Set right the recommendations in the final report in the interests of democracy
The democracy has been put in Peril for past three decades by the terrorists turbulence particularly in the Valley therefore all the more appropriate is setting right the recommendations and winning over the minds of people
Post by on Tuesday, December 28, 2021
Madam Chairperson,Ms Justice (Retd) RanjinaDesie, and the other members of the Delimitation Commission,
I venture to write the following:-
That the commission is undertaking the exercise of gerrymandering of assembly constituencies in JK UT through delimitation process & procedure in terms of mandate of law.The commission has heard the stakeholders,the citizenry and all the relevant sections of JK population.The commission is understood to have drawn a preliminary report that is now in public domain.A huge debate has ensued and the recommendations have been largely criticised for not being bonafide in the context of distribution of Seven additional seats in the ratio of 1:6 for Kashmir & Jammu regions respectively.
The core opposition has come from Kashmir region that the distribution of seats is not fair and militates against the criteria set out in the mandate and the distribution of seats and gerrymandering of constituencies sans the ground realties,as such is fraught with malafide and the commission is allegedly promoting the political agenda of the ruling party at the centre.
Whatever be the merit & demerit of the opposing campaign by all the JK major political class/parties being the real actors in promoting electoral democracy doctrine in the most turbulent JKUT,it has to be taken serious cognizance by the commission.Otherwise the credibility and the image of the Commission that has been put in jeopardy in the public perception will stay in people’s mind.
As a conscientious citizen and a Kashmiri stakeholder advocating & promoting Constitutional democracy in Jammu & Kashmir towards peace and Justice to all,besides being a practising senior Advocate of Apex Court of the Country have a duty to beseech you and the commission to disabuse the public perception by whatever mode.I urge you and the commission to eventually review and set right the recommendations in the final report in the interests of democracy and Justice to all people of Union territory.
Justice has not only to be done but it should be seen to have been done. This doctrine would aptly apply in this matter. The reason being the democracy has been put in Peril for past three decades by the terrorists turbulence particularly in the Valley therefore all the more appropriate is setting right the recommendations and winning over the minds of people.It would mean a step in the direction of imbibing the true faith in inclusive democracy and justice system for all in Kashmir.
I wish to flag another important and genuine request of the minorities particularly the Sikh population and the aborigines Seven hundred thousand population of Kashmiri Pandits living as refugees in their own Country for past more than three decades after suffering ethnic cleansing,for recommendations by the commission for reservations of least one and three assembly seats respectively.I am conscious that the commission has limitations in terms of mandate of The ACT on reorganisation yet commission can act on the petitions in this regard submitted by the representatives of the minorities by recognizing their plight and suggest in a para or two to the government to make amendments in Law and accord reservation to the minorities population in the special Kashmir situation/Affairs And best interests of inclusive democracy.
The international jurisprudence on Human Rights also supports this demand of JK Minorities-Right to reservation of minorities in the legislature of a State and their protection is a basic human right is recognised by UNSC and the Constitution.
(The Author is Senior Advocate Supreme Court of India and Chairman,Kashmir (Policy and Strategy) group and;distinguished fellowUnited Services Institution (USI))