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Lok Sabha nominates 15 MPs as associate members of Delimitation Commission

Lok Sabha nominates 15 MPs as associate members of Delimitation Commission

What to study?

For prelims and mains: What is delimitation, why is it needed, how is it carried out

Context: The Lok Sabha Speaker has nominated 15 MPs from Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh as “associate members” of the Delimitation Commission to assist the panel in redrawing parliamentary and assembly constituencies of the northeastern states and the union territory.

Who are associate members?

Members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies of states, for which the Delimitation Commission is set up, are drawn in as associate members to help the panel in its task.

Background:

The government had on March 6 constituted the Delimitation Commission, to be headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, to redraw Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.

The commission will delimit the constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, and of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland in accordance with the provisions of the Delimitation Act, 2002.

What is Delimitation?

Delimitation literally means the process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a state that has a legislative body.

 Who carries out the exercise?

  1. Delimitation is undertaken by a highly powerful commission. They are formally known as Delimitation Commission or Boundary Commission.
  2. These bodies are so powerful that its orders have the force of law and they cannot be challenged before any court.
  3. Such commissions have been constituted at least four times in India — in 1952 under the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952; in 1963 under Delimitation Commission Act, 1962; in 1973 under Delimitation Act, 1972 and last in 2002 under Delimitation Act, 2002.
  4. The commissions’ orders are enforced as per the date specified by the President of India. Copies of these orders are laid before the Lok Sabha or the concerned Legislative Assembly. No modifications are permitted.

Composition of the Commission:

According to the Delimitation Commission Act, 2002, the Delimitation Commission appointed by the Centre has to have three members: a serving or retired judge of the Supreme Court as the chairperson, and the Chief Election Commissioner or Election Commissioner nominated by the CEC and the State Election Commissioner as ex-officio members.

Why Delimitation?

  • To provide equal representation to equal segments of a population.
  • Fair division of geographical areasso that one political party doesn’t have an advantage over others in an election.
  • To follow the principle of “One Vote One Value”.

How delimitation is carried out?

Under Article 82, the Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every Census.

Under Article 170, States also get divided into territorial constituencies as per Delimitation Act after every Census.

Once the Act is in force, the Union government sets up a Delimitation Commission.

 

InstaThink:

Prelims Link:

  1. Previous delimitation commissions- powers and functions.
  2. Composition of the commission.
  3. Who can set up?
  4. Are changes allowed in final orders?
  5. Which are the constitution provisions related?

Mains Link:

How and why delimitation of constituencies is carried out? Discuss.

Sources: pib.