Friday, August 19, 2022

SC notice to Centre on plea to conduct delimitation exercise in 4 NE states

Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice on a plea seeking direction to the Election Commission of India to carry out a delimitation exercise in four North Eastern states — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland — as per the Representation of People’s Act, 1950.
Appearing for the petitioners, Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayana cited a presidential order dated February 28, 2020, before a bench comprising justices K.M. Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy, which allowed for conducting delimitation exercise in the four NE states and added that the Central government had issued a notification in March 2020 on the constitution of delimitation commission.
The counsel further contended that the commission was constituted for the purpose of delimitation of Assembly and parliamentary constituencies in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and also in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland, but the exercise was only restricted to Jammu and Kashmir.
After hearing arguments, the top court sought response from the Central government, ECI and others, and also allowed the petitioner to serve the plea on standing counsel of the North Eastern states.
The plea, filed through advocate Gaichangpou Gangmei, contended that the denial of delimitation of the constituencies in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland is unjust, unreasonable and unlawful. The plea has been filed by the Delimitation Demand Committee for the State of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland in Northeast India.
The plea submitted that it has been already two decades since the Delimitation Act, 2002 was amended and no delimitation exercises have been conducted in the four North Eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland nor under Section 8A of the Representation of Peoples Act in the name of law and order problems.
However, since 2002 it is to be noted that various parliamentary and state assembly elections have been conducted successfully in these four North Eastern states without any issue of law-and-order problems.
“In all fairness these four North- eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland deserved equal treatment per-se with rest of India and delimitation exercise ought be conducted at the earliest either by constituting a commission under the Delimitation Act, 2002 or through the Election Commission under Section 8A of Representation of Peoples Act as there are no justifiable reason that exist for not conducting delimitation,” it added.

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