Lawyer files public interest litigation on the issue in Supreme Court

Is it “impossible” to divide the State as per the Constitution? That was the million dollar question that speakers attempted to answer at a meeting held here on Friday.

A roundtable conference of sorts was organised at Hotel Fortune Murali Park for the release of a booklet with the title “It is impossible to divide the State as per the Constitution” authored by Vijayawada-based lawyer Mettegunta Ramakrishna who has filed a public interest litigation on the bifurcation of the State in the Supreme Court.

Hurdles

Mr. Ramakrishna said that according to him both Article 3 and Article 317 (D) of the Constitution were hurdles for the division of the State. Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, MLAs Malladi Vishnu, Vellampalli Srinivas were on the dais. Samaikyandhra JAC office-bearer M.C. Das presided over the meeting.

Mr. Rajagopal disagreed with Mr. Ramakrishna and said that Article 3 was not a hurdle for the division and he wondered if it was correct to say that Article 371 (D) was a solid hurdle for the division.

Difficult question

Bezawada Bar Association president Matta Jayakar Babu said that Article 3 was in no way a hurdle, but Article 371 (D) made it very difficult to divide the State as a Constitutional Amendment under Article 368 was needed.

Siddhartha Law College Professor M. Anjaneyulu said that it was difficult to say so surely where the two Articles were hurdles. A lot would depend on the way the case was presented and the way the judges interpret it. While some lawyers are saying it was the formation of a new State, others were saying that it was ‘de-merger’.

The issue of whether the consent of views of the State Legislative Assembly were constitutionally required for the bill to be passed was also discussed.

Inconclusive

Mr. Rajagopal asked if a petition could be filed in the Supreme Court asking it to strike down the Amendment made in 1959 as it was the spirit of the Constitution.

The meeting ended without any conclusions, but several new perspectives came into light.

Former Mayor Tadi Sakuntala, former corporator and CPI leader Ch. Babu Rao, former PCC secretary Kolanukonda Sivaji, cardiologists T.V.A.S. Sarma spoke.