The Supreme Court today sought response from the Central Government and the administration of Jammu and Kashmir on a petition challenging the proposed delimitation of the Union Territory.
As per the delimitation panel recommendation, there should be an increase of 83 to 90 Assembly seats in the Union Territory.
The plea, however, stated that increase in seats is violative of Article 81, 82, 170 and 330 & 332 of the Constitution and Section 63 of the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019.
The petition has been filed by the residents of J&K who seek a declaration that the constitution of the Delimitation Commission under the Delimitation Act 2022 is without power, jurisdiction and authority.
The petitioners named, Haji Abdul Gani Khan and Dr. Mohammad Ayub Mattoo, also challenge against the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.
During the hearing today, the Justice MM Sundresh asked the petitioner’s counsel which was represented by advocate Ravi Shankar Jandhyala whether petitioner is challenging removal of Article 370 of the Constitution or not.
Advocate Jandhyala in his reply said “No. After August 5, 2020, Kashmir became part of India,” J
Justice Kaul who also was there responded “No, use (words) properly, it was always a part of India. Just a special provision was removed,”
The Court said that it will not touch the matter of Article 370 since the same is already pending before the top court.
Last week, a panel was given the charge of redrawing the constituencies of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and finalising the electoral map of the union territory’.
The panel concluded the exercise for the election to commence after the special status was given to the state
The three-member Delimitation Commission said that 43 seats should be given to the Hindu majority region of Jammu and at the same time, marked 47 to the Muslim-majority area of Kashmir.
With these, there have been about six new seats in Jammu and one in Kashmir.
The opposition called it a politically-motivated report after many days of the proposal been tabled.
The opposition claimed that the ground realities were neglected while the report was prepared. They have also charged the report to have neglected the important matters of concern.
It claims that the current report is bereft of the consideration of wide gaps in the population between different constituencies ranging from population of 37000 to 1.90 lakh people.
The leaders from National conference ,Peoples Democratic party(PDP), Communist party of India(Marxist) ,CPI and certain civil societies and groups have jointly said that the report lacks the geographical, topographical situations and most of all the public convenience.
The next hearing in the matter is slated for August 30.