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Latest Posts

16 Aug 2017

India and China hold border meet, discuss peace a day after Ladakh scuffle

A man walks inside a conference room used for meetings between military commanders of China and India, at the Indian side of the Indo-China border at Bumla, in Arunachal Pradesh.Rahul Singh and Rajesh Ahuja, HT, 16 August 2017, New Delhi: A man walks inside a conference room used for meetings between military commanders of China and India, at the Indian side of the Indo-China border at Bumla, in Arunachal Pradesh.

Indian and Chinese officials were meeting at the border in Ladakh on Wednesday, a day after their troops were involved in a scuffle in the area.

The clash near the Pangong Lake, which divides Indian and Chinese territory, was triggered by an incursion bid by Chinese troops that was foiled, sources said.

The incident came at a time when the two neighbours are in a standoff thousands of miles away in the disputed Doklam plateau close to Sikkim on India’s northeastern border.

Government sources said a “pre-scheduled border personnel meeting” was in progress in Ladakh’s Chushul area since Wednesday afternoon, adding the Pangong Lake incident was also on the agenda.

The two sides were also discussing strengthening of existing mechanisms for maintaining border peace and tranquillity, the sources said.

“This is not a subject on which the government normally makes a comment,” defence minister Arun Jaitley said.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said at a regular briefing in Beijing that she was not aware of any scuffle at the Ladakh border.

On Tuesday, two groups of Chinese armymen reportedly crossed the Line of Actual Control around the Pangong Lake. Indian border troopers asked them to return.

“The Chinese patrol refused to move when the Indian side first showed banners that they were in Indian territory, as per the settled drill. Heated arguments took place between the two sides, leading to a scuffle in which troops punched at each other and then finally stones were thrown,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

Indian troops involved in the incident said the Chinese patrol teams, consisting of around 15 personnel, started throwing stones first.

Around six men from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) suffered injuries.
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Shillong Air hostess falls off third floor during friend’s birthday party, dies

Khongsit Clara’s death is being probed by the Bidhannagar Police.Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri , HT, 16 August 2017, Kolkata: A flight attendant in her mid-twenties has died after allegedly falling from the third floor of a building in Keshtopur in the northern fringes of Kolkata, police said on Wednesday.

Khongsit Clara, who worked with a private budget airline and was a resident of Shillong, was attending the birthday party of her friend in the building late on Tuesday. Kestopur is a densely populated middle-class neighbourhood.

“We came to know that Clara came to her friend’s residence at Keshtopur to attend the birthday party on Tuesday. Her friend’s boyfriend was also there. Clara’s friend lives on the third floor of the building where the party was organised,” said an officer of Bidhannagar Police.

Bidhannagar City Police have detained Clara’s friend and the latter’s boyfriend for questioning.

Sources said Clara’s friend and her boyfriend gave similar statements to the police. Both said they heard a sound after midnight following which they found Clara had fallen through a window. Incidentally, it was the only window in the house that did not have grilles.

“The question is how did she fall from the third floor. Did anyone push her? We are also trying to find out if she had any reason to commit suicide,” said an investigating officer.

Clara attended St John’s High School in Hathras and Shillong’s Lady Keane College.
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GJM sets up relief body for people stranded in Darjeeling hills

Ei Samay | Aug 16, 2017, KOLKATA: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has set up a relief committee which along with 13 prominent NGOs is providing food grains and other relief material to the people of Darjeeling hills during the ongoing indefinite strike.
Till date, food grains have been provided to over 10,000 families. This includes providing of food grains and other material to 6,122 families in the tea gardens, 1,209 families in urban areas and 1,558 families in rural areas. Much of the relief work is being done by the NGOs including Anugyalaya DDSSS, Citizen's Forum, Darjeeling Initiative, Darjeeling Catholic Relief Committee, DLR Prena, DLR Prena-CHAI, Gorkha Dukha Niwarak Samelan, Eurasia Reiyukai, EWSCT, MARG, Mani Trust, Rotary Club Darjeeling, Shanker Foundation DjNP+ Who cares. The GJM is also separately providing food grains and other material to various locations.
The coordination was conceived to avoid duplication as well as providing relief to the most needy through a process of identifying such families that was developed by the 13 NGOs. The coming together of the NGOs also means that logistical costs are reduced in reaching food grains to various locations.
There are two helpline numbers where people who need relief can call and address their needs. These numbers are 9749996632 and 8927387285.
A bank account in the ICICI Bank in Sikkim has also been opened where people can donate money for relief material by transferring whatever amount they want to donate. The details of the transactions in the relief account will be totally transparent and made public as and when required. Money can be transferred to the following account: Name: State Bank of Sikkim, ICICI Bank, Namchi. Account No 306105000031. IFSC Code ICICI0003061
The objective is to channelise the relief work in a systematic manner so that the materials reach the neediest people. We appeal to people to donate money for relief materials. We also appeal that those who want to send relief materials instead of money can contact the committee through the above mentioned numbers so that food grains can reach to the needy in a systematic and organized manner.
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Airhostess dies after falling from third floor flat in Kolkata

Tamaghna Banerjee | TNN | Updated: Aug 16, 2017,  KOLKATA: A 23-year-old airhostess, who had become the head of the crew at such an early age, was found dead outside her building, in a pool of blood after possibly falling down from the sliding window of her third floor flat, early on Wednesday. Two of her friends - a man and a woman -- were inside the flat when police knocked in around 5am when they claimed to be sleeping and had no idea how the girl fell down. Police have started a probe and are not ruling out any of the three reasons behind her death - accident, murder or suicide.
Khongsit Clara Bansha Rai was a girl from Sikkim who was deployed with IndiGo airlines as a lead cabin attendant. The flat belonged to her father, Sherab Tenzing Bhutia, who is also a senior cabin crew member with Air India.
Police said, on Tuesday night, Clara had invited two friends to her flat to celebrate one of their's birthday. Neighbours said, the three came to the apartment a little before midnight in an app cab and sound of loud music could be heard from the apartment till the early hours of Wednesday. Around 4.30am, a local resident riding a scooter saw her lying on the ground and turned her to identify her in a pool of blood. He was the one who informed the cops.
"When we went to the flat, it was locked from inside. After repeated knocks, a man opened the door. There was another woman inside and both of them looked to be in deep sleep. When we informed them about Clara's death, they said they had no clue. We are questioning them," said Santosh Pandey, DC (headquarter), Bidhannagar Commissionerate.
The officer said the sliding window that doesn't have iron grills, was open and they were probing if she accidentally fell from the window, jumped intentionally or was pushed by someone. "We are probing into all the angles and have sent the body for post mortem to have a better knowledge of when and how she fell down," said an officer of Baguiati police station.
Statement from IndiGo regarding the death of the airhostess:
We have come to know of the sad demise of our employee Khongsit Clara Bansharai from Shilong. We were informed that she passed away in Kolkata this morning, on her weekly day-off. It is our understanding that the police is investigating the cause of the death. IndiGo expresses its deepest condolences on this tragic incident and shall be extending full support and help to her family in this hour of grief.
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GJM will never compromise on Gorkhaland demand, says Bimal Gurung

