Associate members only have advisory role in Delimitation process


Nasir Azam

Srinagar, May 29: The associate members of delimitation commission in Jammu & Kashmir would have limited advisory role in the exercise being undertaken for fixing boundaries of assembly and parliamentary segments in the newly carved out Union Territory.

Going by the law governing delimitation exercise in J&K, the associate members would neither have voting rights nor they can sign any decision of the Election Commission India.

“None of the associate members shall have a right to vote or to sign any decision of the Commission,” reads sub-section (4) of section 5 of Delimitation Commission Act-2002”

The role of associate members is confined to assisting the poll-body in delimitation exercise in Jammu & Kashmir.

The delimitation exercise would encompass fixing boundaries of 90 and five parliamentary segments and reserving seats for Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes.

As already reported, five Lok Sabha MPs from J&K were nominated by Speaker Om Birla as associate members of the delimitation commission which was constituted on March 06.

Headed by former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Ranjana Desai, Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar are members of the panel which was constituted under the Delimitation Commission Act.

Before August 5, 2019, the delimitation  of Assembly was not possible in Jammu and Kashmir till first census after 2026- that is at least not before 2031- due to amendments carried out in J&K Constitution and J&K Representation Act-1957 under which delimitation exercises were carried in the erstwhile state of J&K in 1975 and 1995.

The Re-Organisation Act enacted by the Central government paved way for the first delimitation exercise in J&K after abolishing  its statehood.

In the erstwhile Legislative Assembly, Kashmir region had 46 seats, Jammu 37 and Ladakh four seats.(KNO)