Apex court dismisses plea against delimitation decision

April 3rd, 2009 - 9:54 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) Amid the ongoing poll process, the Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Delimitation Commission’s decision to shift the Mhow assembly segment in Madhya Pradesh from the Indore parliamentary constituency to Dhar.
The apex court dismissed the lawsuit. It said if courts continue to entertain objections to the recast of electoral districts amid the ongoing poll process, any one could hold up the election process indefinitely by questioning the countrywide delimitation exercise from court to court.

A bench of Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta and Justice B. Sudershan Reddy gave the ruling this week while dismissing an appeal by a group of Mhow residents, objecting to exclusion of their assembly segment from Indore and inclusion in the Dhar parliamentary constituency.

“Objections to delimitation of constituencies could only be entertained by the Delimitation Commission only before the date specified by the commission for the purpose. Once the commission’s decision is published in the Gazette of India and in the official gazettes of the states concerned, these matters could no longer be reagitated in a court of law,” said the bench quoting a 1967 ruling of the apex court.

“If the Delimitation Commission’s order were not to be treated as final, the effect would be that any voter, if he so wished, could hold up an election indefinitely by questioning the delimitation of the constituencies from court to court,” said the bench, quoting the 1967 verdict by a constitution bench of the apex court.

The Mhow residents had come to the apex court against a ruling by the Jabalpur bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, which had dismissed summarily their objections to inclusion of their electoral district in Dhar after taking it out from Indore.

While dismissing the Mhow residents’ objection, the apex court also said the Delimitation Commission’s order passed under the statutory provisions after considering all objections and suggestions attains the force of law, which cannot be generally changed by the courts.

The Mhow residents had approached the court contending that their assembly segment had been shifted to another parliamentary constituency without any demand or suggestion to that effect.

They said their electoral district was shifted to Dhar in response to suggestions by the residents of the adjoining Deepalpur assembly segment.

The Mhow residents said while shifting Deepalpur from Dhar to Indore, the Delimitation Commission shifted Mhow to Dhar to keep the number of assembly segments in the two Lok Sabha constituencies to eight.

But the apex court found no fault with the delimitation panel order.

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