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Centre begins the process of delimitation of assembly seats in J&K

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    28th Feb, 2020

The Central Government has begun the process of delimitation of Assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir.

Context

The Central Government has begun the process of delimitation of Assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir.

About

  • Delimitation is the act of redrawing boundaries of Lok Sabha and state Assembly seats to represent changes in population.
  • The main objective of delimitation is to provide equal representation to equal segments of a population.
  • Delimitation literally means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a province having a legislative body.
  • The job of delimitation is assigned to a high power body.
  • Such a body is known as Delimitation Commission or a Boundary Commission.
  • In India, such Delimitation Commissions have been constituted 4 times – in 1952 under the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952, in 1963 under Delimitation Commission Act, 1962, in 1973 under Delimitation Act, 1972 and in 2002 under Delimitation Act, 2002.
  • These orders come into force on a date to be specified by the President of India in this behalf.
  • The copies of its orders are laid before the House of the People and the State Legislative Assembly concerned, but no modifications are permissible therein by them.

Process of Delimitation:

  • Under Article 82 of the Constitution of India, the Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every Census.
  • Once the Act is in force, the Union government sets up a Delimitation Commission.
  • In 1976, the 42nd Constitutional Amendment was used to stop the delimitation process until 2001.
  • In 2002, based on the 2001 Census delimitation commission was set up to readjust the boundaries of existing Lok Sabha and Assembly seats and reworking the number of reserved seats.
  • Further, in 2002, the 84th Constitutional Amendment was used to freeze the delimitation process until at least 2026.

About Delimitation commission

  • The Delimitation Commission is appointed by the President of India and works in collaboration with the Election Commission of India.
  • The commission is made up of a retired Supreme Court judge, the Chief Election Commissioner and the respective State Election Commissioners.
  • The commission is mandated to:
    • a) Determine the number and boundaries of constituencies to make the population of all constituencies nearly equal and
    • b) Identify seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, wherever their population is relatively large.
  • The constitution mandates that the orders of commission are final and cannot be questioned before any court as it would hold up an election indefinitely.
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