PTI, 15 August 2017, DARJEELING: With the indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling hills entering its 62nd day, GJM chief Bimal Gurung today vowed that he will "never compromise" with the demand for Gorkhaland and "continue the fight till it is achieved".
The Independence Day was incident-free and celebrated in various parts of the hills with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and other parties taking out rallies with the national flag.
Gurung himself hoisted a national flag during a ceremony organised by the GJM.
In a statement later, he thanked everyone for their support during the two-month-long indefinite shutdown and vowed to continue the fight till the Gorkhaland dream was achieved.
"We would request you all to keep the morale high as we assure you that we will never compromise on all our collective aspirations and our one and only dream- Gorkhaland. Let us continuously strive till we attain this Gorkha dream," the statement said.
"On Independence Day, we would like to thank all the Gorkhas across the world, united we will march towards Gorkhaland," he said in the statement.
Gurung thanked the people of the hills for their support for Gorkhaland despite the hardship they were enduring due to the shutdown.
Though no incidents of violence were reported since last night, police and security personnel made special security arrangements in the hills and were maintaining a tight vigil to avoid any untoward incident.
The GJM took out rallies in various parts of the hills demanding restoration of the internet services, which remained banned in the hills since June 18, and an immediate withdrawal of the police from Darjeeling.
Barring medicine shops, all other shops, business establishments, schools and colleges remained closed.
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Vow to fight terror, silence on China

TT, New Delhi, Aug. 15: India is prepared to defend itself against every security challenge, whether terrorism or at its borders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today in his Independence Day address amid heightened tensions with both China and Pakistan.
But Modi, who had alluded to human rights concerns in Balochistan and to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in his 2016 address from the ramparts of the Red Fort, steered clear of controversial foreign policy references that had marked his speech last year.
He referred today to the "surgical strikes" - cross-border counter-terrorism raids - in PoK carried out by the military last September after the Uri terror attack, and asserted that there would be no compromise against terrorism. But Modi avoided, in his words and tone, any message that could further escalate tensions with either of India's two biggest neighbours.

The Prime Minister's avoidance of rhetoric against China is in keeping with the Indian government's approach to the nearly two-month-long border standoff in the Doklam plateau that Beijing and Thimphu claim, and that New Delhi views as key to its security too. Two senior officials had told The Telegraph on Monday that India's posture on China might constrain the Prime Minister on Pakistan too, to avoid highlighting comparisons between restraint with one neighbour and bellicose language with a smaller one.
Modi instead stuck to a broader assurance to the country. "Whether the seas or the borders, cyber or space, India is competent and strong to defeat the intentions of those with plans against our country," Modi said, his left fist clenched.
"After the surgical strikes, the world had to acknowledge our iron will, our strength (fist clenched). The country's security is our priority, its internal security is also our priority."
The Prime Minister's comments on security and the thrust of the foreign policy content in his address mirror the shifts in his government's approach to India's neighbourhood.
In 2014, soon after his election, Modi had referred to his "neighbourhood first" approach of banding the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) together in its common fight against poverty and disease. Then, India and Pakistan were days away from foreign secretary talks meant to outline a road map for resumption of a dialogue after Pakistan's then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had visited New Delhi for Modi's inaugural ceremony.
But India called off the foreign secretary talks after Pakistan's then high commissioner Abdul Basit met leaders of the Hurriyat two days before the diplomatic meeting.
Such meetings with separatist leaders had occurred earlier, but India said it was laying down a "red-line" - Pakistan must choose between talking to India or to separatists.
Modi's 2015 address came a month after a meeting with Sharif in Ufa, Russia, during which they once again attempted to kick-start peace talks. On August 15, 2015, Modi did not even use the word "terrorism" and was silent on Kashmir - referring to the armed forces only in the context of the one-rank-one-pension demand that he claimed his government had fulfilled.
By the time he spoke from the Red Fort a year later, India-Pakistan relations had traversed an entire cycle of sugary highs and abusive lows.
Modi had visited Lahore to greet Sharif on his birthday and foreign minister Sushma Swaraj had travelled to Islamabad to restart a structured bilateral comprehensive dialogue. But those trips were followed by the Pathankot terror attack on January 2, and the summer unrest in Kashmir after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani. India blamed Pakistan for the crisis in Kashmir, and days before the 2016 Independence Day, Modi told parliamentarians that New Delhi would take to the world Islamabad's alleged human rights violations in Balochistan and PoK.
On August 15, 2016, Modi referred again to Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan in PoK, and said he had received messages of gratitude from people in those regions after he had articulated their concerns over human rights abuses by Pakistan.
Over the past year, India did raise these human rights concerns at the UN. But it did little more to pressure Pakistan on its track record in Balochistan and PoK - in part because of belated recognition that doing more could attract the very charge of interference in internal matters that India levels against Pakistan.
Instead, today, Modi alluded to a growing global consensus against terrorism. "You will be happy to know, my countrymen, that today we are not alone in our fight against terrorism," Modi said.
"Whether against hawala or the activities of terrorism, other countries are sharing intelligence. We are fighting against terrorism shoulder to shoulder with the international community."
He then thanked "those countries that are cooperating" with India against terrorism. "There will be no compromise against terrorism," he said.
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Ladakh incursion bid - Chinese soldiers tried to enter the area along the banks of Pangong lake

TT, Aug. 15: Indian border guards today frustrated an attempt by Chinese soldiers to enter Indian territory along the banks of Pangong lake in Ladakh, officials said.
Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) tried to enter the Indian side in two areas -- Finger Four and Finger Five -- twice between 6am and 9am. On both occasions their attempt was thwarted by Indian troops, the officials added.
The foreign ministry and the army had not formally confirmed the attempted incursion till late evening. But diplomats involved with the relationship with China said they had received information of what one of them called a "minor incident" in Ladakh. 
Chinese soldiers, these officials said, had tried to cross the Line of Actual Control but were pushed back after a brief fracas. But the diplomats cautioned against comparing the incident to the nearly two-month-long standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam.
Unlike the Sikkim-Tibet border, near where Doklam is located, the LAC in Ladakh is undemarcated. India and China have different perceptions of the LAC in Ladakh, and their troops frequently cross each other's perceived line.
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Centre moves to block Blue Whale -online game


















