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PIL for statehood of Delhi and Puducherry
Satbir Singh Bedi | 18 Feb 2014

A PIL under Article 32 has been filed by Lucknow based social activist Dr Nutan Thakur and advocate Pratima Pandey in the Supreme Court (Diary No 5684/2014) for statehood of Delhi and Puducherry. Asok Pande is the counsel for the petitioners.

The matter attained great prominence in recent times due to the much-hyped protest by Arvind Kejriwal, the then Chief Minister of Delhi over transfer of a few policemen.

 
The petition says that the Constitution of India talks only of States and Union Territories where the various executive and legislative provisions for the States are provided in Part VI. Unlike that, Articles 239A, 239AA and 239AB of the constitution introduce such features which give the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry shape of a State.

Thus Chief Minister, Council of Ministers and Legislative Assemblies are provided for these UTs which are given power over the State list and the concurrent list but unlike the States, the Chief Minister is appointed by the President but aids and advices the Lieutenant Governor.
 
Dr Thakur and Ms Pandey have said that this dichotomy results in inherent contradictions making these UTs de facto a State and de jure a UT, which goes against the concept of basic structure of federalism as enunciated in Keshavanand Bharati case (1973) and later explained in details in Kuldip Nayar case (2006).  
 
Hence, the petitioners have prayed for quashing Articles 239A, 239AA and 239AB of the Constitution and placing Delhi and Puducherry in the list of States in the First schedule, instead of being placed among the UTs, having raised many important legal issues.