Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute: SC judge BV Nagarathna recuses self from hearing

Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute: SC judge BV Nagarathna recuses self from hearing

Apex court has jurisdiction to decide on issues between states, says Maha; only Parliament has say on such matters, counters K'taka

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, February 08, 2023, 10:32 PM IST
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Supreme Court | PTI

NEW DELHI: Supreme Court judge BV Nagarathna on Wednesday recused herself from hearing the vexed Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute filed by Maharashtra in 2004. The justice started her career with the Karnataka Bar Council and also served as a judge of the Karnataka High Court. The suit was listed before the bench of Justices KM Joseph, Hrishikesh Roy and BV Nagarathna.

Maharashtra has challenged certain sections of the State Reorganisation Act, 1956, based on which borders of several states were rejigged on linguistic grounds. According to the Maharashtra government, 865 villages and places from five Karnataka districts have a majority of Marathi-speaking people hence these areas should be given to it.

"Only the Parliament can decide"

In its plea, Maharashtra further refers to Article 131 of the Constitution which empowers the Supreme Court to consider the dispute between state governments. The apex court has jurisdiction in cases of disputes in which the Union government and the states are involved, it added.

Objecting to the suit, the Karnataka government contended that only the Parliament and not the SC can decide state borders under Article 3 of the Constitution. “The legislative exercise of powers under Article 3 does not vest any right in a State government,” it argued, adding that views of the Centre are given importance.

The southern state also contended that the basis of the State Reorganisation Act was not merely linguistic and the States were not divided just on the basis of language spoken by the citizens but it is a myriad consideration of financial, economic and administrative reasons.

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