Article 2 & 3 – Polity – Module 2

Article 2 : Admission or establishment of new States, Article 3 : Formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States,

Article 2 : Admission or establishment of new States

Parliament may by law admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.

  • Article 2 empowers the Parliament to ‘admit into the Union of India, or establish, new states on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit’. Thus, Article 2 grants two powers to the Parliament: (a) the power to admit into the Union of India new states; and (b) the power to establish new states.
  • Article 2 relates to the admission or establishment of new states that are not part of the Union of India. Article 3, on the other hand, relates to the formation of or changes in the existing states of the Union of India.
  • Like Indian parliament admitted the French settlements of Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe & Yanam , the Portuguese settlements of Goa Daman & Diu and Sikkim etc.

Article 2A:  [Sikkim to be associated with the Union.] Rep. by the

Constitution (Thirty-sixth Amendment) Act, 1975, s. 5 (w.e.f.

26-4-1975).

Article 3 : Formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States

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;
(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.

Explanation I: In this article, in clauses (a) to (e), “State” includes a Union territory, but in the proviso, “State” does not include a Union territory.
Explanation II: The power conferred on Parliament by clause (a) includes the power to form a new State or Union territory by uniting a part of any other State or Union territory to any other State of Union territory.

  • A bill contemplating the above changes can be introduced in the Parliament only with the prior recommendation of the President; and two, before recommending the bill, the President has to refer the same to the state legislature concerned for expressing its views within a specified period. The time limit may be extended.
  • The power of Parliament to form new states includes the power to form a new state or union territory by uniting a part of any state or union territory to any other state or union territory.
  • The President (or Parliament) is not bound by the views of the state legislature and may either accept or reject them, even if the views are received in time.
  • Further, it is not necessary to make a fresh reference to the state legislature every time an amendment to the bill is moved and accepted in Parliament.
  • In case of a union territory, no reference need be made to the concerned legislature to ascertain its views and the Parliament can itself take any action as it deems fit.
  • Hence, the territorial integrity or continued existence of any state is not guaranteed by the Constitution. Therefore, India is rightly described as ‘an indestructible union of destructible states’. The Union government can destroy the states whereas the state governments cannot destroy the Union. USA is described as ‘an indestructible union of indestructible states.
  • The Constitution (Article 4) itself declares that laws made for admission or establishment of new states (under Article 2) and formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing states (under Articles 3) are not to be considered as amendments of the Constitution under Article 368. This means that such laws can be passed by a simple majority and by the ordinary legislative process.
  • Does the power of Parliament to diminish the areas of a state (under Article 3) include also the power to cede Indian territory to a foreign country? This question came up for examination before the Supreme Court in a reference made by the President in 1960. The decision of the Central government to cede part of a territory known as Berubari Union (West Bengal) to Pakistan led to political agitation and controversy and thereby necessitated the Presidential reference. The Supreme Court held that the power of Parliament to diminish the area of a state (under Article 3) does not cover cession of Indian territory to a foreign country.
Berubari
  • Hence, Indian Territory can be ceded to a foreign state only by amending the Constitution under Article 368. Consequently, the 9th Constitutional Amendment Act (1960) was enacted to transfer the said territory to Pakistan.
  • The 100th Constitutional Amendment Act (2015) was enacted to give effect to the acquiring of certain territories by India and transfer of certain other territories to Bangladesh in pursuance of the agreement and its protocol entered into between the Governments of India and Bangladesh. Under this deal, India transferred 111 enclaves to Bangladesh, while Bangladesh transferred 51 enclaves to India. In addition, the deal also involved the transfer of adverse possessions and the demarcation of a 6.1-km un-demarcated border stretch.
  • For these three purposes, the amendment modified the provisions relating to the territories of four states (Assam, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Tripura) in the First Schedule of the Constitution.
  • The India-East Pakistan land boundary was determined as per the Radcliffe Award of 1947.

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