Objections and observations on the Draft Bill

Note on the Draft Bill 1

By Sujai Karampuri

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Telangana and the new Andhra Pradesh will have a common Governor. But there is no mention when this arrangement would end. Instead of leaving this to be determined by the President, we should move for a change in the bill to make it explicit that this arrangement will cease to exist once the new Andhra Pradesh moves out of Hyderabad to their new capital city. That means that we accept a common Governor as a mandatory clause only as long as Hyderabad serves as common capital for the two new successor states.

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The above explanation for appointing Common Governor mentions ten-year period but it is not explicitly mentioned in the Clause 7 above.

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The Governor is also given the responsibility to allocate the Government buildings to the new successor states. Such a proposal might have been made to facilitate common capital for two states, but it is not clear what provision in the Indian Constitution is used to give these powers to the Governor.

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This is borrowed from Article 371 H applicable to Arunachal Pradesh, where the Governor is in control of law and order for the state. Article 371H reads as:

371H. Special provision with respect to the State of Arunachal Pradesh Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution,

(a) the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh shall have special responsibility with respect to law and order in the State of Arunachal Pradesh and in the discharge of his functions in relation thereto, the Governor shall, after consulting the Council of Ministers, exercise his individual judgment as to the action to be taken: Provided that if any question arises whether any matter is or is not a matter as respects which the Governor is under this clause required to act in the exercise of his individual judgment, the decision of the Governor in his discretion shall be final, and the validity of anything done by the Governor shall not be called in question on the ground that he ought or ought not to have acted in the exercise of his individual judgment: Provided further that if the President on receipt of a report from the Governor or otherwise is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the Governor to have special responsibility with respect to law and order in the State of Arunachal Pradesh, he may by order direct that the Governor shall cease to have such responsibility with effect from such date as may be specified in the order;

While we can understand why such a provision was created for Arunachal Pradesh, it is not clear how the same can be applied to the GHMC area of Hyderabad. China lays claim over Arunachal Pradesh and in 1962 it invaded India to occupy Tawang, a city in Arunachal Pradesh. No such external threat exists for Hyderabad. While Article 371 H was not recommended for Hyderabad, why the same provision is still applied for the city is confusing. The explanation given by the GoM (below) is not good enough. These reasons are applicable to almost all cities in India. Would all these Indian cities now handover law & order to the State Governor?

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Also, there is no expiry date on this provision. There is a danger that this could continue indefinitely. We should make sure that this provision expires the day Hyderabad ceases to be the common capital for two successor states. This clause has to be changed accordingly to carry the expiry date.