Telangana issue does not need a constitutional amendment in Parliament: Law Ministry

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 13 2014, 02:17am hrs
The Telangana bill, to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh and create a separate state does not require a Constitutional amendment and the new state can be carved out by a simple majority in Parliament.

The Law Ministry has told the Lok Sabha Secretariat that the bill to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh does not require a Constitutional amendment and passage of a simple legislation, as planned, was enough for the purpose.

In an opinion rendered to the Lok Sabha secretariat this morning, the Law Ministry has cited Article 3 and 4 (2) of the Constitution to support its view.

It also told the Lok Sabha Secretariat that a Group of Minister on Telangana has already gone though the issue before recommending to the Union Cabinet to bring a simple legislation to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.

Article 4 (2) states that "No such law as aforesaid shall be deemed to be an amendment of this Constitution for the purposes of Article 368" which deals with constitutional amendments.

As of now, the Bill does not seek to amend the Constitution.

The Lok Sabha Secretariat had asked the Law Ministry whether a constitutional amendment was required to create the 29th state of the country. A constitutional amendment requires two-third majority.

There was a view in the Lok Sabha secretariat that a constitutional amendment is required to create a Legislative Council in Telangana.

"The officials of the Legislative Department of the Law Ministry were involved in drafting the bill. Had there been a need for a constitutional amendment, they would have pointed it then itself," a senior government functionary said here.

The Telangana Bill is now expected to be introduced only after the House approves the Vote-on-Account, 2013-14, on February 18, just three days before the last session of the 15th Lok Sabha is supposed to conclude.

Earlier, the Rajya Sabha secretariat had flagged the issue that since it was a money bill, it cannot be introduced in the Upper House.