TT, New Delhi, Aug. 15: The Centre has directed Internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Instagram, Micrsoft and Yahoo, to remove links to the online game called Blue Whale Challenge that has been linked to suicides by children in India and other countries.
The Union electronics and information technology ministry letter to the Internet companies follows the suicides of a teenager in Mumbai and another in West Midnapore after they joined the Blue Whale Challenge, an online game that assigns players daring or risky challenges.
"You are requested to ensure that any such link of this deadly game in its own name or similar name is immediately removed from your platform," the ministry said in its letter. "It is understood that an administrator of the game uses social media platform(s) to invite/incite children to play this game which may eventually lead them to take extreme steps for self-inflicting injuries, including suicide."
The Blue Whale Challenge, according to information on various websites, is a game that assigns players tasks involving fear or risks over a period of 50 days. One website says the tasks include "self-harming, watching horror movies and waking up at unusual hours..., but these gradually get more extreme".
The Union women and child ministry tweeted on Monday that minister Maneka Gandhi "had taken cognisance of the self-destructive Blue Whale Challenge that has already claimed the lives of over 100 youngsters (worldwide)", and asked the Union home and information technology ministers to plan "suitable intervention".
The alleged suicides of a 14-year-old boy in Mumbai, who jumped from a building last month, and a 15-year-old boy in West Midnapore who suffocated himself in a plastic bag last week have been linked to the Blue Whale Challenge.
Western media reports, citing Russian media, have said a 21-year old Russian man identified as the inventor of the Blue Whale Challenge had pleaded guilty to inciting 16 girls into committing suicide.
A psychiatrist in India said the government directive was "absolutely justified".
"Many young teenagers are vulnerable, some of them may feel isolated, some may be seeking recognition, and if someone urges them to daring things, they may feel good about it, about receiving some sort of recognition," said Samir Parikh, a New Delhi-based child psychologist.
"It is a vicious cycle, they like the recognition the game brings them without realising the risks involved," Parikh added.
The spread of information about the Blue Whale Challenge via social media in recent months has triggered concern among sections of the public in several countries. It has also prompted authorities in New Zealand, the UK and the US to caution parents about keeping their children away from the game.
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Malda arms haul

KOUSIK SEN, TT, Raiganj, Aug. 15: Police raided a house in a Malda village this morning and unearthed an illegal arms-making unit.
Seven persons, including six from Munger in Bihar, were arrested during the raid and a number of firearms and several rounds of bullets seized.
"It is one of the largest seizures of firearms in recent times in the district. Our officers are probing the case and questioning those who have been arrested. We suspect that such a huge cache of arms was being made for some organised crime," said Arnab Ghosh, the superintendent of police of Malda.
Police sources the house at Debipur village belonged to one Lutfal Haque.
"When we raided the house, we found that six of the persons were from Munger. They were possibly brought in for making the firearms," a police officer said.
"In total, we found 48 pieces of pistols and several unfinished firearms, along with magazines and some equipment, including a drill machine. Such equipment are used to make firearms," the officer added.
Over 400 rounds of bullets were also seized.
As the police team searched the house, they also found 25 fake currency notes of Rs 2,000 denomination.
"We suspect that the arms were being manufactured for bulk supply. We need to find out who the buyers were," another officer said.
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Centre 'cautious' on hills - Security worry, given region's strategic borders

A Morcha meeting in Delhi last week
Imran Ahmed Siddiqui, TT, Delhi, Aug. 15: The Centre has adopted a cautious approach in dealing with the Gorkhaland issue, given the region's strategic borders, and want the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the Bengal government to hold talks as early as possible, a Union home ministry official has said.
"We do not want to see another Kashmir-like situation in the troubled areas of Bengal. The Centre is very concerned about the agitation and violence in the region. It wants peace and stability," the official said.
The home ministry, he said, was keen on reviving the tripartite Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) meeting involving the Centre, state and the Morcha to resolve the Darjeeling impasse.
"Before that, the Morcha and the Bengal government should take immediate steps to kickstart a composite dialogue process and discuss all issues," the official said, reiterating Union home minister Rajnath Singh's appeal on Sunday to both the hill party and the state government to hold discussions.
The official, however, hinted that there was no question of central intervention without taking the state into confidence.
"Even if the Centre wants to do something, the state has to be involved...."
In his appeal yesterday, Rajnath had also spoken about the strategic importance of the region and told the visiting delegation of hill parties to withdraw the indefinite strike.
"We are all aware of the strategic importance of the locality and the challenges that we face in the region," the minister had said.
Sources in the security establishment said several parts of the Northeast were already under the grip of insurgents and the Centre did not want another violent situation in Darjeeling, where the strike enforcers clashed with police, prohibitory orders were clamped and Internet services were banned.
An Intelligence Bureau official expressed apprehension that the Siliguri corridor - referred to as the Chicken's Neck - was already vulnerable to insurgency and criminal activities and the violence and demand for Gorkhaland could pose a major security risk.
Last month, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had alleged Chinese involvement in the flare-up and accused the Centre of allowing nearly 400 schools to come up near Pashupati Gate in Darjeeling, where Chinese language was being taught.
The GTA, which was formed in July 2011, is controlled by the Morcha.
Citing the ongoing violence in Darjeeling, the Bengal government had in June asked the Centre to postpone the tripartite GTA meeting which was scheduled to discuss various provisions of the memorandum of agreement.
The last round of talks was held in January 2015, when the situation in the hills were discussed.
"The tripartite meetings are held as stipulated under the GTA deal. Ahead of the tripartite meetings, direct talks are also held between the state government and the GTA to iron out differences over the hill body's functioning," another ministry official said.
Government sources said the BJP, which favours smaller states, does not want to antagonise Bengali sentiments by supporting the bifurcation of Bengal.
Over the past two months, Morcha leaders have approached Rajnath and requested him for central intervention, like the withdrawal of central forces from the hills.
"Under pressure from his constituency, Darjeeling's BJP MP, S.S. Ahluwalia, had written several times to Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting them to examine the demand for a separate state," said a source.
The demand for a separate state, he said, was initially political but it has also become a huge security issue, given the strategic borders.
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Hemmed in, Gurung looks for sympathy

