delimitation-commission

Context: The Delimitation Commission in a meeting held recently, reviewed the progress of work of redrawing parliamentary and assembly seats of UT of Jammu & Kashmir, Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

More on the news:

  • It noted that the information on details of the State Election Commissioner has been received from the State of Arunachal Pradesh,Assam,Manipur and Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Requisite Census data has been received from the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India.

Need for delimitation:

  • The Commission will delimit the constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, and of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland in accordance with the provisions of the Delimitation Act, 2002.
  • After the bifurcation of J&K into two UTs the need  to redraw the Assembly constituency boundaries has been felt . 
  • The delimitation in the four North-eastern states has been deferred earlier due to the security reasons. Recently, the government cancelled its earlier notification deferring delimitation in these states.

Delimitation

Definition

  • It means the process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a state to represent the change of population that has a legislative body.

Objective

  • To provide equal representation to equal segments of a population.
  • Fair division of geographical areas so that one political party doesn’t have an advantage over others in an election.
  • To follow the principle of “One Vote One Value”.

Background

  • The first delimitation exercise was carried out by the President in 1950-51.
  • The Delimitation Commission Act was enacted in 1952.
  • Delimitation Commissions have been set up four times — 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002 under the Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002.

Constitutional Provisions

  • Article 82: This provides for the enactment of  a Delimitation Act after every Census by the parliament.
  • Article 170: The States also get divided into territorial constituencies as per Delimitation Act after every Census.
  • The Union government sets up a Delimitation Commission once the Act is in force.
    • For the present delimitation exercise, the population figures of 2011 census shall be taken as the basis.
    • The delimitation will be done as per the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and provisions of the J&K Reorganization Act of 2019 as the J&K Representation of the People Act 1957 has now been invalidated.

Exercise of delimitation by Delimitation Commission

  1. Composition: According to the Delimitation Commission Act, 2002, the Delimitation Commission appointed by the Centre has to have three members: 
  • Chairperson: a serving or retired judge of the Supreme Court as the, and 
  • Ex-officio members: The Chief Election Commissioner or Election Commissioner nominated by the CEC and the State Election Commissioner.
  1. The orders of the commission  have the force of law and they cannot be challenged before any court.
  2. Enforcement of commission’s order is undertaken as per the date specified by the President of India. The copies of these orders are laid before the Lok Sabha or the concerned Legislative Assembly and no modifications are permitted.


Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1627503

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