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Documents and correspondences regarding The Cooch Behar State Assimilation, 1950

F. 17/154/50-Judicial.
Ministry of Home Affairs.

Subject: The Cooch Behar (Assimilation of State Laws)
Bill, 1950

Serial No. 1.
The Cooch Behar (Assimilation of State Laws) Bill, 1950, which was passed by the State Legislature on the 4th October 1950, has been submitted for obtaining the assent of the President to the Bill. The Bill has been reserved for the consideration of the President as some of the Acts which are proposed to be extended to Cooch Behar deal with acquisition of property for public purposes and as such the Bill requires to be reserved under clause (3) of Article 31 of the Constitution. The extracts from the proceedings of the State Legislature have not been forwarded. The consideration of the Bill need not be deferred on that account. The object of the Bill has been fully explained in the Statement of Objects and Reasons appended to the Bill introduced. The main object is to assimilate certain State Laws in force in Cooch Behar to the State laws in force in the rest of West Bengal.

2. Under the State’s Merger (West Bengal) Order, 1949, the former Indian State of Cooch Behar has been merged into and constituted a district of West Bengal. This merger did not by itself effect any change in the body of laws to which the former Indian State of Cooch Behar was subject before the commencement of the Order nor do the laws in force in West Bengal prior to the date of merger apply to Cooch Behar with the exception of six Acts already extended to Cooch Behar by the West Bengal State Laws (Extension to Cooch Behar) Act, 1950, which was enacted with the assent of the President. The State Government have considered this position as unsatisfactory and they accordingly propose to assimilate the laws in force in Cooch Behar to the laws in force in the rest of West Bengal. The present Bill seeks to achieve this object.

3. The present Bill relates to laws in the State List with the exception of the few Acts mentioned in Schedule II to the Bill. The Bill also provides that the eight Acts specified in Schedule II which are in force in West Bengal should not for the present be applied to Cooch Behar but that corresponding Acts of the Cooch Behar State will continue to operate subject to the adaptations specified in Schedule I appended to the Bill.
4. The Bill may be recommended for the assent of the President subject to the concurrence of the Ministry of Law, who may see. The usual endorsement has been typed on the authentic copy of the Bill for the signature of the President. A draft summary for the President, a draft telegram and a draft letter to the Secretary to the Governor are submitted for approval.

Sd/
13.11.50

Sd/
14.11.50

Sd/-13.11.50
U.S.(J)

Min. of Law (By name)
Ministry of Home Affairs U.O. No. 17/154/50-gudl. Dt.14/11/50

MINISTRY OF LAW
14 NOV 1950
File No…..
Dairy ..No. 5203/50….


 

No objection,

I am afraid, however, that the draft Summary is incomplete and in one respect misleading. It is incomplete in that it makes no reference to the proposed complementary Central legislation (the Cooch Behar (Assimilation of Laws) Bill, 1950) which will extend to Cooch Behar all West Bengal laws relatable to the Union and Concurrent Lists. It is misleading in that it suggests that the Acts in Schedule II of the Bill are not laws in the State List. I suggest something on the following lines in place of para.2 of the present draft XXXXX:-

“By the States Merger (West Bengal) Order, 1949, the former Indian State of Cooch Behar was merged into and became a district of West Bengal. Nevertheless it continued to be governed by its old laws; and the laws in force in West Bengal have no application in Cooch Behar with the exception of the six Acts extended to that area by the West Bengal State Laws (Extension to Cooch Behar) Act, 1950, enacted with the assent of the President. The position is obviously unsatisfactory and both the Centre and State consider it necessary to assimilate the laws in force in Cooch Behar with the laws in force in the rest of West Bengal.