TT, Calcutta, Aug. 15: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung today said he was living in a "jungle" and had told his relatives and friends that he would return home after fulfilling the promise of Gorkhaland or die in the process, the speech being seen as an attempt to draw the sympathy of Darjeeling hill residents.
A day after responding to Union home minister Rajnath Singh's call and directing Morcha youth wing supporters to lift their indefinite hunger strike, which marked a softening of stand by the Morcha, Gurung attended an Independence Day event at the Ging Tea Estate, 20km from Darjeeling town.
"Till yesterday, I was staying in a jungle. From the jungle, I came to this playfield about an hour ago just to salute the national flag," Gurung said, adding that he had done so to prove the hill people's patriotism at a time the Bengal government was "trying to link" those fighting for statehood to Maoists and terrorists.
The Morcha chief made the jungle reference a day after police set up a camp at Malidhura and effectively took control of his stronghold, Tukvar.
The police now have camps both at the base (Malidhura) and the top (Singamari) of the Tukvar hills, hemming in Gurung, who lives in Patlebas situated in the middle, and keeping a tab on his moves.
The topography of the area is such that a person will have to pass through either Malidhura or Singamari to leave Patlebas.
"I had thought of hoisting the national flag from my office (also in Patlebas).... But the politics in Bengal is such that they have put about 400 to 500 SSB and CRPF personnel to stop me from hoisting the flag there," Gurung said.
"I have told my friends and relatives that if I die during this struggle, my body will enter my house, or else I will enter the house with Gorkhaland," he said.
Although the Morcha has shown signs of mellowing down by calling off the hunger strike and agreeing to talk to the Bengal government, Gurung tried to present a brave face by saying that so far, only "the trailer of the movie" had been released.
"Picture abhi baki hai (the film is yet to be completed)," he said.
Gurung said there was no question of calling off the indefinite hunger strike or providing any relaxation to tea gardens and urged people to fight for the cause even with just one meal a day.
"This strike could go on for another six to seven months. There is no question of providing relaxation to the tea estates or lifting the indefinite strike," Gurung said.
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15 Aug 2017

Darjeeling agitation: cracks in unity among hill parties

PTI| Aug 14, 2017, DARJEELING: As the indefinite shutdown in the Darjeeling Hills hits the two-month mark tomorrow, cracks have appeared in the united front fighting for a separate state with the parties appearing divided and even clueless on the way forward. 

DARJEELING: As the indefinite shutdown in the Darjeeling Hills hits the two-month mark tomorrow, cracks have appeared in the united front fighting for a separate state with the parties appearing divided and even clueless on the way forward. 

Various hill parties are critical of the "big brotherly" attitude of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), which is spearheading the agitation, and feel that the lack of leadership is taking a heavy toll. 

The indefinite shutdown began on June 15. 

"Most of the violence that took place in the hills in the last two months was by supporters of the GJM. Such incidents have not only demeaned our democratic agitation but have also put a question mark on our rightful demand," Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh (BGP) president Sukhman Moktan told PTI. 

BGP is one of the 30 hill parties in the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC), which was formed on June 20 to chalk out the future course of action to achieve the demand for a separate Gorkhaland state. 

Headed by the GJM, the GMCC has 30 members representing all the hill-based parties, including the GJM, the GNLF and the Jan Andolan Party. 

GJM chief Bimal Gurung's recent statement that only his party has the right to call off the strike as it was the one that had called it has not gone down well with other parties. 

"What is the need of forming the GMCC if Gurung takes the final call? GJM has to understand that this is a people's movement and not their own issue that they will thrust their views on us," GNLF spokesperson Neeraj Zimba said. 

GJM general secretary Roshan Giri, however, refuted the claims of the hill parties. "Bimal Gurung is the undisputed leaders of the hills. We have cooperated with all the hill parties to carry forward our movement. The allegations against us are baseless." 

A senior GNLF leader responded by saying that most parties, except the GJM, were of the opinion that the movement lacked proper leadership, which was taking a heavy toll. 

"There is serious lack of proper leadership. Although all of us had united for the cause of Gorkhaland, due to lack of leadership we could not channelise the people's anger or aspirations," the leader said on condition of anonymity. 

"That is the reason why GJM no longer has the control over its own cadres. We don't know what is the way forward," he admitted. 

GNLF chief Subhas Ghisingh had led the movement in 1986. 

With the GJM's hope that the BJP would help them in achieving their dream of Gorkhaland fading fast, its leadership is desperate to start the dialogue process in order to have a way out from the two-month shutdown. 

"The strike will continue until a positive step is taken to restore normalcy by the Centre. We urge the central government to initiate the dialogue process so that normalcy can be restored in the hills. If the state government is part of that dialogue process we have no problem with it," GMCC convenor and senior GJM leader Kalyan Dewan had said. 

With the strike on for the last two months and GJM youth wing activists on hunger strike for 24 days, hill parties are out of ammunition to put pressure on the state and central governments, said a Jan Andolan Party leader. 

"We have overused both our weapons of democratic movement. And now we have no ammo left in our arsenal to force the state and central governments to listen to our demands. We are clueless," he said. 

Beyond extending the strike, the leaders don't appear to have any proper plan of action on how to further the statehood demand. 

"We really don't know what is happening apart from taking part in processions. Nothing has moved forward in the last two months. The dialogue process is yet to start," a professor of St Joseph College, Darjeeling, said.

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Separation of Darjeeling from West Bengal and creation of a homeland for Gorkhas - Its legal perspective

Raghupathi Somavaram, KalimNews, 15 August 2017, Kalimpong: Gorkhas of Darjeeling have distinct cultural, linguistic, racial and geographic identity and the area proposed for Gorkhaland never belonged to West Bengal. The British rulers carved out the present Darjeeling district by annexing parts of the then kingdoms of Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim for developing a hill resort for their officers to escape from the summer heat. If at all any claim can be made it can be and should rightly be from the state of Sikkim alone which is now part and parcel of Indian union and not from Nepal, Bhutan and even the state of West Bengal.
Gorkhaland comprising of 15 lakh population can be created as a 1)separate unitary state 2)union territory or 3) merged with the neighboring state of Sikkim in the form of a composite state under Article 3 of Indian constitution without any consent from West Bengal. Article 3 of Indian constitution gives blanket authority to Parliament in this aspect. The 3rd option needs to make ample provisions for protecting Article 371(F) which guarantees certain protection of old laws in Sikkim and the same guarantees can be given to Gorkhas also within their respective region without in any form encroaching into or diminishing the constitutional protection granted to Sikkim at the time of it’s merger in Indian union. This option needs broadminded and accommodating spirit on the part of people of Sikkim and Darjeeling.
There are many examples of composite states in India Like Jammu & Kashmir, Andaman & Nicobar Islands(UT), Goa, Diu & Daman. The constitutional protection of jobs, resources, right to own land in the respective regions can be amicably worked out by legal and constitutional experts once consensus is arrived at among the stake holders i.e., people of Sikkim & Darjeeling.
The present movement should be continued peacefully, without any arson and other violent activities so as to convince majority members of parliament in both houses at least until a committee is formed by union home ministry which should also include Shri Pawan Chamling , Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim for finding a solution to the century old issue of creating a homeland for Gorkhas who have made considerable contribution to the security of our nation within the ambit of Indian constitution with a clear mandate to submit it’s report before March 2018.
What we have observed is all the political parties of the state irrespective of their central political principle are opposed to the creation of Gorkhaland or it’s separation from West Bengal in any form. So Gorkhas have to wait patiently and make exercises by lobbying to achieve support from all the MPs  of both Loksabha and Rajyasabha which might be possible only after June 2018. 
Depending on the strategy, attitude and persuasive skills of Gorkha leadership creation of Gorkhaland may take another 2 years even if the union Government is inclined to do so and commences the process. Till then peace should be restored and some kind of arrangement to create an autonomous territorial authority and inclusion of the same in NORTH EASTERN COUNCIL should be deliberated and achieved as it would pave the way for developing Gorkhaland with funds from NEC. 

