SC on J&K delimitation: In a latest development, the Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its ruling on a plea challenging the government's decision to constitute a delimitation commission for redrawing the Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir. The plea was filed claiming it breached constitutional provisions.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, counsel for the Election Commission and the lawyer of the petitioners, presented the submissions that were heard by a bench of Justices SK Kaul and Abhay S Oka. "Arguments heard. Judgement reserved," the bench said.
The counsel appearing for the two petitioners, Haji Abdul Gani Khan and Mohammad Ayub Mattoo, had argued that the delimitation exercise was carried out in violation of the scheme of the Constitution.
The plea further added that alteration of boundaries and inclusion of extended areas should not have been done.
The plea had 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 constitutional provisions and statutory provisions, particularly under section 63 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.
It had said 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.
The Delimitation Commission redrew the electoral map of J&K
Redrawing the electoral map of Jammu and Kashmir in May, a three-member Delimitation Commission had earmarked 47 assembly seats for the Kashmir division and 43 for Jammu.
A gazette notification was issued after the panel, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, signed the final order giving Jammu six additional seats and one more to Kashmir.
Before the restructuring, which takes the total number of assembly seats in the union territory to 90, Jammu had 37 assembly constituencies and Kashmir 46.
(With PTI inputs)