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SC completes hearing on challenge to delimitation of Jammu and Kashmir assembly seats, reserves verdict

Supreme Court: The Supreme Court has reserved its decision on the petitions challenging the delimitation of Jammu and Kashmir assembly seats. The petitions by Haji Abdul Ghani Khan and Mohammad Ayub Mattu, residents of Srinagar, said that the correct procedure has not been followed in the delimitation. The Central Government, the Jammu and Kashmir Administration and the Election Commission have denied this argument.

On 13 May 2022, the Supreme Court issued a notice on this matter. Then the court had made it clear that the hearing would be only on delimitation. The issue related to the removal of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir will not be considered.

‘The boundary of assembly constituencies has been changed in delimitation’
In front of the bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S. Oka, the petitioner side argued that the constitution of the commission for the delimitation of assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir is not correct according to the constitutional provisions. The boundary of the assembly constituencies has been changed in the delimitation. New areas have been included in it.

The number of seats has been increased from 107 to 114, including 24 seats in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. This is not in accordance with section 63 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act.

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What did ASG Tushar Mehta say?
Responding on behalf of the government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that under Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Constitution, the Parliament has been empowered to make laws related to the formation and arrangement of a new state or administrative unit in the country. Under this, the Delimitation Commission has been constituted earlier also.

It is wrong of the petitioner to say that the delimitation has been implemented only in Jammu and Kashmir. It has also been started for Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.

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