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Reservation of seats in Haryana
SC notice to delimitation panel
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, October 8
The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Delimitation Commission and the centre on a PIL challenging the panel’s notification reserving four Assembly seats in Haryana for Scheduled Castes with their lesser population and leaving open some others with higher concentration of their number.

Besides issuing notices on the public interest litigation (PIL) by a local organistion, Guhla Halka Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, a Bench of Justices Ashok Bhan and D.K. Jain also issued notices on its separate application for stay of the notification.

The commission and the central government were directed to submit their replies to the PIL as well as the interim application to respond why stay should not be granted on the notification till the final disposal of the case.

Samiti’s lawyer Satinder Singh Gulati argued that it was not merely a question of rotating the SC constituencies as had been claimed by the commission but a larger issue of electorates’ fundamental right was involved under Article 14 of the Constitution.

He said the first and foremost thing for the commission was to take the census figures of 2001 into consideration to determine the SC population and reserve the seats accordingly.

The samiti alleged that while reserving Radaur, Guhla, Shahbad and Narwana constituencies, the commission had ignored the fact that they had lesser concentration of their SC population in comparison to equal number of other seats left open.

It also accused certain political families among the SCs of “monopolising” these seats for their benefits while placing the records before the panel.

The samiti has sought a writ direction by the court for striking down the commission’s order on the grounds that it violated various constitutional provisions.

It also questioned the constitutional validity of the Delimitation Commission Act, 2002 itself, claiming that the legislation violated Articles 82 and 170(3) and some other provisions of the Constitution. Article 82 and Article 170, respectively, deal with the readjustment of the parliamentary and assembly constituencies after every census.

The petitioner said since the commission had “frozen” the reservation of seats till 2026, its order clearly violated the provisions laid down under these Articles with regard to the readjustment of parliamentary and assembly seats as is required after every census.

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