Challenge to delimitation of assembly and parliamentary constituencies in J-K

The Supreme Court will deliver its judgment tomorrow on a plea challenging delimitation of assembly and parliamentary constituencies in Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory.

The Apex Court will pronounce its judgment on Monday (February 13) on the petition filed by two Srinagar residents-Haji Abdul Gani Khan and Muhammad Ayub Matto.

On March 6, 2020, Union Ministry of Law and Justice (Legislative Department) had issued a notification in exercise of power under Section 3 of the Delimitation Act, 2002, constituting a Delimitation Commission, with former Supreme Court judge (Retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai as the chairperson.

The exercise was completed on May 5, 2022 when the delimitation panel unveiled its final order.

The petitioners have contended that the Article 170 of the Constitution of India indicates that next delineation exercise is to be carried out only after 2026, enforcing the delimitation process in UT of J&K is not only arbitrary but also violative of the basic structure of the Constitution.

They have submitted that the Delimitation Commission does not have the power to carry out the exercise as under Section 9(1) (b) of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1950 and Section 11(1) (b) of the Delimitation Act 2022, the power vested on the Election Commission is to update the Delimitation order by making the necessary changes on account of subsequent events and the said power cannot change boundaries or areas or extent of any constituency by way of any notification.

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