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Jamiat questions delimitation process in Assam

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In writ petition filed in Supreme Court, the petitioner Maulana Mahmood Madani says hasty decision of the Government smacks of its ill intention

The Supreme Court sought response from the Central government on plea submitted by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind questioning the exercise of delimitation of assembly and parliamentary constituencies in the state of Assam, saying it will serve no purpose as it is based on old data of Census 2001.

The petitioner, Maulana Mahmood Madani the General secretary of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind contended that the decision to conduct the pending process of delimitation of assembly and parliamentary constituencies was not only a hasty decision but also stood contrary to the main purpose of delimitation.  The whole affair smacked of a government ill intention.

The Jamiat challenged the promulgation of the Presidential Order bearing No. S.O. 903 (E) dated 28th February 2020, through which earlier Notification number S.O. 283 (E) dated 8th February 2008 deferring the process of Delimitation for the State of Assam, has been rescinded and it has been decided to resume the process of delimitation of the Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies for the State of Assam despite the fact the reasons for which the previous delimitation in 2008 was deferred are still prevailing in the State.

          Earlier in 2002, on the representation of State of Assam, the process of delimitation of constituencies for the State of Assam was deferred in 2008 in the absence of true configuration of population in Assam and citing reason of threat to peace, public order, and unity and integrity of India.

          The aforesaid issues for the purpose of Delimitation exercise in the State of Assam have not been resolved so far, despite this fact, the exercise of Delimitation of constituencies has been resumed and the Ministry of Law and Justice also constituted the Delimitation Commission. To carry out the exercise of Delimitation in State of Assam the situation is not conducive for the following reasons:

1.  Delimitation is to be carried out on the basis of most recent Census and not on the basis of figures of 2001 Census as notified. Most recent Census 2021 is to be done next year in 2021.

2.  The preparation of the National Register of Citizens (in short ‘NRC’), Assam has not been finalized. As more than 19 lakh persons, have been excluded from NRC and they have to prove their citizenship before Foreigners Tribunals.

3.  Moreover, the NRC is being prepared on the basis of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955, and vires of Section 6A itself is under challenge before this Hon’ble Court.

4.  The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 was passed by the Parliament which resulted into widespread violent protest in entire country including State of Assam. Several organization of Assam challenged the said before this Hon’ble Court which are still pending.

5.  Due to aggravated situation in view of exclusion of 19 lakhs peoples from NRC list and violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. After review situation, the State of Assam, citing reasons that due to the presence of extremist elements in certain parts of State and apprehension of law and order situation arouse due to Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019, the entire State of Assam was declared as a “disturbed area” for the purposes of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 with effect from 28.08.2019, for a period of six months, which was further extended for six months from 28.02.2020.

6.  The petitioner herein “Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind” also challenged the Constitutionality of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 before Hon’ble Supreme Court.

7.  On 27.01.2020 the Government of India signed BTR (Bodoland Territorial Region) Accord with National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and All Bodo Students Union (ABSU), where the villages dominated by the Bodo’s that are presently outside the BTAD (Bodo Territorial Autonomous District) area, would be included in future and those with non Bodo population will be excluded, but till date no boundaries fixed/demarcated. The existing BTAD seats are expected to increase from 40- 60.

The writ petition was argued by Mr. Shakil Ahmad Syed, Advocate assisted by Mohd. Parvez Dabas, Uzmi Jameel Husain and Daanish Ahmad Syed, Advocates, before the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

          After hearing arguments the Hon’ble Supreme Court issued notices. Learned Solicitor General, Mr. Tushar Mehta, appeared on behalf of Union of India. Notices issued to other respondents i.e. Delimitation Commission and State of Assam.

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Issued by Niaz Ahmad Farooqui, Secretary Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind

9312228470 ,Press and Publicity ,Jamiat Ulama-i- Hind , Bhadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi, 110002

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