Home / News / India /  K'taka-Maha border row to be heard in SC on 23 Sept. Key points to the dispute

HUBBALLI : The border row between Karnataka and Maharashtra is set to come up for hearing in the Supreme Court of India on 23 September, news agency ANI quoted Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday. The Karnataka CM further informed that senior and experienced lawyers would be appointed in the legal team of the State to argue in the Supreme Court over the border row with Maharashtra.

“The border row between Karnataka and Maharashtra will come up for hearing in the Supreme Court on November 23. Senior and an experienced legal team will be appointed to effectively argue on behalf of Karnataka," Bommai told reporters at the airport here. 

The Chief Minister said the issue had been discussed with the Advocate General and a study done. 

On the order of the High Court of Karnataka to consider CET (common entrance test) marks for admission to professional courses, Bommai said the Advocate General has been instructed to study the order and submit a report. A decision on filing an appeal in the apex court would be taken after consulting legal experts.

The Karnataka-Maharashtra border issue has been a simmering conflict that flares up with both sides resorting to no-holds-barred attacks.

What is the Karnataka-Maharashtra border row?

-The conflict began in the 1940s when Belagavi municipality in present-day Karnataka, home to a significant Marathi-speaking population, requested that they be included in Maharashtra. Notably, Belagavi, Vijayapura, Dharwad and parts of Uttara Kannada, was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency.

-However, the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, incorporated Belgaum and 10 talukas of the Bombay State into the Mysore State which was renamed 'Karnataka' in 1973. 

-The commission added areas with more than 50% Kannada speaking population in the Mysore state, later known as Karnataka. The decision added Belagavi and some other unwilling districts from eartwhile Bombay Presidency to Mysore state.

-Political leaders from Maharashtra, them Bombay state had approached the Central government to reconsider what they thought was a flawed demarcation and sought that Belagavi and other Marathi-speaking areas in Bombay State.

-The dispute led to the formation of the Mahajan Commission in 1966 under retired Chief Justice of India Mehr Chand Mahajan. The commission was created to re-asses the demands and come up with a solution. 

-The commission published a report in 1967 wherein it recommended that 264 villages be transferred to Maharashtra while Belagavi, Nippani and 247 villages remain in Karnataka. Karnataka welcomed the report, Maharashtra rejected it.

-Maharashtra claims that 800 Marathi-speaking villages in Karnataka, including the ones in Belgaum, Karwar and Nippani. 

-Former Shiv Sena chief minister Uddhav Thackeray in 2021 has said, "We have to learn from past experiences and fight to win. The Karnataka-occupied Marathi-speaking areas will be included in Maharashtra," Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray recently asserted.

-Successive governments in Maharashtra have continued to lay claim to these areas, with the state approaching the Supreme Court in 2004 over the issue. 

-Thackeray had named ministers Chhagan Bhujbal and Eknath Shinde as co-ordinators to oversee his government's efforts to expedite the case related to the boundary dispute with Karnataka.

-To cement the fact that Belagavi and the other regions are an integral part of Karnataka, the state government started the construction of the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, modelled on the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, in 2007. The building was inaugurated in 2012 and a legislature session is held there once a year.

-However, with the exit of the MVA government and now Eknath Shinde as the Chief Minster of Maharashtra, the Marathi side of the legal battle seems to have weakened. Notably, Uddhav was the only CM who had bolstered the Maharashtra legal time to stake claim in the Supreme Court on several areas on Karnataka border 


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