Friday, February 3, 2023

Supreme Court adjourns plea regarding delimitation in 4 NE states to next week

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The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned to next week a petition, seeking direction to the Centre to conduct delimitation exercise in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland by the Election Commission under Section 8A of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1950.

The plea had requested for constituting a Delimitation Commission in terms of provision under the Delimitation Act, 2002 and also under Section 8A of the Representation of Peoples (Amendment) Act, 1956.

A Bench of Justice K.M. Joseph and Justice Hrishikesh Roy adjourned the matter to next week, after the respondent in the case failed to appear before the court.

In view of the above, the petitioner also requested the Apex Court to shift the case for next week.

The Bench was hearing a petition seeking constitution of a ‘Delimitation Demand Committee’ for the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland in North East India.

It was argued that these states were denied delimitation selectively, while the rest of the country underwent the exercise. They have been denied delimitation selectively, violating the fundamental rights guaranteed to citizens under Article 14 of the Constitution, noted the plea.

The petition, filed through Advocate Gaichangpou Gangmei, stated that in the past 51 years, the delimitation exercise has not been held in the four north-eastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.

According to the petitioner, the denial of delimitation of the constituencies in these four states was unjust, unreasonable and unlawful.

It has already been two decades since the Delimitation Act, 2002 was amended and no delimitation exercises have been conducted in these four North-eastern states, citing law and order problems. However, since 2002, various Parliamentary and state Assembly elections have been conducted successfully in these states without any law and order problems cropping up, added the petition.

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