Supreme Court issues notice on plea seeking delimitation in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur
Kohima, July 25 (EMN): The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice on a petition seeking direction to the Election Commission of India to conduct a delimitation exercise in the four north-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland.
“Supreme Court issues notice in a plea seeking direction to the Election Commission of India to conduct delimitation exercise in the four North Eastern states (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland) as per the Representation of People’s Act, 1950,” a report from Live Law stated.
The order was passed by a bench of Justices KM Joseph and Justice Hrishikesh Roy on Monday.
The petition seeking direction to ECI to conduct delimitation exercise under the RP Acts was filed in the Supreme Court by the ‘Delimitation Demand Committee for the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland in Northeast India’.
Accordingly, the Supreme Court had directed the “Registry to list the matter after the summer vacations before an appropriate Bench” in May 2022.
The petition was filed through advocate Gaichangpou Gangmei against the Union of India, Ministry of Law and Justice, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and the four states’ governments. The petitioner sought delimitation exercise be carried out in the four NE states, stating that denial of the exercise violates fundamental rights under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.
The matter is likely to be listed for hearing on September 9, 2022.
In Nagaland, the delimitation exercise (based on the 2001 census) was announced in 2002 but put on hold through a notification in 2008, mainly on the grounds of the law and order situation in the state and the ongoing Indo-Naga peace talks.
But on March 6, 2020, the Ministry of Law and Justice constituted a Delimitation Commission chaired by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, (a retired Judge of the Supreme Court) and Sh Sushil Chandra, (CEC) and Sh K K Sharma, (State Election Commissioner, Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir), as Ex-Officio members, to delimit the constituencies of the four NE states under the provisions of the DL Act, 2002.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 3 of the Delimitation Act, 2002, the Central Government hereby constitutes the Delimitation Commission for delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland,” the notification stated.
Meanwhile, a petition was filed by the Chakhesang Public Organisation and others in the Supreme Court against ‘the Union of India and others, challenging the Centre’s order to resume delimitation exercise in Nagaland based on the census of 2001, stating that the 2001 census figure for the state was “marred by several fallacies and abnormalities which have not been corrected even after 14 years of protracted litigation.”