Srinagar, Feb 13: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition challening the delimitation of assembly, parliamentary seats in J&K, a media report said.
The decision on delimitation won't have a bearing on a separate batch of matters where abrogation of Article 370 is under challenge before a Constitution bench, said the top court, as per Hindustan Times.
A bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and AS Oka said, “Nothing in this judgment shall be construed as giving imprimatur to the exercise of powers under Article 370.”
“We have given the rider that the issue of Reorganisation Act is pending before this Court and we have not said anything on the merits of the same. Otherwise petition is dismissed.”
The apex court delivered judgment in a petition filed by two Srinagar residents, Haji Abdul Gani Khan and Dr Mohammad Ayub Mattoo, challenging the increase in the number of seats from 107 to 114 in the UT. The petitioners had argued that it was ultra vires Articles 81, 82, 170, 330 and 332 of the Indian Constitution and Section 63 of the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, reported IANS news agency.
In its reply to the apex court, the Centre had in December said that the delimitation exercise for the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir could not wait till 2026 as the idea was to give immediate democracy in the region.
In May last year, the delimitation commission had redrafted the UT's new electoral map, by raising the number of seats from 83 to 90 in the J&K assembly – giving 43 seats to Jammu and 47 to Kashmir.