Indian SC to hear plea against so-called delimitation exercise in IIOJK on Nov 29

New Delhi, November 17 (KMS): The Indian Supreme Court has postponed the hearing of the petition challenging the so-called delimitation exercise carried out for redrawing the Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir to November 29.

The Indian top court passed the direction on Wednesday after hearing the submission of the Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta, who requested for some time to file additional documents in the matter.

A bench of Justices S K Kaul and A S Oka ordered that the additional documents be filed within a week’s time and posted the plea to November 29.

The court made it clear that it will not hear constitutional challenges relating to the abrogation of Article 370 in the present petition and any arguments regarding that will be heard by the Constitutional bench.

In the last hearing on May 13, the bench had observed that the petitioners, two residents of Kashmir, Haji Abdul Gani Khan and Mohammad Ayub Matto, had not challenged the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and therefore any submissions concerning that would not be allowed. It had noted that the challenge in this plea was limited to the exercise undertaken by the the delimitation commission. The top court had then asked the respondents – the Indian govt, the IIOJK administration and the Election Commission of India – to file their counter within a period of six weeks.

The counsel, appearing for the petitioners, had submitted before the court in the last hearing that the challenge was with respect to the alteration of boundaries and inclusion of extended areas which could not have been done and was against the very scheme of the Constitution. The plea prays to declare that the increase in the number of seats in IIOJK from 107 to 114 by the delimitation commission is ultra vires.

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