As stated earlier Article 3 of Indian Constitution addresses the topic of ‘Formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States’. It says; 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 State or Union territory to any other State or Union territory.
Let us see its legal aspect too.
A constitutional democracy also refers to legal verdicts which decide on the interpretation and set a precedent on applicability of a certain clause from Indian constitution.
Back in 1960 a Bill was introduced in the Indian Parliament proposing the formation of Maharashtra and Gujarat. This Bill was referred by the President to the State Assembly to obtain their views. Upon receiving the views, the Bill was passed in the Parliament. A petition was filed against this by Babulal Parante in High Court of Bombay:
His contention was that the said Act was passed in contravention of the provisions of Art. 3 of the Constitution, since the Legislature of Bombay had not been given an opportunity of expressing its views on the formation of the composite State. The High Court dismissed the petition.
In this case, Babulal Parante v. State of Bombay, the court explains the provisions of Article 3 of Indian Constitution:
The period within which the State Legislature must express its views has to be specified by the President; but the President may extend the period so specified. If, however, the period specified or extended expires and no views of the State Legislature are received, the second condition laid down in the proviso is fulfilled in spite of the fact that the views of the State Legislature have not been expressed.
The intention seems to be to give an opportunity to the State Legislature to express its views within the time allowed; if the State Legislature fails to avail itself of that opportunity, such failure does not invalidate the introduction of the Bill.
Nor is there anything in the proviso to indicate that Parliament must accept or act upon the views of the State Legislature.
Clearly, Indian Constitution envisioned a situation where a state may refuse to provide its view or provide negative views about a formation of a new state, and therefore gave full powers to Indian Parliament to go ahead with its decisions irrespective of opposition from the State Assembly.
Babulal Parante v. State of Bombay, 1960 AIR 51, 1960 SCR (1) 605
They say a lie repeated a thousand times will pass off as truth. The same thing seems to be happening in the case of Telangana state formation. Several Congress leaders and opponents of Telangana have been repeatedly issuing false statements that a resolution of Andhra Pradesh state assembly is mandatory for formation of Telangana. This is nothing but a blatant lie.
Below, we provide information gathered by veteran Telangana activist Subhash Chandra.
The first part is an excerpt from the Indian Constitution, the second part highlights some past discussions on this issue, and the third part is an excerpt from a judgement from Bombay High court which clarifies that the parent state legislature need not approve a state division bill.
Part 1
THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
(As Modified upto the 1st December 2007)
THE UNION AND ITS TERRITORY
Article 2. Parliament may by law admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.
Article 3. Formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States.
Parliament may by law—
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;
increase the area of any State;
diminish the area of any State;
alter the boundaries of any State;
alter the name of any State:
4[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 1***, 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.]
Part 2
What the fathers of our Republic and authors of its Constitution said about Article 2 and 3 (1948, Constituent Assembly):
The Honourable Shri K. Santanam explains Article 3 thus: “Mr. Vice-President, Take the case of the madras Province for instance. The Andhras want separation. They bring up a resolution in the madras legislature. It is defeated by a majority. There ends the matter. The way of the Andhras is blocked altogether. They cannot take any further step to constitute an Andhra province. On the other hand, as re-drafted by the Honourable Dr. Ambedkar, if the Andhras fail to get a majority in the legislature, they can go straight to the President and represent to him what the majority did in their case and ask for further action removing the block in the way of a province for them. If they are able to convince the President, he may recommend it and either the Government of India may themselves sponsor legislation for the purpose or any private Member or a group in the Central legislature can take up the question.”
Pandit Hriday Nath Kunzru : “the consent of the States should not be necessary for a re-organisation of their territories. Consultation with them should be quite enough.”
Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava : “…every part of India should be given this facility, that, should it decide to secede from one part and to accede to another, then there should be no impediment in its way. If the people of an area want separation, then the right of self-determination should be given to them.”
Prof. K. T. Shah: “if anypart of a big province wants to break away then the only course before it is to bring the matter before the Members.But by doing so the very purpose would be defeated because the majority would always reject such a proposal. I would like the Congress Government to respect the wishes of the areas, which desire to separate from any province and that no hurdles are placed in their way; on the other hand, all legal aid should be given for the formation of a new province. No provincial legislature would agree to the separation of apart, and the representatives of the affected area will be so influenced that they would not be able to give free expression to their views. Parliament, and not the President, should have the right to determine the matter after taking into account the opinion of the people of the area concerned and of the vote of the provincial legislature. It is therefore necessary that every Member of the parliament should have the right to give notice of such a bill. Views of the provincial legislature may be taken but the changes should be effected in accordance with the wishes of the people of the area, who want separation. If this is not done then the principle of self-determination would be nowhere. We used to hear that after the attainment of Swaraj the right of self-determination would be given to all. Views of the legislatures may be invited, and may be taken into consideration; but the determining factor should be the vote of the people of the area, which wants to separate. ”
Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena: “the President after he receives notice of such a motion from any Member will try to take the opinion of the area concerned and then, of course after consulting his Ministry, give his recommendation for moving the Bill probably if the President feels that the people of an area – the majority of them – are of the opinion that they would be happier if they go to some other State or Province, he would advise the Prime Minister, and probably the Prime Minister also will agree with him that the motion should be allowed and that Parliament should be allowed to discuss the question. I think that gives full liberty and opportunity to every area which desires a change of boundaries.”
Shri R. K. Sidhwa: “View means “observations, consent means unanimity and decision on a matter…. I feel that in the case of the states, it is very necessary that their views should be obtained rather than consent ”
Part- 3
Babulal Parante v. State of Bombay, 1960 AIR 51, 1960 SCR (1) 605
In this case, the court explains the provisions of Article 3:
The period within which the State Legislature must express its views has to be specified by the President; but the President may extend the period so specified. If, however, the period specified or extended expires and no views of the State Legislature are received, the second condition laid down in the proviso is fulfilled in spite of the fact that the views of the State Legislature have not been expressed.
