Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to create Telangana came under judicial scrutiny on Friday with the Supreme Court agreeing to examine it and sought response from the Centre.
A bench headed by Justice H L Dattu issued notice to the Centre on a batch of petitions filed by several people, including former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Reddy, challenging bifurcation of the State.
The court favoured interference of a Constitution bench for hearing the issue and said the larger bench can consider whether stay can be granted on bifurcation.
The petitioners contended that the bifurcation of the state is illegal and unconstitutional. They questioned Centre's decision to pass the bill pertaining to bifurcation of the state in Parliament despite it being rejected by the state assembly.
There are around 18 petitions filed in the apex court challenging the bifurcation.
The apex court had on February 7 and 17 respectively refused to entertain petitions challenging the division of Andhra Pradesh on the ground that they were "premature" as the bill was not cleared by Parliament at that time.
Parliament gave its approval on February 20 for the creation of Telangana by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh. The court had on February 7 refused to stay the tabling of the Telangana Bill and on February 17, it had dismissed two petitions challenging the division of Andhra Pradesh.
The apex court had said it cannot take a different stand and different view from what it had taken on February 7 while terming the plea against Telangana as "premature".
The court had declined to accept the contention that it can now go into the issue of Telangana as the bill was before Parliament.
"Parliament is seized of the bill. This is not a time for court to look into it. We understand your (petitioners) point that it is introduced," the bench had said, adding that the plea is "premature" for it to be entertained.
However, it had clarified that the averment made in the writ petitions are open to be entertained at an appropriate stage.
The home ministry has said that the Foundation Day of the new state will be June 2 when Telangana will come into existence and start functioning as a separate state.
Image: A pro-Telangana supporter during a protest in New Delhi