'Very Difficult': SC On Plea Seeking Immediate Implementation Of Women Reservation Bill - Eastern Mirror
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‘Very Difficult’: SC on plea seeking immediate implementation of Women Reservation Bill

By IANS Updated: Nov 03, 2023 4:37 pm
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NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court, on Friday, remarked that it will be “very difficult” for it to strike down the provision of the Women Reservation Bill, which states that the 33 per cent quota for women in the legislature will not be implemented unless a decennial census and subsequent delimitation exercise are carried out.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S.V.N. Bhatti made this observation as it heard a plea filed by Congress leader Jaya Thakur seeking the immediate implementation of the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam Bill 2023 before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The bench decided not to issue notice to the Union government and stated that it would take up the matter for consideration on November 22, along with pending pleas seeking reliefs of a similar nature.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the PIL petitioner, argued that the provision of the law, which states that the 1/3rd women quota will be effective “after the delimitation is undertaken for this purpose after the relevant figures for the first census,” should be struck down for being arbitrary.

In response, the top court said, “It will be very difficult for us to do that. We’ll be virtually legislating then.”

Singh contended that it would be unnecessary to conduct a census for reserving seats for women in Parliament and the State Legislature.

He pleaded that there was no requirement for a census and delimitation because the number of seats is already declared, and the present amendment provides 33 per cent reservation for existing seats. It is an admitted position in our country that 50 per cent of the population is women, but they have only 4 per cent representation in elections.

A PIL was filed by the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) seeking the re-introduction of the Women’s Reservation Bill, 2008, stating that the bill was not passed despite promises.

In August this year, the Supreme Court had questioned the Centre over the delay in filing its reply in the matter. “You have not filed a reply. Why are you shying away?” it had asked Additional Solicitor General K.M. Natraj, who represented the Centre.

The Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam Bill 2023, passed in September this year in a special session of Parliament, mandates a 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and all state Assemblies, including Delhi.

It is speculated that the quota for women will be completely rolled out nationwide in 2029 after the completion of the delimitation exercise and will continue for a term of 15 years.

The Act does not intend to alter the composition of the present Lok Sabha or existing Legislative Assemblies but will apply once they are freshly constituted on the completion of their respective tenure or being dissolved for any other cause.

By IANS Updated: Nov 03, 2023 4:37:23 pm
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