The intention seems to be to give an opportunity to the State Legislature to express its views within the time allowed; if the State Legislature fails to avail itself of that opportunity, such failure does not invalidate the introduction of the Bill.
Nor is there anything in the proviso to indicate that Parliament must accept or act upon the views of the State Legislature.
Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India
Babulal Parate vs The State Of Bombay And Another on 28 August, 1959
Equivalent citations: 1960 AIR 51, 1960 SCR (1) 605
Author: S Das
Bench: Das, Sudhi Ranjan (Cj), Das, S.K., Sarkar, A.K., Wanchoo, K.N., Hidayatullah, M.
PETITIONER:
BABULAL PARATE
Vs.
RESPONDENT:
THE STATE OF BOMBAY AND ANOTHER
DATE OF JUDGMENT:
28/08/1959
BENCH:
DAS, S.K.
BENCH:
DAS, S.K.
DAS, SUDHI RANJAN (CJ)
SARKAR, A.K.
WANCHOO, K.N.
HIDAYATULLAH, M.
CITATION:
1960 AIR 51 1960 SCR (1) 605
CITATOR INFO :
RF 1973 SC1461 (1945)
ACT:
States, Reorganisation of-Modification. of Bill by Parliament Such modification, if must be referred to State Legislature-Constitution of India, Art. 3, Proviso-States Reorganisation Act, 1956 (XXXVII Of 1956), s. 8(1).
HEADNOTE:
A Bill introduced in the House of the People on the report of the States Reorganisation Commission and as recommended by the President under the proviso to Art. 3 Of the Constitution, contained a proposal for the formation of three separate units, viz., (1) Union territory of Bombay,
(2) Maharashtra, including Marathawada and Vidarbha and (3) Gujrat, including Saurashtra and Cutch. This Bill was referred by the President to the State Legislatures concerned and their views obtained. The joint Select Committee of the House of the People (Lok Sabha) and the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) considered the -Bill and made its report. Subsequently, Parliament amended some of the clauses and passed the Bill which came to be known as the States Reorganisation Act, 1956. That Act by s. 8(1) constituted a composite State of Bombay instead of the three
separate units as originally proposed in the Bill. The petition , out of which the present appeal has arisen, was filed by the appellant under Art. 226 of the Constitution in the High Court of Bombay. His contention was that the said Act was passed in contravention of the provisions of Art. 3 of the Constitution, since the Legislature of Bombay had not been given an opportunity of expressing its views on the formation of the composite State. The High Court dismissed the petition.
Held, that the proviso to Art. 3 lays down two conditions and under the second condition therein stated, what the President has to refer to the State Legislature for its opinion is the proposal contained in the Bill. On a true construction, the proviso does not contemplate that if
Parliament subsequently modifies that proposal, there must be a fresh bill or a fresh reference to the State Legislature.
The word 'State' in Art. 3 of the Constitution has obvious reference to Art. i and the States mentioned in the First Schedule to the Constitution, and the expression 'Legislature of the State' means the Legislature of such a State. There are, therefore, no reasons for the application of any special doctrine of democratic theory or practice prevalent in other countries in interpreting those words; nor any justification for giving an extended meaning to the word 'State' in determining the true scope and effect of the proviso.
77
606
The requirements of Art. IV, s. 3 of the American Constitution are materially different from those of the second proviso to Art. 3 Of the Indian Constitution and, consequently, decisions based on the former are not in point.
State of Louisiana v. State Of Mississipi, (1905) 202 U.S. I and State of Washington v. State of Oregon, (19O8) 2II U.S. 127, held inapplicable.
State of 'Texas v.. George W. White, (1869) 74 U.S. 700 referred to.
It is not correct to contend that the word 'Bill' in the proviso must be interpreted to include an amendment of any of the clauses of the Bill or at least a substantial amendment thereof, and that any proposal contained in such amendment must be referred back to the State Legislature.
Such an interpretation of Art. 3 will nullify the effect of Art. 122(1) and is untenable in view of the provisions in Arts. 117 and 118 of the Constitution.
Although the formation of a composite State in terms of s. 8 of the Act was without doubt a substantial modification of the proposal as originally contained in the Bill, it could not be said that the said modification was not germane to the subject matter of the original proposal or was a direct negative thereof, so as to be beyond the scope of an amendment.
T. H. Vakil v. Bombay Presidency Radio Club Ltd., (1944) 47 Bom. L.R- 428, applied.
Therefore, the Act could not be held to have been enacted in violation of Art. 3 Of the Constitution.
JUDGMENT:
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No. 342 of 1956. Appeal from the judgment and order dated September 14,1956, of the Bombay High Court, in Special Civil Application No. 2496 of 1956.
R. V. S. Mani, for the appellant.
C. K. Daphtary, Solicitor-General of India, B. Sen, and R. H. Dhebar, for the respondents.
1959. August 28. The Judgment of the Court was delivered by S. K. DAS J.-This is an appeal on a certificate granted by the High Court of Bombay under Art. 132 (1) of the Constitution, and the question involved in the appeal is the true scope and effect of Art. 3 of the Constitution, particularly of the proviso thereto as it stands after the Constitution (Fifth Amendment) Act, 1955, On December 22, 1953, the Prime Minister of India made a statement in Parliament to the effect that a Commission would be appointed to examine " objectively and dispassionately'-' the question of the reorganisation of the States of the Indian Union " so that the welfare of the people of each constituent unit as well as the nation as a whole is promoted ". This was followed by the appointment of a Commission under a resolution of the Union Government in. the Ministry of Home Affairs, dated December 29, 1953. The Commission submitted its report in due course and on April 18, 1956; a Bill was introduced in the House of the People (Lok Sabha) entitled The States Reorganisation Bill (No. 30 of 1956). Clauses 8, 9 and 10 of the said Bill contained a proposal for the formation of three separate units, namely, (1) Union territory of Bombay ; (2) State of Maharashtra including Marathawada and Vidharbha; and (3) State of Gujurat including Saurashtra and Cutch. The Bill was introduced in the House of the People on the recommendation of the President, as required by the proviso to art. 3 of the Constitution. It was then referred to a Joint Select Committee of the House of the People (Lok Sabha) and the Council of State (Rajya Sabha). The Joint Select Committee made its report on July 16, 1956. Some of the clauses of the Bill were amended in Parliament and on being passed by both Houses, it received the President's assent on August 31, 1956, and became known as the States Reorganisation Act, 1956 (37 of 1956) hereinafter called the Act. It is necessary to read here s. 8(1) of the Act which instead of constituting three separate units as originally proposed in the Bill constituted a composite State of Bombay as stated therein.
" S.8 (1): As from the appointed day, there shall be formed a new Part A State to be known as the State of Bombay comprising the following territories, namely :- -
(a) the territories of the existing State of Bombay, excluding-
(i) Bijapur, Dharwar and Kanara districts and. Belgaum district except Chandgad taluka; and
(ii) Abu Road taluka of Banaskantha district;
(b) Aurangabad, Parbhani, Bhir and Osmanabad districts, Ahmadpur, Nilanga, and Udgir taluks of Bidar district, Nanded district (except Bichkonda and Jukkal circles of Deglur taluk and Modhol, Bhiansa and Kuber circles of Modhol taluk) and Islapur circle of Boath taluk, Kinwat taluk and Rajura taluk of Adilabad district, in the existing State of Hyderabad,
(c) Buldana, Akola, Amaravati, Yeotmal, Wardha, Nagpur, Bhandara and Chanda districts in the existing State of Madhya Pradesh;
