Notice to government to implement Delimitation report


New Delhi : The Supreme court Monday issued notice to the central government on a plea on early implementation of the report of the Delimitation Commission, tasked with redrawing constituencies on the basis of the 2001 census.

Support TwoCircles

A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice R.V. Raveendran issued notice to the union home minister and the Delimitation Commission on a petition filed by the Delhi Study Group, headed by Delhi legislator Vijay Jolly.

In his petition, Jolly has sought the court’s direction to the home ministry to place the Commission’s report before President Pratibha Patil for her approval and have the presidential notification issued to pave the way for holding of the next Lok Sabha and assembly elections as per the redrawn constituencies.

He contended that the government was dithering in implementing the report despite the fact that the Commission, headed by former Justice Kuldeep Singh, has already completed recasting and readjusting constituencies.

Jolly said that despite the commission having completed its work in almost all the states and Union Territories, barring in Assam, Mizoram and Manipur, more than two years ago and having submitted its report, the government was sitting on it.

This has left the Election Commission to conduct assembly elections as per the constituencies on the basis of the 1971 census.

In the intervening three decades, several constituencies have undergone massive changes, including in the population of general category people as well as those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

For example, population-wise, constituencies of the national capital have seen massive distortion in the last 30 years with Outer Delhi parliamentary constituency having a population of 3.8 million and New Delhi with barely 450,000 people.

Jolly pointed out that as per constitutional provisions, the people belonging to the scheduled castes and tribes are entitled to representation in parliament and state assemblies in proportion to their population. It’s also the government’s duty to ensure that they are represented in proportion to their population.

Due to variation in population, some parliamentary and assembly constituencies needed to be reserved for the scheduled castes and tribes while others needed to be de-reserved for general category people as per the latest realities, he said, adding that the Commission had recommended this in the report.

But the government is depriving them of constitutional rights, said Jolly.

Once the government implements the Delimitation Commission report, the Election Commission also needs at least six months to gear up its poll machinery to hold the elections.

Incidentally, when the commission was formed through a parliamentary legislation in 2001, it was assigned to carry out the delimitation exercise as per the 1991 census. But mid-way through its work in 2002 the Delimitation Act, 2001, was amended and it was asked to do the job on the basis of the 2001 census.

This has already delayed the delimitation exercise, Jolly said.