Recently a draft Assam delimitation document was published by the Election Commission of India (EC).
The concept of Delimitation
It is the act of redrawing the boundariesof an Assembly or Lok Sabha seat to reflect changes in population over time, based on the most current Census data.
In order to make the population of each seat as uniform as possible throughout the state, the delimitation process may change the number of seats in a state.
The last delimitation of constituencies in Assam was done in 1976 on the basis of the 1971 Census.
- Assam Current Status
- 14 Lok Sabha,
- 126 Assembly constituencies.
The Indian Constitution
The Representation of the People Act, 1950
The Indian President appoints the Delimitation Commission, which cooperates with the Indian Election Commission.
The orders of the delimitation commission have the force of law and cannot be challenged in court.
Article 82, the Indian Constitution: The distribution of Lok Sabha seats to the states and each state’s division into territorial constituencies must be revised after every census by the authority that Parliament may specify by law.
Article 170, the Indian Constitution: Composition of the Legislative Assemblies, where the 2001 Census results will be used to modify the constituencies in the State
Articles 330 & 332, the Indian Constitution: Reservation of seats for the SC/STs in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies respectively.
- Section 8A of the Representation of the People Act, 1950: It allows for delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur or Nagaland.
- The Delimitation Act of 2002: Delimitation Commission was constituted to carry out delimitation on the basis of the 2001 census.
Meghraj Kothari vs Delimitation Commission, 1966
Supreme Court made the following observation:
- the validity of any law by delimitation Commission relating to the delimitation of constituencies or the allotment of seats to such constituencies could not be called in question in any court.
Election Commission of India v. Ashok Kumar,2016 Bihar
Judicial intervention is possible if assistance from the court has only been requested to improve the election process, remove obstacles, or preserve crucial evidence that would be lost, destroyed, or rendered irretrievable by the time the results are announced and the stage is set for using the court’s jurisdiction.
Election Commission has released a draft Delimitation for Assam
the EC has proposed:
i) Changes in geographical boundaries
ii) increase in the number of reserved constituencies for STs and SCs.
iii) More seats to Districts with autonomous councils(Sixth Schedule)
iv) Change in nomenclature of Lok Sabha Constituency