Constitutional law for forming a new State

In this article, I have given the Constitutional framework behind the formation of a new State. I have given an overview of the process involved before a new State can be carved out of an existing one.

Formation of a new State

The Constitution of India came into being on November 26th, 1949 which enshrined the powers of formation a new state to the Centre alone. This was done so as to ensure that reckless division of states for the petty motives driven by Constitution of Indialinguistic and cultural considerations of local leaders may not affect the ultimate goal of 'national integrity' which our nation strives for. So the Article 3 of our constitution laid down the rules of balkanization of a state, the powers of which are vested in the Parliament which subject to consideration may pass the law after careful deliberation.

The Process

First of all, for the formation of a state, the State Legislature needs to give its approval which is done by passing it as a resolution. Once approved, it is then forwarded to the Centre. As per the Article 3, it is mandatory that the Head of the Nation, the President initiate the process of introducing it in the Parliament and then the resolution of the State is either approved or disapproved by the Parliament.

In case, the Parliament approves the State's recommendation, it is introduced in either House of the Parliament as a bill. Upon discussions and deliberations, debates and recommendations, the Presidential reference is sent back to the State Legislature which is supposed to review the said changes that have made to the original recommendations of the State. That includes merging of two or more states or union territories (Article 3A), changes in the boundaries of the new states that to be carved out (Article 3B, 3C, 3D), the sharing of waters, formation of High Court, fixing of state capital, change of name for the proposed new state (Article 3E) etc.

This drafted Bill is reviewed by the State Assembly and is supposed to send its deliberations and apprehensions of the changes made by the Centre within a particular period as specified by the President or included in the Reference; framed by the Fifth Amendment Act of 1955. In case, the State Assembly fails to reach to a conclusion or is in disarray with the changes brought in by the Centre, the President has every right to quash the State government's opinion in this regard and holds all the power to press on with the said proposition.

So approved by the State Assembly, a new Bill is introduced into the Parliament which is to be ratified and approve the formation of new states from the existing ones.


So as we can see, the State Government has virtually no say in matters of formation of the States other than providing an opinion as to what is the general consensus of the local people who are going to come under the hammer once the proposed Bill for formation of a new State comes into act. A number of such Acts were passed post-independence, such as the State Reorganisation Act of 1956 giving rise to southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu; Madhya Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2000 leading to the formation of Chattisgarh; Bihar Reorganisation Act 2000 (Jharkhand); Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2000 (Uttaranchal; now Uttarkhand).

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