(d) the territories of the existing State of Saurashtra; and
(e) the territories of the existing State of Kutch; and thereupon the said territories shall cease to form part of the existing States of Bombay, Hyderabad, Madhya Pradesh, Saurashtra and Kutch, respectively."
The appointed day from which the new State of Bombay came into existence was defined in the Act as meaning November 1, 1956. But before that date, to wit, on September 12, 1956, the appellant herein filed a petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution in the High Court of Judicature at Bombay in which he alleged, in substance, that the formation of the composite State of Bombay as one unit instead of the three separate units as originally proposed in the Bill contravened Art. 3 of the Constitution, inasmuch as the Legislature of the State of Bombay had no opportunity of expressing its views on the formation of such a composite State. The appellant asked for a declaration that s. 8 and other consequential provisions of the Act were null and void and prayed for an appropriate writ directing the State Government of Bombay and the Union Government not to enforce and implement the same. This writ petition was heard by the Bombay High Court on September 14, 1956, and by its judgment of even date, the High Court dismissed the petition, holding that there was no violation or contravention of Art. 3 of the Constitution. The appellant then obtained the necessary certificate under Art. 132(1) of the Constitution, and filed his appeal in this Court on October 18, 1956 on the strength of that certificate.
Now, it is both convenient and advisable to read at this stage Art. 3 of the Constitution, as amended by the Constitution (Fifth Amendment) Act, 1955, the alleged violation of which is the main ground of attack by learned counsel for the appellant.
" Art. 3: 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; and
(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. " It is clear that by its substantive part the Article gives a certain power to Parliament, viz., the power to make a law in respect of any of the five matters mentioned in cls. (a) to (e) thereof. This power includes the making of a law to increase the area of any State; diminish the area of any State; and alter the name of any State. The substantive part is followed by a proviso, which lays down certain conditions for the exercise of the Power. It states that no Bill for the purpose (the word " purpose " obviously has reference to the power of making law in respect of the matters mentioned in the substantive part) 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. Thus, the proviso lays down two conditions: one is that no Bill shall be introduced except on the recommendation of the President, and the second condition is that where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of the States, the Bill has to be referred by the President to the Legislature of the State for expressing its views thereon. The period within which the State Legislature must express its views has to be specified by the President; but the President may extend the period so specified. If, however, the period specified or extended expires and no views of the State Legislature are received, the second condition laid down in the proviso is fulfilled in spite of the fact that the views of the State Legislature have not been expressed. The intention seems to be to give an opportunity to the State Legislature to express its views within the time allowed; if the State Legislature fails to avail itself of that opportunity, such failure does not invalidate the introduction of the Bill. Nor is there anything in the proviso to indicate that Parliament must accept or act upon the views of the State Legislature. Indeed, two State Legislatures may express totally divergent views. All that is contemplated is that Parliament should have before it the views of the State Legislatures as to the proposals contained in the Bill and then be free to deal with the Bill in any manner it thinks fit, following the usual practice and procedure prescribed by and under the rules of business. Thus the essential content of the second condition is a reference by the President of the proposal contained in the bill to the State Legislature to express its views. thereon within the time allowed. It is worthy of note, and this has been properly emphasised in the judgment of the High Court, that what has to be referred to the State Legislature by the President is the proposal contained in the Bill. The proviso does not say that if and when a proposal contained in the Bill is modified subsequently by an amendment properly moved and accepted in Parliament, there must be a fresh reference to the State Legislature and a fresh bill must be introduced. It was pointed out in the course of arguments that if the second condition required a fresh reference and a fresh bill for every amendment, it might result in an interminable process; because any and every amendment of the original proposal contained in the Bill would then necessitate a fresh Bill and a fresh reference to the State Legislature. Other difficulties might also arise if such a construction were put on the proviso; for example, in a case where two or three States were involved, different views might be expressed by the Legislatures of different States. If Parliament were to accept the views of one of the Legislatures and not of the other, a fresh reference would still be necessary by reason of any amendment in the original proposal contained in the Bill.
We are referring to these difficulties not because we think that a forced meaning should be given to the words of the proviso to avoid certain difficulties which may arise. We are of the view that the words of the proviso are clear enough and bear their ordinary plain meaning. According to the accepted connotation of the words used in the proviso, the second condition means what it states and what has to be referred to the State Legislature is the proposal contained in the Bill; it has no such drastic effect as to require a fresh reference every time an amendment of the proposal contained in the Bill is moved and accepted in accordance with the rules of procedure of Parliament. That in the present case the States Reorganisation Bill was introduced on the recommendation of the President has not been disputed; nor has it been disputed that the proposal contained in the Bill was referred to the State Legislatures concerned and their views were received, According to learned counsel for the appellant, however, this was not enough compliance with the second condition of the proviso. He has put his argument in several ways. Firstly, he has contended that the word " State " in Art. 3 should be given a larger connotation so as to mean and include not merely the geographical entity called the State, but its people as well: this, according to learned counsel for the appellant, is the " democratic process " incorporated inArt. 3 and according to this democratic process, so learned counsel has argued, the representatives of the people of the State of Bombay assembled in the State Legislature should have been given an opportunity of expressing their views not merely on the proposal originally contained in the Bill, but on any substantial modification thereof. Secondly and following the same line of argument, he has contended that the word " Bill " should be given an extended meaning so as to include any amendment, at least any substantial amendment, of the proposal contained in the Bill; and thirdly, he has contended that in the present case the formation of a new Bombay State as one unit was so different from the three units originally proposed in the Bill that it was not really an amendment of the original proposal but a new I proposal altogether for which a fresh Bill and a fresh reference were necessary.
