court, that what has to be referred to the State Legislature        by the President is the proposal contained in the Bill.  The        proviso  does not say that if and when a proposal  contained        in  the  Bill  is  modified  subsequently  by  an  amendment        properly  moved and accepted in Parliament, there must be  a        fresh  reference to the State Legislature and a  fresh  bill        must  be  introduced.  It was pointed out in the  course  of        arguments  that  if the second condition  required  a  fresh        reference  and  a fresh bill for every amendment,  it  might        result  in  an interminable process; because any  and  every        amendment  of  the original proposal contained in  the  Bill        would then necessitate a fresh Bill and a fresh reference to        the State Legislature.  Other difficulties might also  arise        if such a construction were put on the proviso; for example,        in a case where two or three States were involved, different        views  might be expressed by the Legislatures  of  different        States.   If Parliament were to accept the views of  one  of        the  Legislatures  and not of the other, a  fresh  reference        would  still be necessary by reason of any amendment in  the        original proposal contained in the Bill.        We are referring to these difficulties not because we  think        that  a forced meaning should be given to the words  of  the        proviso  to avoid certain difficulties which may arise.   We        are  of  the view that the words of the  proviso  are  clear        enough and bear their ordinary plain meaning.  According  to        the  accepted connotation of the words used in the  proviso,        the second condition means what it states and what has to be        referred to the State Legislature is the proposal  contained        in  the Bill; it has no such drastic effect as to require  a        fresh  reference  every time an amendment  of  the  proposal        contained  in the Bill is moved and accepted  in  accordance        with the rules of procedure of Parliament.        That in the present case the States Reorganisation Bill  was        introduced  on the recommendation of the President  has  not        been  disputed; nor has it been disputed that  the  proposal        contained in the Bill was referred to the State Legislatures        concerned  and  their  views  were  received,  According  to        learned counsel for        612        the appellant, however, this was not enough compliance  with        the  second  condition  of  the proviso.   He  has  put  his        argument  in several ways.  Firstly, he has  contended  that        the  word  "  State " in Art. 3 should  be  given  a  larger



      connotation  so  as  to  mean and  include  not  merely  the        geographical  entity  called the State, but  its  people  as        well: this, according to learned counsel for the  appellant,        is  the  " democratic process " incorporated in Art.  3  and        according to this democratic process, so learned counsel has        argued,  the representatives of the people of the  State  of        Bombay  assembled in the State Legislature should have  been        given an opportunity of expressing their views not merely on        the  proposal originally contained in the Bill, but  on  any        substantial  modification thereof.  Secondly  and  following        the same line of argument, he has contended that the word  "        Bill " should be given an extended meaning so as to  include        any  amendment, at least any substantial amendment,  of  the        proposal  contained  in  the  Bill;  and  thirdly,  he   has        contended  that in the present case the formation of  a  new        Bombay  State  as one unit was so different from  the  three        units originally proposed in the Bill that it was not really        an  amendment of the original proposal but a new I  proposal        altogether for which a fresh Bill and a fresh reference were        necessary.        We  proceed  now  to  consider  these  contentions.   It  is        necessary  to  state  at  the outset that  our  task  is  to        determine on a proper construction the true scope and effect        of Art. 3 of the Constitution, with particular reference  to        the  second condition laid down by the proviso thereto.   We        bring to our task such considerations as are germane to  the        interpretation   of   an   organic   instrument   like   the        Constitution;  but  it will be improper to import  into  the        question of construction doctrines of democratic theory  and        practice  obtaining  in other countries,  unrelated  to  the        tenor,  scheme and words of the provisions which we have  to        construe.  In plain and unambiguous language, the proviso to        Art.  3 of the Constitution states that where  the  proposal        contained  in the Bill affects the area, boundaries or  name        of any of the States, the Bill must be referred by the                         613        President to the Legislature of the State for expressing its        views.   It  does  not  appear to us  that  any  special  or        recondite  doctrine  of " democratic process "  is  involved        therein.  Learned counsel for the appellant has invited  our        attention  to Art.  IV, s. 3, of the  American  Constitution        which says inter alia that " no new State shall be formed or        erected within the jurisdiction of any other State, nor  any        State  be  formed by the junction of two or more  States  or        parts  of States without the consent of the Legislatures  of        the  State  concerned  as well as  of  the  Congress."  That        provision  is  quite  different  from  the  proviso  we  are        considering:  the former requires the consent of  the  State        Legislature whereas the essential requirement of our proviso        is  a, reference by the President of the proposal  contained        in  the  Bill for the expression of its views by  the  State        Legislature.   For  this  reason we do not  think  that  the        decisions  relied  on by learned counsel for  the  appellant        (State of Louisiana v. State of Mississipi (1), and State of        Washington  v.  State  of  Oregon(1))  are  in  point.   The        expression  I  State’  occurs in Art. 3,  and  as  has  been        observed in the State of Texas v. George W. White (3),  that        expression  may  have  different meanings:  it  may  mean  a        territorial  region, or people united in political  relation        living  in  that region or it may refer  to  the  government        under  which  the  people live or it  may  even  convey  the        combined idea of territory, people and government.   Article        1  of our Constitution says that India is a Union of  States        and the States and the territories thereof are specified  in        a   Schedule.   There  is,  therefore,  no   difficulty   in



