By: Ibni Maqbool
Srinagar: Amid ongoing delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary segments in Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory, it has come to fore that the body’s orders cannot be challenged in any court of law.
The law governing the delimitation process in Jammu & Kashmir makes it unambiguously clear that the body’s orders cannot be questioned in any court. “Upon publication in the gazette of India, every such order shall have the force of law and shall not be called in question in any court,” reads sub-section (2) of Section 10 The Delimitation Act ,2002.
The delimitation process in Jammu & Kashmir is being conducted in accordance with the provisions of The Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Act,2019 and The Delimitation Act,2002.
The statutory provision makes it clear that the body’s orders are final and cannot be questioned before any court.
As per law governing the delimitation process, the commission has to publish its proposals for the delimitation of constituencies, together with the dissenting proposals, if any, of any associate member.
The panel would then consider all the objections and suggestions received by it before publishing the final orders.
It is worthwhile to mention that Centre constituted a three-member panel on March 6, 2020 to redraw boundaries of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir.
Headed by former Supreme Court Judge Justice(retd.) Ranjana Prakash Desai, the panel comprises of Sushil Chandra, Chief Election Commissioner and Kewal Kumar Sharma, State Election Commissioner.
The proceedings of the commission, which has five MPs from Jammu and Kashmir as associate members, have been boycotted by the National Conference, citing that “The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act” has been challenged before the Supreme Court.
Before Parliament enacted The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, the effective strength of the J&K Assembly was 87, including four seats from Ladakh, which is no longer part of the erstwhile state of J&K.
The strength of the Jammu and Kashmir UT Assembly is 114 now, of which 24 seats will continue to remain vacant as those are reserved for Pakistan administered Kashmir(PaK).