The Bombay Reorganisation Act, 1960

An Act of Central Government was enacted with the name and short title as ‘the Bombay Reorganisation Act, 1960’ (Act no. 11 of 1960). The purpose and object of the present Act is to make provisions as to re- organisation of the earlier State of Bombay. The said Act was enacted by the Parliament of India on 11th year of republic of India and the same has received the assent of honourable President of India on 25th day of April, 1960. The Act came into effect on 1st day of May, 1960. The provisions of the Act are divided into nine parts and there are also thirteen schedules annexed with the Act.

The Act contains its preliminary provisions under its first Part where its short titling and certain important definitions are provided. The provisions similar to the object of the Act are contained under Part II of the Act where earlier Bombay State’s re- organization is sought. Provisions of section 3, provides that there should be formation of new State which named as ‘State of Gujarat’ and the territories which the said State Gujarat should comprising is also provided under the said provision. It is however, notable that the Gujarat State is formed taking part of the State of Bombay and remaining other part of that State is treated as ‘State of Maharashtra’. Earlier, the States re- organisation Act, 1956 had defined boundaries for the States within India, based on languages used in that parts. And the earlier State of Bombay was formed as a result of that Act, however, the said State of Bombay was composed of different areas where different languages like Marathi, Gujarati, Kutchi, Konkani, etc. were spoken. It was a movement fired by the Sanykta Maharashtra Samiti, for dividing the State of Bombay into two States, where Gujarathi and Kutchi speaking areas were to form one State and other State should composed of areas where Marathi and Konkani were spoken. As such the present Act was enacted by the Parliament of India being a result of that movement.

Further, section 4 of the Act sought to introduce several consequential amendments due to the said bifurcation of the State of Bombay, in the Constitution of India, where under First Schedule to the constitution, under its heading ‘1.The States’, the entry regarding Gujarat State as entry no. 4 and entry regarding State of Maharashtra as entry no. 8 inserted. The State Government’s power as to alteration of name, extent or boundaries of any districts, taluka, etc. in the State should not be affected due to such bifurcation.

The next Part being Part III of the Act, makes provisions as to representation in the Legislatures. The part makes provisions in respect of representation from the bifurcated States in the Council of States, by amending the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution of India, where for State of Maharashtra, 19 seats and for State of Gujarat, 11 seats were allotted in the Council of States. Insofar as the House of People’s representation is concerned, the Act provides 44 seats to the State of Maharashtra and 22 seats to the State of Gujarat and consequent thereupon, there required amendment in the First Schedule to the Representation of the People Act, 1950. Similarly, there is also required the amendment in the First Schedule to the Delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies Order, 1956 as per direction provided in the Third Schedule annexed to this Act. Similarly, in the Legislative Assemblies, there should be 264 persons chosen in the Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra and 132 persons chosen in the Legislative Assembly of Gujarat by the direct elections and consequently the Second Schedule to the Representation of the People Act, 1950 should be amended. And for delimitation of assembly constituencies, the Second Schedule to the Delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Order, 1956 required to be amended as provided in the Fourth Schedule annexed with this Act. And in relation to the Legislative Council, at the first instant the Act sought to amend Article 168 of the Constitution of India for inserting name of Maharashtra State and for this State 78 seats in the Legislative Council of that state provided by amending the Third Schedule to the Representation of the People Act, 1950. Further, the Constitution Scheduled Castes and also Scheduled Tribes Orders of the year 1950 were sought to amend as directed under seventh and eighth Schedules annexed with this Act, respectively.

Further, the fourth part of the Act makes provisions as to High Courts of these newly formulated states and their jurisdictions, practice, procedure to be followed in that Courts and also appointment of Judges, transfer of proceedings, etc. Chapter V of the Act makes provisions as to authorization of expenditures for the State of Gujarat and of Maharashtra. And for apportionment of Assets and liabilities, the part VI of the Act makes provisions.

Moreover, the seventh part of the Act provides for provisions as to certain corporations, where, States Electricity Boards and Warehousing Corporations, States Financial Corporation, Road Transport Corporations, etc. are extended to the newly formulated States and the legislation connected with those corporations are amended under this Act. Part VIII makes provisions as to services in relation to such States. In the last part of the Act, it is provided that to amend the provisions of Article 371 of the Constitution of India and also the provisions of the State Re- organisation Act, 1956 to enter the name of States of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The provisions of this Act are required to be effected even there is any contrary provisions contained under any other law. The President is empowered under this Act to make order for removing difficulties which could arise while giving effect to the provisions of this Act. Lastly, the Central Government is provided with the authority to make rules for giving effect to the provisions of this Act.

The Law commission of India by its second interim report- ‘Obsolete Laws: Warranting Immediate Repeal’ being Report 249th dated 13th October, 2014 suggested the partial repeal of this present enactment.

Adv. Faim Khalilkhan Pathan