Home India News Plea for central rule in parts of Karnataka dismissed

Plea for central rule in parts of Karnataka dismissed


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Thursday dismissed a Maharashtra government plea for imposition of the president’s rule in parts of Karnataka where a large population of Marathi speakers live, till the boundary dispute between the two states is resolved.

A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan dismissed the petition by the state government in limini – that is, without even hearing the grounds for the demand.

The bench, which included Justices R.V. Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari, had a hearty laugh as Maharashtra government counsel Shivaji M. Jadhav made the demand, and dismissed his petition.

Observing that imposition of the president’s rule on a part of a state is a legal proposition unheard of, the bench dismissed the interim application by the state. The bench assured the4 Maharshtra government that the apex court would take up for hearing its original suit on the border dispute with Karnataka in January next year.

The Maharashtra government had filed in March 2004 a lawsuit before the apex court, seeking transfer to it of certain parts of Karnataka with a substantial number of Marathi speaking people.

The parts of Karnataka that Maharashtra is eyeing include towns like Belgaum, Bhalki, Khanapur, Nippani and Karwar besides a total of 865 villages.

In its interim application, Maharashtra had contended that Belgaum and other cities had been wrongly transferred by the central government from the erstwhile province of Bombay to the erstwhile province of Mysore as per the provisions of the State Reorganisation Act, 1956.

The petitioner contended that these areas continued to belong to Karnataka despite the union home minister telling parliament that the law had the provision of the zonal council to resolve the border dispute.

The Maharashtra government also argued in its petition that even the first chief minister of Karnataka had on Dec 24, 1956 told the Karnataka assembly that “large Marathi-speaking areas have been transferred to Karnataka” and that he would have no hesitation to include these areas into the state of their own language.