Plea in SC challenges constitution of Delimitation Comm

NEW DELHI, Mar 29:  A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court by two Kashmir residents challenging the Centre’s decision to constitute the Delimitation Commission for redrawing the Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The plea filed by Srinagar residents Haji Abdul Gani Khan and Dr. Mohammad Ayub Mattoo sought declaration that the increase of number of seats from 107 to 114 (including 24 seats in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) in Jammu & 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 & Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.
The plea said that if August 5, 2019 was to unite the Jammu and Kashmir State with India, then the delimitation process defeats “new order” of “One Nation One Constitution” in the country.
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 UT of Jammu and Kashmir been singled out?
The plea said that the last Delimitation Commission was set up on July 12, 2002, in 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 clearly stated that the total number of existing seats in the Legislative Assemblies of all States, including UTs of the National Capital Region and Pondicherry, as fixed based on the 1971 census shall remain unaltered till the first census to be taken after the year 2026”, the plea settled by senior advocate Ravi Shankar Jhandhyala said. (PTI)