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The Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (Alteration of Boundaries) Act, 1968

An Act no. 24 of the year 1968 was enacted by the Parliament of India with the name and title as ‘the Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (Alteration of Boundaries) Act, 1968’. The Act being one of Central Government was provided for the purpose and object to make provisions to alter the boundaries of the States including the State of Bihar and State of Uttar Pradesh. It was enacted by Parliament on 19th year of republic of India, and was assented by the President of India on 22nd day of May, 1968. The provisions of the Act are divided under several parts.

The first part is containing preliminary provisions as to short titling of the Act and also provides for certain important definitions of the terms used under various provisions of this Act.

The Act under its second part makes provisions as to territories transfer, wherein to the State of Bihar, all the territories of Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia District which were lying between the fixed boundary and the deep stream of the Ghaghra river and river Ganga. Also in case of addition to the State of Uttar Pradesh, the Act provides for adding of Bihar’s Saran District’s territories which are lying between the fixed boundaries and the deep stream of the river Ghaghra and also territories of Bihar’s Shahabad District which are lying between fixed boundary and deep stream of Ganga river. However, soon such transfer of territories will effected, the said boundaries should not remain the part of their earlier concerned States. And all such fix boundaries as has been mentioned in earlier provisions, it is made clear that the Central Government’s appointed authorities will fix them by demarcating thereof. Further section 4 provides for consequential amendments in the Constitutional provisions, due to such alteration in the boundaries. It is given that the under the Heading of ‘The State’, under First Schedule to the Constitution of India the said consequential amendments are sought. The Amendments are relating to change of territories in case of both the States i.e. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

The next part being Part III of the Act makes provisions as to representation in the Legislature and it is specifies under section 5 of the Act that the Order as to Delimitation of the Parliamentary constituencies, Assembly constituencies or Council constituencies should be constructed, in case of State of Bihar, as to included within its territories the aforesaid territories of the District of Ballia from the Uttar Pradesh State and in case of State of Uttar Pradesh, should be construed to include the territories, as aforesaid, of the Districts Saran and Shahabad of the Bihar State. So far as the provisions as to sitting members are concerned the same are contained under section 6 of the Act.

Further, part IV of the Act makes provisions as to High Courts’ jurisdictions extension and proceedings transfer thereof. In relation to the High Court of Patna, in its jurisdiction the territories transferred under this Act from the Uttar Pradesh to Bihar should be included and whereof the jurisdiction of High Court of Judicature at Allahabad will be taken off. And similarly, the proceedings pending in the Allahabad High Court should also be transferred to the High Court at Patna by the certification of Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court. However, as to the entertainment, hearing or disposing of appeals, applications seeking leave to Appeal before honourable Supreme Court, applications review and other given proceedings, the Allahabad High Court will have jurisdiction irrespective of what aforesaid. Similar extension of jurisdiction of High Court at Judicature of Allahabad and transfer of proceedings to that High Court is provided under next section. Further similar entitlement of persons appearing as an advocate in the proceedings transferred in the aforesaid provisions is provided under section 9.

Part V of the Act makes provisions as to expenditures authorisation. It is given under section 11 that for the appropriation of any moneys out of the Consolidated fund of the State for the expenditure the Legislatures enactment passed for the State of Bihar or Uttar Pradesh, as the case may be should be extended to the territories so transferred under this Act. Similarly, the next part from section 13 to 24 of the Act, is making provisions as to apportionment of assets and liabilities consequent upon such transfer of or alteration of territories under this Act.

The part VII makes provisions as to legal provisions and also at the end part of this, provides for miscellaneous provisions under this Act. The Financial Corporation constituted under Act of 1951 and State Electric Boards constituted under the Act of 1948 should be included under their jurisdiction the altered territories. And besides all other relevant provisions under this part, the Act provides under its section 32 the construction of boundary pillars, and all other consequential provisions under. It is provided under section 35 of the Act that, even in case anything done or any step taken earlier to this Act brought into force, relating to demarcation of fixed boundaries connected with Gang and Ghaghra rivers, should if they are corresponding to what provided under the provisions of this Act, be treated as the same have been done under this Act. It is further provided that the provisions of this Act should survive even in case anything inconsistent contained under any law, customs or usages, etc. Section 35 empowers the President to provide for orders notified, for the purpose of removing the difficulties which may arise while giving the effect to the provisions of this Act, and such orders should be consistent with the Act. The Central Government’s power to make rules has been described under section 36 of the Act, where by notification such rules can be made.

The present Act was sought to repeal by the recommendations of P C Jain Commission Report (Appendix B). Also the same was also recently recommended by the Law Commission of India for partial repeal, under its second interim report- ‘Obsolete Laws: Warranting Immediate Repeal’ being report no. 249 dated 13th October, 2014, on its study on the topic of ‘Legal Enactments: Simplifications and Streamlining’ (LESS)

Adv. Faim Khalilkhan Pathan