The Delimitation Commission
- Delimitation literally means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a province having a legislative body.
- The job of delimitation is assigned to a Boundary Commission.
- Under Article 82 of the Constitution, the Parliament by law enacts a Delimitation Act after every census.
- After coming into force of the Act, the Central Government constitutes a Delimitation Commission.
- Delimitation Commissions have been constituted four times – 1952 , 1963 , 1973 and 2002.
- This Delimitation Commission demarcates the boundaries of the parliamentary constituencies as per the provisions of the Delimitation Act.
- The present delimitation of constituencies has been done on the basis of 2001 census figures under the provisions of the Delimitation Act, 2002.
- The present constituencies carved out on the basis of 2001 census will continue to be in operation till a census is done after 2026, per a 2002 amendment to the Constitution of India.
Read Part II: Explainer Part II | Role of the Election Commission of India, its members and its powers
Composition of the Commission
- Section 3 of the 2002 Act states that the Delimitation Commission will consist of three members:
- Chairperson of the Commission – A sitting or former judge of the Supreme Court, to be appointed by the Central Government
- Ex officio member- The Chief Election Commissioner or an Election Commissioner nominated by the Chief Election Commissioner
- Ex officio member- The State Election Commissioner of the concerned state.
- Under section 5 of the Act, the Commission, each state will have 10 Associate members; five of whom will be members of the Lok Sabha from that state and five will be members of the Legislative Assembly of that state.
- The five MPs will be nominated by the Speaker of the House, and in the case of members of a Legislative Assembly, by the Speaker of that Assembly.
- Where less than five members of that state are members of the Lok Sabha, then all their MPs will be part of the commission along with five members from their legislative assembly.
- None of the associate members will have a right to vote or to sign any decision of the Commission.
- Under Article 329(1) of the Constitution, the validity of any law relating to the delimitation of constituencies or the allotment of seats to such constituencies, made or purporting to be made under Article 327 or Article 328, is not amenable to judicial review.
- Section 10(2) of the 2002 Act states that the orders by the Delimitation Commission will have the force of law and will not be called into question in any court.