NC reiterated its stand: Hasnain Masoodi

NC reiterated its stand: Hasnain Masoodi
File Photo of Hasnain Masoodi

Jammu: Senior National Conference leader and MP Justice (retired) Hasnain Masoodi on Monday stated his party reiterated its stand that the delimitation “exercise in its entirety offended the constitution” in the meeting of five Associate Members of (Delimitation) Commission in New Delhi.

He averred that Delimitation Commission chairperson Justice (retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai appreciated its stance and assured that its (Commission’s) proceedings would be subject to Supreme Court’s judgement.

“The National Conference reiterated its stance in the meeting of Associate Members also that the entire exercise of delimitation in its entirety offended the constitution. This was appreciated by the Delimitation Commission chairperson Justice (retired) Desai as well. She took note of it. She said – ‘Whatever we do here in the Commission will be subject to the Supreme Court judgement (on petitions challenging abrogation of Article 370, 35 A). So they acknowledged our viewpoint because Justice Desai, herself, was a Supreme Court Judge,” Justice Hasnain told Greater Kashmir, while giving a detailed account of their meeting with the Delimitation Commission this morning in New Delhi.

“I told her that it would be pre-empting the Supreme Court judgement and would be against the core constitutional values, the propriety and she appreciated,” he added. Secondly, the Commission gave a briefing on its interim draft, NC MP stated and pointed out that this draft was restricted to increase in seats and the decision that nine seats would be reserved for Scheduled Tribes.

“However we said - it was a grave concern for us, particularly the areas where it had proposed to increase these seats. To this reservation of ours, the Commission said that they would be giving us an opportunity to respond. We’ve been asked to file our objections or views on this (draft) within 10 days. So by December 31, we’re expected to respond to it. This is just a draft and not its final recommendation. As far as proposed seven reserved seats for Scheduled Castes are concerned, where they will be located, will be decided in phase two. They were not part of today’s draft. There was no proposal like that today,” Justice Hasnain informed.

Did BJP make any observation or objection to NC’s viewpoint that the entire delimitation exercise was against the spirit of constitution, NC leader responded to this query in negative.

“No, they did not say anything. It was just the Commission chairperson who responded to it, appreciating it, being a legal luminary herself,” he said. Justice Hasnain refused to buy the arguments of NC detractors that its participation in the Commission’s meeting was a U-turn.

“See, our high-powered delegation had met the Commission in July also to submit its representation objecting to the entire exercise. Had we not objected to the exercise then, the draft would have been finalised today. Hence you must appreciate our decision,” he said.

Among five Associate members of the Commission, three are National Conference (NC) Members of Parliament i.e., Dr Farooq Abdullah, Mohammed Akbar Lone and Justice Hasnain while two are BJP MPs i.e., Dr Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore Sharma. All the five members had attended the meeting.

Greater Kashmir