      understanding  what  is meant by the expression  ’State’  in        Art.  3.  It  obviously refers to the States  in  the  First        Schedule  and the I Legislature of the State’ refers to  the        Legislature  which  each State has under  the  Constitution.        That being the position we see no reasons for importing into        the Construction of Art. 3 any doctrinaire consideration  of        the  sanctity of the rights of States or even for giving  an        extended  meaning  to  the  expression  I  State’  occurring        therein.  None of the constituent units of the        (1) (1905) 202 U.S. 1.             (2) (1908) 211 U.S. 127.        (3)  (i869) 74 U.S. 700.        78        614        Indian Union was sovereign and independent in the sense  the        American  colonies  or the Swiss Cantons  were  before  they        formed  their federal unions.  The Constituent  Assembly  of        India,  deriving  its power from the sovereign  people,  was        unfettered   by  any  previous  commitment  in  evolving   a        constitutional   pattern   suitable  to   the   genius   and        requirements  of the Indian people as a whole.  Unlike  some        other  federal  legislatures, Parliament,  representing  the        people  of  India  as  a whole, has  been  vested  with  the        exclusive  power  of admitting or establishing  new  States,        increasing  or diminishing the area of an existing State  or        altering its boundaries, the Legislature or Legislatures  of        the States concerned having only the right to an  expression        of  views  on  the proposals.  It is  significant  that  for        making such territorial adjustments it is not necessary even        to   invoke   the   provisions   governing    constitutional        amendments.        The  second  line  of argument presented on  behalf  of  the        appellant  is that the word I Bill’ in the proviso  must  be        interpreted to include an amendment of any of the clauses of        the  Bill, at least any substantial amendment  thereof,  and        any proposal contained in such amendment must be referred to        the  State Legislature for expression of its views.   We  do        not think that this interpretation is correct.  Wherever the        introduction  of  an  amendment is subject  to  a  condition        precedent,  as in the case of financial bills,  the  Consti-        tution has used the expression I A bill or amendments’, e.g.        in Art. 117.  No such expression occurs in art 3.  Secondly,        under Art. 118 Parliament has power to make rules of its own        procedure  and conduct of business, including the moving  of        amendments  etc.  Rule 80 of the rules of procedure  of  the        House  of  the People (Lok Sabha) lays down  the  conditions        which  govern the admissibility of amendments to clauses  or        schedules  of a Bill, and one of the conditions is  that  an        amendment shall be within the scope of the Bill and relevant        to  the  subject matter of the clause to which  it  relates.        Article  122 (1) of the Constitution says that the  validity        of  any  proceedings in Parliament shall not  be  called  in        question on the ground of any alleged        615        irregularity of procedure.  In view of these provisions,  we        cannot accept an interpretation of Art. 3 which may  nullify        the effect of Art. 122, an interpretation moreover which  is        based not on the words used therein but on certain  abstract        and somewhat illusory ideas of what learned counsel for  the        appellant has characterised as the democratic process.        We recognise that the formation of a new composite State  of        Bombay as in s. 8 of the Act was a substantial  modification        of  the  original proposal of three units contained  in  the        Bill.  That, however, does not mean that it was not a proper        amendment  of  the  original  proposal  or  that  the  State        Legislature  had no opportunity of expressing its  views  on



      all aspects of the subject matter of the proposal.  The High        Court  rightly pointed out that in the debates in the  State        Legislature  several members spoke in favour of a  composite        State  of Bombay.  The point to note is that many  different        views were expressed in respect of the subject matter of the        original proposal of three units, and as a matter of fact it        cannot be said that-the State Legislature had no opportunity        of  expressing  its views in favour of  one  composite  unit        instead of three units if it so desired.  It cannot be  said        that  the  proposal  of one unit instead of  three  was  not        relevant or pertinent to the subject matter of the  original        proposal.  ID  T. H. Vakil v. Bombay Presidency  Radio  Club        Ltd.  (1),  a  decision on which  learned  counsel  for  the        appellant has relied, the question arose of the power of the        chairman  of a club to rule an amendment out of  order.   It        was  said therein that (1) an amendment must be  germane  to        the  subject-matter of the original proposition and  (2)  it        must not be a direct negative thereof.  Judged by these  two        conditions, it cannot be said that the proposal of one  unit        instead  of three was not germane to the  subject-matter  of        the original proposal or was a direct negative thereof.   We        are  unable,  therefore, to accept the third  contention  of        learned  counsel  for the appellant to the effect  that  the        formation of a new Bombay State as envisaged in s. 8 of  the        Act  was so completely divorced from the proposal  contained        in        (1)  (1944) 47 Bom.  L.R. 428.        616        the  Bill that it was in reality a new bill and therefore  a        fresh reference was necessary.        It is advisable, perhaps, to add a few more words about Art.        122(1)  of  the  Constitution.   Learned  counsel  for   the        appellant has posed before us the question as to what  would        be  the  effect of that Article. if in any  Bill  completely        unrelated  to any of the matters referred to in Cls. (a)  to        (e)  of Art. 3 an amendment was to be proposed and  accepted        changing (for example) the name of a State.  We do not think        that  we  need answer such a  hypothetical  question  except        merely  to say that if an amendment is of such  a  character        that it is not really an amendment and is clearly  violative        of  Art.  the  question then will be  not  the  validity  of        proceedings   in   Parliament  but  the   violation   of   a        constitutional   provision.   That,  however,  is  not   the        position in the present case.         For  these reasons, we hold that there was no violation  of        Art. 3 and the Act or any of its provisions are not  invalid        on that ground.         The appeal accordingly fails and is dismissed with costs.                                                 Appeal dismissed.