The present Bill seeks to extend to Cooch Behar all the laws in force in West Bengal in so far as they relate to any of the matters enumerated in the State List; the corresponding Cooch Behar laws will thereupon cease to operate. (An exception is made with regard to the 8 Acts specified in Schedule – I I; in respect of these, it has been considered administratively convenient to retain for the time being the corresponding Cooch Behar Acts with the modifications set out in Schedule- I). Complementary legislation is being undertaken by the Centre (in the shape of the Cooch Behar (Assimilation of Laws) Bill, 1950 for effecting a similar extension in respect of all laws relating to matters in the Union and Concurrent Lists. The Central and State Acts will, when the Bills become law, be brought into force on the same day with the result that all the laws of West Bengal (with the exceptions already noticed) will be simultaneously brought into force in Cooch Behar.”

Sd/
20/11/50
(P.T. Raman Nayar)
20-11-50


Ministry of Home Affairs.
L.M.u.o. no.5203/50 dt.21.11.50

Ministry of Home Affairs,

The Ministry of Law, who have been consulted, have no objection to the President’s assent being given to the Bill. The Bill may accordingly be recommended for the assent of the President. As suggested by the Law Ministry in their note above, the draft summary for the President has been revised. H.M. may now see and if he approves, the file may be submitted to the President with the summary put up.

Sd/-
23.11.50

Sd/-
27.11.50

Sd/-
25.11.50
U.S. (J)
D.S. (J)
Secy
H. M

Sd/-
27.11.50

Sd/- 28/XI
Sd/- 28/11

HM approves
Sd/-
28/11

SUMMARY,

The Cooch Behar (Assimilation of State Laws) Bill, 1950,

The Governor of West Bengal has reserved this Bill for the consideration of the President for the reason that some of the Acts which are proposed to be extended to Cooch Behar deal with acquisition of property for public purposes and as such the Bill requires to be reserved for the consideration of the President under elause (3) of Article 31 of the Constitution.

2. By the States Merger (West Bengal) Order, 1949, the former Indian State of Cooch Behar was merged into and became a district of West Bengal. Nevertheless, it continued to be governed by its old laws; and the laws in force in West Bengal have no application in Cooch Behar with the exception of the six Acts extended to that area by the West Bengal State Laws (Extension to Cooch Behar) Act, 1950, enacted with the assent of the President. The position is obviously unsatisfactory and both the Centre and State consider it necessary to assimilate the laws in force in Cooch Behar with the laws in force in the rest of West Bengal.

The present Bill seeks to extend to Cooch Behar all the laws in force in West Bengal in so far as they relate to any of the matters enumerated in the State List; the corresponding Cooch Behar laws will thereupon cease to operate. (An exception is made with regard to the 8 Acts specified in Schedule II; in respect of these, it has been considered administratively convenient to retain for the time being the corresponding Cooch Behar Acts with the modifications set out in Schedule I). Complementary legislation is being undertaken by the Centre (in the shape of the Cooch Behar (Assimilation of Laws) Bill, 1950) for effecting a similar extension in respect ofall laws relating to matters in the Union and Concurrent Lists. The Central and State Acts will, when the Bills become law, be brought into force on the same day with the result that all the laws of West Bengal (with the exceptions already noticed) will be simultaneously brought into force in Cooch Behar.

3. There is no objection to the President’s assent being given to the Bill. The Ministry of Law, who have been consulted, agree in this view. This Ministry accordingly recommends that assent be given. If the President approves, the endorsement on the authentic copy of the Bill, placed below, may please be signed.

Sd/-
28.11.50
(H.V.R. Iengar)
Secretary.

Secretary to President.
The President has signed.

Sd/-

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY
TO THE PRESIDENT
Dy. No.788-FR/50 Date 29/11/50

M. H. A

1.12
Sd/- 1/12

# Kamta # Kochbihar # Cooch Benhar # KochRajbanshi # GCPA # Greater Cooch Behar Peoples Association

Courtesy: Merger of Erstwhile Cooch Behar state by Nalini Ranjan Ray/ Sourced from The National Archives of India, New Delhi

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