Creation of New States

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The Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly recently passed a resolution calling for the division of Uttar Pradesh [U.P] into four States. But the procedure for formation of new States laid down in Article 3 of the Constitution provides that a State has no say over the formation of new States beyond communicating its views to Parliament. Article 3 assigns to Parliament the power to enact legislation for the formation of new States. Parliament may create new States in a number of ways, namely by (i) separating territory from any State, (ii) uniting two or more States, (iii) uniting parts of States and (iv) uniting any territory to a part of any State. Parliament’s power under Article 3 extends to increasing or diminishing the area of any State and altering the boundaries or name of any State. Two checks constrain Parliament’s power to enact legislation for the formation of new States. Firstly, a bill calling for formation of new States may be introduced in either House of Parliament only on the recommendation of the President. Secondly, such a bill must be referred by the President to the concerned State Legislature for expressing its views to Parliament if it contains provisions which affect the areas, boundaries or name of that State. As can be seen, the only role that the U.P. State Legislature [the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council] will play in any future formation of new States is when the President calls for its views to be placed before Parliament. Parliament will not be bound by these views in the process of enacting legislation for the formation of new States.