The 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 Northeastern (NE) states — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Nagaland — as per the Representation of People’s Act, 1950.
The counsel representing the petitioner 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 Northeastern 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 Northeastern 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.