Parliament may by law—

(a) form a new State by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to a part of any State;

(b) increase the area of any State;

(c) diminish the area of any State;

(d) alter the boundaries of any State;

(e) alter the name of any State:


Provided that no Bill for the purpose shall be introduced in either House of Parliament except on the recommendation of the President and unless, where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of the States, the Bill has been referred by the President to the Legislature of that State for expressing its views thereon within such period as may be specified in the reference or within such further period as the President may allow and the period so specified or allowed has expired.


Explanation I.—In this article, in clauses (a) to (e), "State'' includes a Union territory, but in the proviso, "State'' does not include a Union territory.


Explanation II.—The power conferred on Parliament by clause (a) includes the power to form a new State or Union territory by uniting a part of any State or Union territory to any other State or Union territory.

Debate Summary


Constituent Assembly Debate Stage:

Article 3 of Constitution of India, 1950 along with Articles 1, 2, and 4 were debated on 17th November 1948  and 18th November 1948. It was reopened for discussion on 13th October 1949.

A simple motion amendment proposed by K. Sanathan and then altered by Ambedkar, that the words “or by uniting any territory to a part of any State” be added, was adopted.

KT Shah moved the amendment that if the boundaries of a state are altered, then the decision must be taken by the State Legislature as opposed to the Central Authority. The reason behind this is that if such a decision is to be taken then the parties who are primarily affected, that is the people themselves who are living in those boundaries should be consulted rather than laying it from above. Another reason is that the Central Authority will necessarily be not familiar with the local condition and they may have a different outlook and considerations.  According to him, this will be a more democratic practice rather than laying all the power with the centre. He said that in order to retain democracy, assent should be secured in advance from the people concerned in suggesting such readjustment.

Ambedkar, as opposed to KT Shah’s amendment, proposed another amendment according to which while proposing the bill for reorganization of territories in Part I of the schedule, the consultation or the view of the concerned territory must be required by the President and when there is bill for reorganization of territories in Part III of the schedule, the consent of the state will be required by the President. The difference was on the basis that the position of states is different than that of the provinces. States are sovereign states as opposed to provinces and their consent is necessary.

If the amendment of Ambedkar was accepted then it automatically ruled out the amendment proposed by KT Shah.

Pundit Hriday Nath Kunzru modified Ambedkar’s amendment that the states and the provinces must be placed on the same footing for the reason that in the other parts of the constitution, they are treated in the same manner. And the states do not exercise sovereignty in other part of the constitution and there is no reason why they should exercise it here. Shri Gopal Krishna Vijayvargiya supported his view.

Rai Bahadur Shyamanandan Sahai was of the view of that previous consent should be taken in both the cases that is in the case of states and the provinces and no discrimination must be made.

Rohini Kumar Chaudhary believed that the discretion shouldn’t be in President’s hand and the consent of the state legislature must be taken. He supported Ambedkar’s amendment.  However, he along with Shibban Lal Saxena and L Krishnaswami Bharti, who also supported the amendment but believed that it is dangerous to vest the states with sovereign power. They along with Raj Bahadur were not in the favor of discriminating between state and provinces.

Krishnaswami Bharathi also agreed with Ambedkar’s amendment however he believed that making a distinction between provinces and state on the basis that States are sovereign is laying down of a dangerous doctrine.

BR Ambedkar in his reply said that there is no need of chaos as Indian States have been induced to accept and follow the provision of section 212 and surrender complete sovereignty so that the Indian Union may be able to deal with the Indian States in the same way in which it is able to deal with the provinces. He opposed the amendment made by Pandit Kunzru.

The amendment as modified by Pandit Kunzru was adopted.

The article was reopened on 13th October 1949 and HV Pataskar moved the amendment that in order to pass the law, the law is to be passed by a majority of the members of House of people representing the state. The amendment was not adopted.

TT Krishnamachari moved a simple amendment to add the words ‘Rajpramukh’ and ‘Uprajpramukh’ to the explanation of the article. The amendment was adopted.

Decision of the Assembly:

The Constituent Assembly adopted Article 3 as amended by the on 18th November 1948. The Article was reopened on for the proposed amendments and the amendments were adopted by the Assembly