The Centre defends redrawing J&K seats, telling the Supreme Court that the 2019 law permits it.

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The Centre defends redrawing J&K seats, telling the Supreme Court that the 2019 law permits it.

The petitioners, Haji Abdul Gani Khan and Mohammad Ayub Mattoo, stated that only the Election Commission is authorised to perform the delimitation procedure under the 2019 Act.

The Centre defended the power of the Delimitation Commission, which was established to realign constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, telling the Supreme Court on Thursday that the J&K Reorganisation Act of 2019 mandates the Commission to do so.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a bench of Justices S K Kaul and A S Oka that the 2019 law does not restrict the establishment of a Delimitation Commission by the Centre and provides for two alternative procedures to carry out delimitation for J&K.

Centre defends redrawing J&K seats, tells Supreme Court 2019 law empowers it  | India News,The Indian Express

The bench reserved its decision on Thursday.

The petitioners, Haji Abdul Gani Khan and Mohammad Ayub Mattoo, stated that only the Election Commission is authorised to perform the delimitation procedure under the 2019 Act.

In response, Mehta stated, “Sections 61 and 62 of the 2019 Act do not restrict the Central Government from establishing a Delimitation Commission under Section 62 of the Act.” “While Sections 60-61 give on the Election Commission the ability to determine delimitation, Sections 62(2) and 62(3) confer on the Delimitation Commission established under Section 3 of the Delimitation Act the power to carry out delimitation,” he explained.

According to Mehtra, the 2019 law states that “…delimitation of seats may be determined by the Election Commission” and that “readjustment of constituencies…shall be carried out by the Delimitation Commission…”

Using the word’may’ denotes the Election Commission’s non-mandatory responsibility/power to carry out delimitation, whereas using the word’shall’ denotes the Delimitation Commission’s mandatory responsibility to carry out delimitation.

The petitioners further contended that delimitation cannot be done using the 2011 Census but must be done using the 2001 Census or wait for “the first Census after 2026.”

 

 

 

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