Pinnacle Court Seeks Centre, EC's Response on Plea Challenging J&K Delimitation

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The Supreme Court on Friday (May 13) asked the Union government, administration of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and committee to file their replies on a plea challenging the recent delimitation exercise undertaken within the area.

“…all respondents being represented before us so as to look at it's necessary to possess the stand of the respondent filed on affidavit. The affidavits be filed within 6 weeks,” the bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.M. Sundresh as saying.

The bench also noted that since this case wasn't about the revocation of Article 370 and Article 35A, the parts of the petition criticising that move was to be ignored. “On our specific query Ld. Counsel for petitioner submits that he's not assailing the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A of Constitution of India. Thus, the allegations on his behalf are relevant and to be ignored,” the judges said.

The matter are heard next on August 30.

The petition has alleged that the delimitation exercise was imagined to be dispensed on the idea of the 2011 population Census, but there was no such population census within the UT that year.

The plea also challenges the rise in number of seats from 107 to 114 (including 24 seats in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) within the UT of Jammu and Kashmir to be ultra vires Articles 81, 82, 170, 330 and 332 of the Constitution and Section 63 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.

The petition, filed by residents of Jammu and Kashmir K, also sought a declaration that the constitution of the Delimitation Commission under the Delimitation Act 2022 is without power, jurisdiction and authority.

On May 5, a three-member delimitation panel headed by Supreme Court Justice (retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai notified 90 assembly constituencies in J&K. consistent with the notification, seven additional constituencies are added to the J&K assembly