SC reserves verdict on plea against delimitation commission in J-K
New Delhi, December 1, 2022 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its judgment on a plea challenging the government's decision to constitute the delimitation commission for redrawing the assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul reserved the judgement after hearing all the parties in the case. The Centre and Election Commission of India (ECI) have defended the decision to conduct the delimitation exercise which extended the number of assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir.
The apex court was hearing a plea of two Srinagar residents Haji Abdul Gani Khan and Dr Mohammad Ayub Mattoo saying that this delimitation exercise was carried out contrary to the scheme of the constitution, and alteration of boundaries and inclusion of extended areas could not be done.
The challenge is about the delimitation pursuant to the notifications of March 6, 2020, and March 3, 2021.
The plea sought a declaration that the increase in the number of seats from 107 to 114 (including 24 seats in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir) in Jammu and Kashmir is ultra vires the Constitutional Provisions such as Articles 81, 82, 170, 330, and 332 and Statutory Provisions, particularly under Section 63 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.
It said that while Article 170 of the Constitution of India provides that the next delimitation in the country will be taken up after 2026 then why has the Union Territory Jammu and Kashmir been singled out?
The plea said that the last Delimitation Commission was set up on July 12, 2002, in the exercise of powers conferred by Section 3 of the Delimitation Act, 2002, after the 2001 Census to carry out the exercise throughout the country and the commission had issued guidelines and methodology for the Delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies vide letter dated July 5, 2004, along with the Constitutional and Legal Provisions.
It sought to declare the notification dated March 6, 2020, constituting the delimitation commission to take up delimitation in the Union Territory Jammu and Kashmir and the states- Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Nagaland by the Centre and consequential omission of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland from the process of delimitation vide., notification dated March 3, 2021, and conducting delimitation only for Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is unconstitutional as it amounts to classification and violates Article 14. (ANI)