The Supreme Court today issued notice in a plea seeking directions to defer the exercise of delimitation in the state of Assam. The court has also sought reply from the Centre.
The bench, comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices R. Subhash Reddy and A.S. Bopanna, was hearing a petition filed by All India United Democratic Front (AIDUF) through its general secretary Aminul Islam, seeking directions to quash the February 28 order published by the Ministry of Law and Justice as being unconstitutional on account of being violative of Fundamental Rights under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution.
By a presidential order of February 28 an earlier order of February 8, 2008, which had deferred the process of delimitation for the sate of Assam, has been rescinded. It has been further decided to resume the process of delimitation of the assembly and parliamentary constituencies for Assam.
The petitioners have submitted that the decision to conduct the pending process of delimitation of assembly and parliamentary constituencies, is not only arbitrary and hasty decision but stands contrary to the very idea behind conducting delimitation inasmuch as the present delimitation exercise is sought to be conducted on the basis of Census 2001, while Census 2011 has already been conducted and Census 2021 is underway.
The petitioners have further submitted that apart from being unjustified with regard to the conclusion of the NRC preparation for the State of Assam, one of the reasons why the same was deferred in 2008 was that 2001 census was outdated.
The petitioner has further submitted that the delimitation proposed to be carried will change the constituencies and will have an impact on the voting rights and preferences of large number of voters and candidates. As the data relied upon for the proposed delimitation is outdated and because the atmosphere in the state of Assam at present is not conducive for the said exercise, it is feared that many citizens may lose their right to vote if the exercise is carried out in the present scenario.
-India Legal Bureau
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