All About Delimitation Commission

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By moderator August 14, 2019 16:02

Recently the revoke of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two union territories.e. Jammu and Kashmir and Laddakh, highlighted the concept of delimitation commission for the region.

What is the Delimitation Commission?

“Delimitation” means fixing boundaries of constituencies in a state or a country having a legislative body. Under Article 82 of the Indian Constitution, Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every census. After the commencement of the act or law the “delimitation commission” is constituted by the central government and the commission allocates the number of seats and their demarcation into the territories. The orders of the commission cannot be questioned before any court.

History of Delimitation Commission

Till now, the delimitation commission has been constituted four times i.e. in 1952 under the Delimitation Commission Act of 1952, in 1963 under the Delimitation Commission Act of 1962, in 1973 under the Delimitation Commission Act 1972 and lastly in 2002 under the Delimitation Commission Act, 2002. At present, delimitation of the territorial constituencies has been done on the basis of the CENSUS 2001 data under the Delimitation Commission constituted in 2002. In 2002, the delimitation of constituencies freezes up to the year 2026. Thus the present constituencies shall continue to be in existence till the first census after 2026.

Delimitation in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K)

Recently Central government repealed Article 370 which give special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The state got bifurcated into the two union territories i.e. Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The creation of these union territories changes the administrative structure. The union territory Jammu and Kashmir will have assembly like in Delhi so the elections for the assembly would be required. The election can take place only after the completion of delimitation commission by Election Commission. Accordingly, Chapter V of The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019 deals with “delimitation of constituencies”. According to the new provisions, the number of seats in the assembly of Jammu and Kashmir would increase from 107 to 114. As per Official Gazette publication “Delimitation of the constituencies” may be determined by the “Election Commission” in the manner hereinafter

provided— (a) the number of seats to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assembly, having regard to the relevant provisions of the Constitution;

(b) the assembly constituencies into which the Union territory shall be divided, the extent of each of such constituencies and in which of the seats shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes or for the Scheduled Tribes; and

(c) The adjustments in the boundaries and description of the extent of the parliamentary constituencies in each Union territory that may be necessary or expedient.

The Acts further adds the “Readjustment of the constituencies” shall be done by Delimitation Commission which is to be constituted under Delimitation Commission Act, 2002 and will come into effect after central government announcement by order or published in the official gazette. The figures for the reference would be taken from 2011 census figures.

Need for Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir

As per CENSUS 2011, Jammu division population is 43% of the total state population. The Jammu division is about 26% area of the total state and number of seats in the state assembly from this area are 37 whereas in Kashmir division which holds 55% of the state’s population over 16% area of the total area of the state has 46 seats in the assembly. The Laddakh territory constitutes 58.33% of the area holding 2.18% of the population. This data shows inconsistency in the demarcation of seats into the assembly. For delimitation, some factors should be kept in mind like area, their population, nature of the area, communication facilities, etc. so that a balanced demarcation can be done. Now the central government wants to reduce or minimize this unbalanced seat distribution of the Jammu and Kashmir.

Why the Central Government wants this Delimitation:

Kashmir Division mainly has a dominance of the separatist’s leaders and have the majority of a particular community and this is the reason that why the seats of this area always won by the state parties like  National Conference Party (NCP) and People Democratic  Party(PDP). The dominance of these leaders does not cooperate with the Indian government and Indian Constitution too resulting in the unbalanced situation in the state and affecting people of the state. Now, the central government wants to change this scenario hence GOI wants to increase the number of seats in the Jammu region for loksabha and state assembly elections where the grip of separatist’s leader is less along with reducing the number of seats in the Kashmir division.

Conclusion:

This delimitation of constituencies will solve the uneven distribution of the seats in the region which would positively affect the state politically and socially. By the delimitation in Kashmir, the central government has a chance to form same party government in the assembly as in center which would devitalize the grip of separatist’s leaders in the Kashmir politics which would ultimately stimulate the development of the state. Because the development of the state would be easier after the establishment of a stable government in the state which would tackle the problem of local terrorism, unemployment, etc.

Also read: The Legislative Assembly And Article 333

moderator
By moderator August 14, 2019 16:02