Srinagar: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on Friday declined to reserve parliamentary seats for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe after noting that the Delimitation Commission constituted by the government is already seized of the matter.
The Court of Sanjeev Kumar while perusing the record said, “I am of the considered view that this Court cannot issue a mandamus to the respondents to reserve a particular parliamentary constituency for the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe categories.
“A view in this regard is required to be taken by the competent authority on the basis of recommendations made by the Delimitation Commission constituted under The Delimitation Act, 2002,” Justice Kumar said.
The Court was informed that the Ministry of Law and Justice (Legislative Department), Government of India in an order dated 6 March, 2020 has constituted a Delimitation Commission for allocation of seats in the House of People to the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and number of seats in the Legislative Assembly.
It was further informed that the Delimitation Commission constituted for Jammu and Kashmir was given one year’s time to complete its exercise and submit its report.
“However, in an order dated 3 March, 2021 the period of Delimitation Commission has been extended from one year to two years.
The court of Sanjeev Kumar noted that in view of the aforesaid when the Delimitation Commission is seized of the matter and exercise is under way, it would not be appropriate for this Court to make intervention in the matter.
‘The petitioners, if aggrieved, are well within their right to approach the Commission with their representation and seek consideration of their grievance,” Justice Kumar directed.
The court observed that it is for the Delimitation Commission constituted for Jammu and Kashmir to consider the grievance of the petitioners and redress the same if found genuine.
“In due deference to the doctrine of separation of powers, I refrain myself from issuing any mandamus to the respondents to reserve one Parliamentary Seat each for SCs and STs as is claimed by the petitioners in this petition. This petition is, accordingly, found not maintainable and dismissed, leaving it open to the petitioners to approach the Delimitation Commission with an appropriate representation,” Justice Kumar recorded and said.