New Delhi: The Centre has told the Supreme
Court that Belgaum district in Karnataka cannot be ceded to
Maharashtra merely because it has a large chunk of Marathi-
In an affidavit filed before the apex court, the Centre
pointed out that reorganisation of states was carried out in
1956 and 1960 on the basis of various criteria and language
was only one of them and not the sole factor.
The Centre`s affidavit filed through the Director,
Ministry of Home Affairs, urged the apex court to dismiss
Maharashtra`s claim on the ground that there was no
justification for the demand.
"It is submitted that the language of the people has
been one of the criteria but not the sole criterion for
inclusion of any area, i.e village, taluka, municipal area in
"States Reorganisation Commission had a balanced
approach to the issue and was not arbitrary. Both Parliament
and the union government had considered all the relevant
factors while considering the State Reorganisation Bill, 1956,
and the Bombay Reorganisation Bill, 1960, and decided the
village, taluka, municipal areas towns etc which are to be
included in the concerned states," the affidavit said.
The affidavit was filed in response to the apex court`s
notice to the Centre seeking its view on the dispute between
the two states over Maharashtra`s demand for inclusion of
Belgaum district since, according to it, a majority of the
locals are Marathi-speaking.
Karnataka had also fiercely opposed ceding of the
district to Maharashtra and the apex court is now seized of
the dispute after Maharashtra filed a suit on the dispute.