Delimitation panel for J&K, northeastern States set up

Ex- SC judge Ranjana Prakash Desai to head Commission

The Law Ministry on Friday issued an order to set up a Delimitation Commission for the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastern States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.

The Commission will be headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai and will have Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra as the ex-officio member of the Commission. Election Commissioners of the concerned States and UTs will also be members.

On February 28, President Ram Nath Kovind had cancelled an earlier order of the Union government that had deferred the delimitation exercise in the northeastern States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.

The Law Ministry, while issuing the order, had said, “The President is satisfied that the circumstances leading to the deferment cease to exist.”

A significant improvement in the security situation, reduction in insurgency and improvement in the law and order situation in these States had made the delimitation exercise possible now, the order said.

The exercise to readjust the division of each State and the UTs into territorial constituencies for the purpose of elections to the Lok Sabha and to the State Legislative Assemblies on the basis of the 2001 Census figures was last completed on November 26, 2008.

However, this exercise was postponed in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland on apprehension of threat to peace and public order.

The Delimitation Commission in India is a powerful body, whose orders have the force of law and cannot be called in question before any court.

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