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Report No. 249

Chapter 4

State Reorganisation Law's Recommended for Partial Repeal

4.1 This Chapter looks at the status of certain State reorganisation laws, which were also considered by the PC Jain Commission Report. The PC Jain Commission Report listed 35 State reorganisation Acts in its Appendix B and recommended that these reorganisation Acts should be reviewed to consider repeal of some of them which are not relevant.

4.2 The Law Commission is of the opinion that not all these State reorganisation acts can be repealed in their entirety. State reorganisation acts were enacted not only to alter the boundaries of existing States but also to provide for various matters connected therewith. The Parliament was mindful of the fact that State reorganisation would give rise to numerous complex problems and therefore included provisions in these Acts to address these problems on an ongoing basis.

In State of Maharashtra v. Narayan Shamrao Puranik and Ors. [(1982) 3 SCC 519], the Supreme Court held that the State Reorganisation Act, 1956 is a permanent piece of legislation on the statute book, the provisions of which, unless a different intention appears, may be used from time to time to address the problems that arose out of State reorganisation.

The Supreme Court placed reliance on Section 14 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 which provides that where, by any Central Act or Regulation, any power is conferred, then that power may be exercised from time to time when occasion arises.

The Supreme Court categorically dismissed the view that the State reorganisation acts are transitory in nature and held that the powers conferred by these Acts have not 'ebbed out' by lapse of time. Consequently, State reorganisation acts have been in use for matters incidental to State reorganisation, long after the reorganisation was completed. For instance, in 2012, the power under the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971 was exercised to establish the High Courts of Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura.

4.3 Certain provisions of the State reorganisation acts, therefore, are still relevant and cannot be repealed, while others are transitory in nature and may be removed. This Chapter therefore makes recommendations on the partial repeal of State reorganisation acts, as detailed below.

4.4 Out of the 35 State reorganisation acts mentioned in Appendix of the PC Jain Commission Report, 7 were repealed in 2001 by the Two-Member Constituency (Abolition) and other Laws Repeal Act. The Repeal Act of 2001 only repealed those Acts which effected the alteration of names of certain States and those which abolished Legislative Councils in certain States. Out of the 28 that remain, one has been recommended for complete repeal in the 248th Report of the Law Commission on Obsolete Laws Repeal (Chapter 4, No. 60).

Two more have been recommended for wholesale repeal in Chapter 2 of this interim report (Nos. 71 and 74). The following are the remaining State reorganisation acts listed in the PC Jain Commission Report, which in the view of the Law Commission of India are appropriate for partial repeal. This list only includes Acts which have been passed more than 25 years ago; State reorganisation acts of a more recent vintage have not been included in this study.

1. The Part B States (Laws) Act, Act 3 of 1951

2. The Assam (Alteration of Boundaries) Act, Act 47 of 1951

3. The Andhra State Act, Act 30 of 1953

4. The Acquired Territories (Merger) Act, Act 20 of 1954

5. The Himachal Pradesh and Bilaspur (New State) Act, Act 32 of 1954

6. The States Reorganisation Act, Act 37 of 1956

7. The Bihar and West Bengal (Transfer of Territories) Act, Act 40 of 1956

8. The Naga Hills-Tuensang Areas Act, Act 42 of 1957

9. The Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (Transfer of Territories) Act, Act 47 of 1959

10. The Andhra Pradesh and Madras (Alteration of Boundaries) Act, Act 56 of 1959

11. The Bombay Reorganisation Act, Act 11 of 1960

12. The Dadra and Nagar Haveli Act, Act 35 of 1961

13. The Goa, Daman and Diu (Administration) Act, Act 1 of 1962

14. The State of Nagaland Act, Act 27 of 1962

15. The Pondicherry (Administration) Act, Act 49 of 1962

16. The Punjab Reorganisation Act, Act 31 of 1966

17. The Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (Alteration of Boundaries) Act, Act 24 of 1968

18. The Andhra Pradesh and Mysore (Transfer of Territory) Act, Act 36 of 1968

19. The Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act, Act 55 of 1969

20. The State of Himachal Pradesh Act, Act 53 of 1970

21. The North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, Act 81 of 1971

22. The Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (Alteration of Boundaries) Act, Act 31 of 1978

23. The State of Mizoram Act, Act 34 of 1986

24. The State of Arunachal Pradesh Act, Act 69 of 1986

25. The Goa, Daman and Diu Reorganisation Act, Act 18 of 1987

4.5 Each of these statutes contain similar sets of provisions, which fall into certain categories. Some of these categories are suitable for repeal, while others cannot be done away with at present. Therefore, each of these categories have been studied below, to arrive at recommendations on whether they can be repealed:


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