The Supreme Court will Friday hear two petitions seeking the quashing of the draft Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill for carving out Telangana on grounds that it was violative of the principles of federalism and the basic structure of the constitution.
The petitions are filed by K. Raghu Ramakrishnan Raju and advocate Satish Gala and another by Delhi-based PIL lawyer M.L. Sharma
Ramakrishnan Raju, who has described himself as an industrialist, philanthropist and social activist, and Gala have sought quashing of the reorganisation bill as it was “malafide and violative of the law laid down” by the apex court with respect to “federalism as the basic structure of the constitution”.
On the other hand, Sharma seeks to restrain the government from going ahead with the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to carve out a separate Telangana.
Ramakrishnan Raju and Gala have challenged the validity of the consultative process prescribed under article 3 of the constitution under which the president has to send the bill for formation of a new state to the assembly of the state – from which the new one has to be carved out – for its views and shall after a prescribed time send the same to parliament for appropriate legislation.
Pointing to the political considerations in rushing the bill for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and creation of Telangana, the petitioner said the Andhra Pradesh chief minister had sought four weeks’ time for the assembly to consider the bill but was given just one week.
The petition on behalf of the petitioners moved by advocate N. Rajaraman said the Congress Working Committee after having failed the regional aspirations of Seemandhra people have forced this Telangana bill with ulterior motive for reaping electoral gains at least in the Telangana region.
It was for this reason that the bill for the creation of Telangana was being rushed through parliament bypassing the consultative process and the procedural requirements under article 368 with respect to article 371E, it said.
The plea said the president was presented with a draft bill to be forwarded to the Andhra Pradesh assembly for the carving out of Telangana which was incomplete and defective and thus was liable to be struck down by the apex court for the breach of the consultative process provided under article 3.
Sharma in his PIL said that under article 3, the president can’t recommend the bill to be introduced in parliament contrary to the wishes/resolution of the state assembly.
He contended that the president was not empowered to accept the draft bill against the resolution of the state assembly.
The Andhra Pradesh assembly, while rejecting the reorganisation bill, resolved to request the president “not to recommend it for introduction in parliament as the bill seeks to bifurcate the state of Andhra Pradesh without any reason/basis and without arriving at a consensus, in utter disregard to the linguistic and cultural homogeneity and economic and administrative viability of both regions”.