We proceed now to consider these contentions. It is necessary to state at the outset that our task is to determine on a proper construction the true scope and effect of Art. 3 of the Constitution, with particular reference to the second condition laid down by the proviso thereto. We bring to our task such considerations as are germane to the interpretation of an organic instrument like the Constitution; but it will be improper to import into the question of construction doctrines of democratic theory and practice obtaining in other countries, unrelated to the tenor, scheme and words of the provisions which we have to construe. In plain and unambiguous language, the proviso to Art. 3 of the Constitution states that where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of the States, the Bill must be referred by the President to the Legislature of the State for expressing its views. It does not appear to us that any special or recondite doctrine of " democratic process " is involved therein. Learned counsel for the appellant has invited our attention to Art. IV, s. 3, of the American Constitution which says inter alia that " no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State, nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States or parts of States without the consent of the Legislatures of the State concerned as well as of the Congress." That provision is quite different from the proviso we are considering: the former requires the consent of the State Legislature whereas the essential requirement of our proviso is a, reference by the President of the proposal contained in the Bill for the expression of its views by the State Legislature. For this reason we do not think that the decisions relied on by learned counsel for the appellant (State of Louisiana v. State of Mississipi (1), and State of Washington v. State of Oregon(1)) are in point. The expression I State' occurs in Art. 3, and as has been observed in the State of Texas v. George W. White (3), that expression may have different meanings: it may mean a territorial region, or people united in political relation living in that region or it may refer to the government under which the people live or it may even convey the combined idea of territory, people and government. Article 1 of our Constitution says that India is a Union of States and the States and the territories thereof are specified in a Schedule. There is, therefore, no difficulty in understanding what is meant by the expression 'State' in Art. 3. It obviously refers to the States in the First Schedule and the I Legislature of the State' refers to the Legislature which each State has under the Constitution. That being the position we see no reasons for importing into the Construction of Art. 3 any doctrinaire consideration of the sanctity of the rights of States or even for giving an extended meaning to the expression I State' occurring therein. None of the constituent units of the (1) (1905) 202 U.S. 1. (2) (1908) 211 U.S. 127. (3) (i869) 74 U.S. 700.
Indian Union was sovereign and independent in the sense the American colonies or the Swiss Cantons were before they formed their federal unions. The Constituent Assembly of India, deriving its power from the sovereign people, was unfettered by any previous commitment in evolving a constitutional pattern suitable to the genius and requirements of the Indian people as a whole. Unlike some other federal legislatures, Parliament, representing the people of India as a whole, has been vested with the exclusive power of admitting or establishing new States, increasing or diminishing the area of an existing State or altering its boundaries, the Legislature or Legislatures of the States concerned having only the right to an expression of views on the proposals. It is significant that for making such territorial adjustments it is not necessary even to invoke the provisions governing constitutional amendments.
The second line of argument presented on behalf of the appellant is that the word I Bill' in the proviso must be interpreted to include an amendment of any of the clauses of the Bill, at least any substantial amendment thereof, and any proposal contained in such amendment must be referred to the State Legislature for expression of its views. We do not think that this interpretation is correct. Wherever the introduction of an amendment is subject to a condition precedent, as in the case of financial bills, the Consti- tution has used the expression I A bill or amendments', e.g. in Art. 117. No such expression occurs in art 3. Secondly, under Art. 118Parliament has power to make rules of its own procedure and conduct of business, including the moving of amendments etc. Rule 80 of the rules of procedure of the House of the People (Lok Sabha) lays down the conditions which govern the admissibility of amendments to clauses or schedules of a Bill, and one of the conditions is that an amendment shall be within the scope of the Bill and relevant to the subject matter of the clause to which it relates. Article 122 (1) of the Constitution says that the validity of any proceedings in Parliament shall not be called in question on the ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure. In view of these provisions, we cannot accept an interpretation of Art. 3 which may nullify the effect of Art. 122, an interpretation moreover which is based not on the words used therein but on certain abstract and somewhat illusory ideas of what learned counsel for the appellant has characterised as the democratic process. We recognise that the formation of a new composite State of Bombay as in s. 8 of the Act was a substantial modification of the original proposal of three units contained in the Bill. That, however, does not mean that it was not a proper amendment of the original proposal or that the State Legislature had no opportunity of expressing its views on all aspects of the subject matter of the proposal. The High Court rightly pointed out that in the debates in the State Legislature several members spoke in favour of a composite State of Bombay. The point to note is that many different views were expressed in respect of the subject matter of the original proposal of three units, and as a matter of fact it cannot be said that-the State Legislature had no opportunity of expressing its views in favour of one composite unit instead of three units if it so desired. It cannot be said that the proposal of one unit instead of three was not relevant or pertinent to the subject matter of the original proposal. ID T. H. Vakil v. Bombay Presidency Radio Club Ltd. (1), a decision on which learned counsel for the appellant has relied, the question arose of the power of the chairman of a club to rule an amendment out of order. It was said therein that (1) an amendment must be germane to the subject-matter of the original proposition and (2) it must not be a direct negative thereof. Judged by these two conditions, it cannot be said that the proposal of one unit instead of three was not germane to the subject-matter of the original proposal or was a direct negative thereof. We are unable, therefore, to accept the third contention of learned counsel for the appellant to the effect that the formation of a new Bombay State as envisaged in s. 8 of the Act was so completely divorced from the proposal contained in (1) (1944) 47 Bom. L.R. 428.
the Bill that it was in reality a new bill and therefore a fresh reference was necessary.
It is advisable, perhaps, to add a few more words about Art. 122(1) of the Constitution. Learned counsel for the appellant has posed before us the question as to what would be the effect of that Article. if in any Bill completely unrelated to any of the matters referred to in Cls. (a) to (e) of Art. 3 an amendment was to be proposed and accepted changing (for example) the name of a State. We do not think that we need answer such a hypothetical question except merely to say that if an amendment is of such a character that it is not really an amendment and is clearly violative of Art. the question then will be not the validity of proceedings in Parliament but the violation of a constitutional provision. That, however, is not the position in the present case.
For these reasons, we hold that there was no violation of Art. 3 and the Act or any of its provisions are not invalid on that ground.
The appeal accordingly fails and is dismissed with costs.
Appeal dismissed.
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