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Delimitation Commission’s orders unchallengeable in Courts

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Srinagar: The orders of delimitation commission set-up by the Union government for fixing boundaries of Assembly and Parliamentary segments in Jammu & Kashmir cannot be challenged in any court. The law governing creation of the body makes it unambiguously clear that its every order shall have the force of the law and shall not be called in question in any court.
“Upon publication in the Gazette of India, every such order shall have the force of law and shall not be called in question in any court,” reads sub-section (2) of section 10 of Delimitation Commission Act-2002.”
Notably, similar provisions also existed in the law and J&K constitution under which delimitation process was carried out in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The Delimitation Commission shall cause its order made under clause (d) of sub-section (3) of section 4 to be published in the Gazette, and upon such publication, the said order shall have the force of law and shall not be called in question in any court,” read Jammu and Kashmir Representation of Peoples Act-1957.
The law is no more applicable to J&K from October 31 last year after the Parliament approved its scraping on August 5- the day when Article 370 was abrogated by BJP-led Central government.
In 1977, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court ruled that it cannot even investigate whether the notification published by Delimitation Commission under Section 4(B) of Representation of Peoples Act is reasonable.
“We accordingly hold that the orders under section 4 and 4B of the Representation of Peoples Act which govern the adjustment of number of seats and delimitation of Assembly constituencies cannot be enquired into the Court in view of the bar contained in section 142 (a) of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir,” a two-judge bench headed by Justice A.S. Anand and Justice I.K. Kotwal ruled.
As already reported, a three-member delimitation commission headed by former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Ranjana Desai has been set-up to undertake delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary segments in J&K.
National Conference has decided against participating in proceedings of the panel as associate members, reasoning that it would tantamount to accepting August 5 decision. (KNO)

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