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Delimitation commission gets 1-year extension

4 NE states excluded from mandate of panel; 3-member body to exclusively carry out exercise in J&K

Srinagar: Just two days before its tenure was set to end, the delimitation commission constituted by the Government of India has got one-year extension.

The Union Ministry of Law & Justice has issued an order for extension of term of the panel’s head Justice (retd.) Ranjana Desai by one year.

According to a notification of the appointment of Justice (retd.) Ranjana Desai would be for a period of two years from the publication of this notification in the official gazette or till further orders, whichever is earlier.

The panel’s term was set to end on March 5 as it was constituted on March 6, 2020.

In another interesting development, the Centre has excluded Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland from purview of the panel’s mandate, leaving it exclusively for delimitation of electoral constituencies of J&K.

The panel has been mandated to fix boundaries for 90 Assembly seats and five parliamentary segments of Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory. It has also been tasked to reserve seats for schedule castes and schedule tribes.

Going by the laws and parameters governing reservation for SCs and STs, 18 seats are likely to be reserved in the UT Assembly.

It is worthwhile to mention that Assembly of the erstwhile state of J&K had 87 seats, of which four seats were Ladakh. Ladakh is no more part of Jammu & Kashmir from October 31,2019 when it started functioning as a separate Union Territory.

It is pertinent to mention that National Conference has opposed the delimitation exercise. In a letter addressed to Delimitation Commission chairperson Justice (retd.) Ranjana Desai, the party has demanded that the exercise should be put on hold as the law under which it was set-up is under judicial scrutiny at present.

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