What is Delimitation?
Delimitation is the act of redrawing boundaries of an Assembly or Lok Sabha seat
to represent changes in population over time. This exercise is carried out by a
Delimitation Commission, whose orders have the force of law and cannot be
question before any court.
Article 82 of the Constitution of India empowers the parliament to readjust,
after the completion of each census the seats allotted to the Lok Sabha and
division of each State into territorial constituencies.
The objective is to redraw boundaries (based on the date of the last Census) in
a way so that the population of all seats, as far as practicable, be the same
throughout the state.
Aside from changing the limits of a constituency, the process may result in
change in the number of seats in a state.
Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir (History)
Delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir in the past has been slightly
different from those in the rest of the country because of the region's special
status that was scrapped by the Centre in August 2019. Until then, delimitation
of Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir was governed by the Constitution of
India. But the delimitation of the states Assembly seats was governed by the
Jammu and Kashmir Constitution and Jammu and Kashmir Representation of the
People Act, 1957.
Assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir were delimited in 1963, 1973 and 1995. The
last exercise was conducted by the Justice KK Gupta Commission when the state
was under President's Rule and was based on the 1981 Census, which formed the
basis of the state elections in 1996.
There was no Census in the state in 1991 and no Delimitation Commission was set
up by the state government after the 2001 Census as the Jammu and Kashmir
Assembly passed a law putting a freeze on the fresh delimitation of seats until
2026. This freeze was upheld by the Supreme Court.
All about Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Commission
The Delimitation Commission is a high power body whose orders have the force of
law and cannot be called into question before any court, according to the
Election Commission of India rules.
On March 6, 2020, the government set up the Delimitation Commission, headed by
retired SC Judge Ranjana Prakash Desai comprising two other members, Sushil
Chandra, Chief Election Commissioner; and KK Sharma, State Election
Commissioner, Jammu and Kashmir; was set up in February-March 2020 to redraw
assembly and parliamentary constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir. Five members of
Parliament from Jammu and Kashmir were its associate members.
They were tasked to wind up delimitation of Jammu and Kashmir within a year.
Glimpse of Final Report released by Delimitation Commission
Before Jammu and Kashmir split into Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh it had 111 seats
among this 87 seats are there in state and remaining 24 in Pakistan Occupied
Kashmir. After the Ladakh was split, 4 seats from state were reduced now state
had 83 seats, separately Jammu had 37 seats while Kashmir had 46 seats.
Now after delimitation the number of seats increased to 90, an increase of 7
seats keeping in view the provisions of Section 9(1) (a) of the Delimitation
Act, 2002 and Section 60(2) (b) of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.
The seats increased are disproportionately in favor of the Jammu region. Jammu
has been given 6 seats while Kashmir has been given 1 new seats. Now in total
Jammu will have 43 seats whereas Kashmir will have 47 seats.
Brief of Delimitation Commision's reportBefore Delimitation:
44% of population occupying 45% of seats in Jammu while 56% of population
occupying 55% of seats in Kashmir.
44% of population occupying 48% of seats in Jammu while 56% of population
occupying only 52% seats in Kashmir.
Various Allegations Made On Final Report
It is alleged that if the suggestions made by delimitation commission in its
final report implemented it will going to benefit the ruling government. As more
number of seats were given to the Jammu region inspite of having less population
because it is Hindu majority region they are trying to promote Hindutva by
backing RSS which ultimately going to favor BJP.
The idea was to create more seats in the Jammu division so as to bring the
region at par with the Muslim-dominated Kashmir region. It was also alleged that
the ruling government removed Article 370 in order to have the extension of its
After the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status in 2019, delimitation
of Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in the newly created Union Territory would be as
per the provisions of the Indian Constitution.
One of the most important consequence of the completion of the delimitation
exercise would be restoration of the political process and eventually assembly
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Prerna
- Lloyd Law College
Authentication No: MA214883557101-28-0522