The Himachal Pradesh and Bilaspur (New State) Act, 1954

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The Himachal Pradesh and Bilaspur (New State) Act, 1954 was enacted and came into force on 1 July 1954 for the purpose of forming a New State of Himachal Pradesh by clubbing existing States of Himachal Pradesh and Bilaspur by Parliament on 50th year of Republic of India.

Section 2 of the Act defines words like Article, Existing State, Law, Order, Parliamentary Constituency, Sitting Member in the Act. Part 2 of the Act explains about new State of Himachal Pradesh’s formation wherein Part C of the Constitution has been amended and with regard to Bilaspur state which has been omitted.

Part 3 of the Act states about one seat allotted to the new state in Council of States but the term of the sitting members of Council of States shall remain unaltered and expire on 2 April 1958. With regard to table of seats to state representative stated in Part C of the constitution has been amended. There is also an amendment in Section 27Aof the Representation of People Act 1950 with regard to word Delhi and substituted as Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and also first schedule with regard to Part C States of the Representation of Peoples Act 1950.  Section 8 of the Act states that there will be 4 seats allotted to the new state in House of People until it is amended.

Section 10 of the act states that three Parliamentary constituencies where one from State of Bilaspur and two from State of Himachal Pradesh will be formed. Delimitation of Parliamentary Constituencies (Part C States) Order 1951 shall be in effect. Section 11 of the Act states about representation of sitting member of House of People from Bilaspur and Himachal Pradesh will be considered elected by the people of that constituency itself.

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Section 12 to 16 has been repealed with regard to legislative assembly of new State. Section 17 explains that under Representation of People Act 1950 the word Bilaspur has been omitted. Part C State under Constitution has been amended. Any reference to Himachal Pradesh in Representation of People Act 1950 is also amended to refer to new State.  Electoral rolls shall continue to be in force in the new State until fresh rolls are prepared under the Act.

The Delimitation Commission has the power to amend, vary any of the final orders passed under Section 9 of the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952. Part 4 of the Act states about Courts of Judicial Commission shall constitute for new State and existing Judicial Commissioner and Additional Judicial Commissioner shall continue to act for the new State as it was done before the commencement of this Act. Every officer working in existing court shall form part of new Court but the new Court can alter or vary the designation and duties of the officer. New Court has full jurisdiction and powers to admit, suspend Advocates, Vakils, Pleaders. Judicial Commissioner’s Court (Declaration as High Court) Act 1950 will apply to the New Courts. The Law in force in the new court shall apply until varied or amended by competent authority. Proceedings that were pending in existing court shall continue in new Court, any order made by existing or new court shall be considered order of the previous court and under new Court too.Section 26 of the Act explains about subordinate courts that were under existing Court shall be under control of new Court.

Part 5 of the Act states that the administrative authorities shall continue to work in their respective divisions in the new State as they were doing previously before commencement of this Act.  New State has power to construe laws under the Act.  All taxes and fees that were levied before commencement of new State shall continue and will it come under the new State. Central Government has power to make any arrangement with regard to Bhakra-Nangal Project which will be for the benefit of the project and for proper administration. The President has the power to remove difficulties arising from any of the provisions of the Act but it cannot be done beyond 1 year from the commencement of the Act.

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by Sushma Javare