Delimitation of constituencies after 2026, HC told

CHANDIGARH: A day after Haryana Chief Electoral Officer was summoned on a plea challenging reservation of the Jhajjar legislative constituency for Scheduled Castes, the Punjab and Haryana High Court was today told that the exercise of delimitation and reservation of the Assembly and parliamentary constituencies would be carried out only after 2026.

editorial@tribune.com

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13

A day after Haryana Chief Electoral Officer was summoned on a plea challenging reservation of the Jhajjar legislative constituency for Scheduled Castes, the Punjab and Haryana High Court was today told that the exercise of delimitation and reservation of the Assembly and parliamentary constituencies would be carried out only after 2026.

Appearing before the Bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul, Assistant Solicitor-General of India Chetan Mittal submitted the next delimitation commission would be set up after 2026 “when it will conduct a fresh exercise of delimitation and reservation of the Assembly and parliamentary constituencies”.

Mittal also prayed for a month’s time to file an additional affidavit for elaborating on the methodology adopted. At the very onset, Mittal, along with Haryana Chief Electoral Officer Anurag Aggarwal, appeared before the Bench. Mittal then referred to the Delimitation Commission report, besides certain guidelines and methodology adopted by it, while embarking on an exercise for the delimitation of Assembly and parliamentary constituencies.

He also referred to population details as per the 2001 Census in various districts of Haryana and the formula adopted for reserving seats in a particular district. The Bench had earlier made clear its intent to examine whether consistent guidelines or parameters were being followed by the Delimitation Commission while making reservation to the Legislative Assembly constituencies. The directions came after the Bench was told that the Delimitation Commission made reservation arbitrarily by reserving a seat in almost every district without taking into consideration the ratio of castes, population and the dominant caste factor.

The petitioner’s counsel had submitted 17 seats were required to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes, as there was no Scheduled Tribes in Haryana. Referring to Article 332(3) of the Constitution, he had added that reservation for Scheduled Castes had to be made in the Legislative Assembly having a dominant caste population of Scheduled Castes. But the Delimitation Commission made reservation arbitrarily by reserving a seat in almost every district.

The Bench was told that the Legislative Assembly constituency of Jhajjar had been kept reserved for Scheduled Castes, while dominant castes were Jats and Yadavs. In Faridabad, none of the Assembly seat was reserved for the Scheduled Castes even though their population was very large. This defeated the very objective of reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes.

“A question, therefore, arises whether any consistent guidelines or parameters are being followed by the Delimitation Commission while making reservation of the Legislative Assembly constituencies,” the Bench had asserted.


Reserved Jhajjar constituency case

  • The case pertains to a plea challenging reservation of the Jhajjar legislative constituency for Scheduled Castes (SC)
  • The petitioner’s counsel had submitted 17 seats were required to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes, as there were no Scheduled Tribes in Haryana
  • Referring to Article 332(3) of the Constitution, he had said that reservation for SC had to be made in the Legislative Assembly having a dominant caste population of Scheduled Castes. But the Delimitation Commission made reservation arbitrarily by reserving a seat in almost every district.

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