SC Judge Aravind Kumar recuses from hearing Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute

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NEW DELHI: Supreme Court judge Justice Aravind Kumar on Wednesday recused himself from hearing Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute.

The plea was listed before a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Ahsnuddin Amanullah, and Aravind Kumar. The Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud will now constitute a different bench for the case.

Earlier, three judges had recused themselves from hearing the case as they hailed from Karnataka.
Maharashtra had filed a petition in the apex court in 2004 seeking the transfer of some of the Karnataka villages to its side.

Maharashtra government had said that 865 villages and places from five Karnataka districts constitute Marathi-speaking people and should not be a part of Karnataka.

The border dispute dates back to the 1960s after the reorganisation of states on linguistic lines. The State Reorganisation Act, of 1956, aimed at reorganising the states along the linguistic line. After the implementation of the Act, Belagavi became a part of Karnataka.

In May 1960, Maharashtra laid claim to Belagavi (previously Belgaum) which was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency as it has a sizable Marathi-speaking population.

Karnataka contended that only Parliament could decide the state borders and not the Supreme Court. Last month, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai strongly condemned the Maharashtra Cabinet’s decision on the health insurance scheme for border villages between the two states.

Addressing mediapersons, Bommai said, “Maharashtra cabinet’s resolution announcing health insurance scheme for the people of Karnataka border is an unforgivable crime. When spoke to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, he said we should wait for the Supreme Court’s order. It was agreed that there should be no provocation. Now, this is violated. The order should be withdrawn immediately.”

Bommai said Karnataka can also announce projects like this. “Many taluks and gram panchayats have already decided that we are not getting justice in Maharashtra and should join Karnataka. In such a situation, the Maharashtra government should act very responsibly,” he said.

The Eknath Shinde government in Maharashtra announced an additional Rs 54 crore to implement the ‘Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana’ in villages bordering Karnataka. (ANI)

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