NC MPs to skip proceedings of J-K Delimitation Commission17 February 2021
Srinagar: National Conference MPs led by party president Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday informed the Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir that they wouldn't participate in its proceedings as the abrogation of the erstwhile state's special status was pending adjudication before the Supreme Court. In a letter to Delimitation Commission chairperson Justice (Retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai, Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi and Muhammad Akbar Lone expressed their inability to associate with the commission. They also urged him not to go ahead with the delimitation process as the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 is under judicial scrutiny. The Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir was constituted by the Centre on March 6 last year to redraw Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies of the union territory in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. 'In our view, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 is palpably unconstitutional and has been enacted in disregard and violation of mandate and spirit of the Constitution of India and therefore not to be acted upon,' the MPs said in the letter. 'We have thrown a challenge to the constitutional validity of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 exercise of powers whereunder the meeting in question is proposed to be held,' it stated. The MPs said it would not be in tune with the mandate and spirit of the Constitution of India to associate with the proceedings taken in exercise of the powers under an Act the constitutional validity whereof was under challenge and under the judicial scrutiny by the highest constitutional court of the country. 'We would also respectfully and with all humility at our command, request Hon'ble Chairperson, a renowned legal luminary of the country, not to go ahead with the proceedings...,' they said. According to Section 60 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, '...the number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall be increased from 107 to 114....' Out of these 24 seats are in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. So effectively, the seats will go up from 83 to 90. The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir came into being on October 31, 2019 after the state was reorganised and divided into two union territories, Ladakh being the other.