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DELIMITATION ACT, 1972 [REPEALED]

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 76 of 1972


  • Act nº 76 of 1972

Preamble

DELIMITATION ACT, 1972

[Act, No. 76 of 1972]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the readjustment of the allocation of seats in the House of the People to the States, the total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of each State, in the division of each State and each Union territory having a legislative Assembly and the Union territory of Delhi into territorial constituencies for elections to the House of the People and legislative Assemblies of the States and Union territories and Metropolitan Council of Delhi and for matters connected therewith.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Twenty-third Year of the Republic of India as follows: -

Section 1. Short title

This Act may be called the Delimitation Act, 1972.

Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires.

(a) "article" means an article of the Constitution;

(b) "associate member" means a member nominated under section 5;

(c) "Commission" means the Delimitation Commission constituted under section 3;

(d) "Legislative Assembly" Includes the Metropolitan Council of Delhi;

(e) "latest census figures" means the census Figures as ascertained at the census held in 1971:

(f) "member" means a member of the Commission and includes the Chairman;

(g) "Stale" includes a Union territory having a Legislative Assembly but docs not include the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Section 3. Constitution of Delimitation Commission

(1) As soon as may be after the commencement of this Act, the Central (government shall constitute a Commission to be called the Delimitation Commission which shall consist of three members as follows: -

(a) two members, each of whom shall be a person who is or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court, to be appointed by the Central Government; and

(b) the Chief Election Commissioner, ex officio.

(2) The Central Government shall nominate one of the members appointed under clause (a) of sub-section (1) to be the Chairman of the Commission.

Section 4. Duties of' the Commission

It shall be the duty of the Commission to readjust on the basis of the latest census figures the allocation of seats in the House of the People to the several State the total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of each Slate and the division of each State into territorial constituencies for the purpose of elections to the House of the People and to the State Legislative Assembly:

PROVIDED that where on such readjustment only one seat is allocated in the House of the People to a State. the whole of the State shall form one territorial constituency for the purpose of elections to the House of the People from that Slate:

PROVIDED FURTHER that it shall not he necessary for the Commission to readjust the allocation of seats in the House of the People to any Union territory or the total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of any of the Union territories of Goa, Daman and Diu, Pondicherry and Mizoram or the total number of seats in the Metropolitan Council of the Union territory of Delhi.

Section 5. Associate members

(1) The Commission shall associate with itself for the purpose of assisting it in its duties in respect of each State ten persons Five of whom shall be members of the House of the People representing that State and Five shall be members of the Legislative Assembly of that State:

PROVIDED that where the number of members of the House of the People representing any State is five or less, then all such members shall be the associate members for that State and in the latter case the total number of associate members shall be less than ten by such member as by which the total number of members of the House of the People representing that State is less than five.

(2) The persons to be so associated from each State shall be nominated in the case of members of the House of the People by the Speaker of that House and in the case of members of a Legislative Assembly, by the Speaker of that Assembly, having due regard to the composition of the House or as the case may be of the Assembly.

(3) The first nominations to be made under sub-section (2)-

(a) shall be made by the Speakers of the several Legislative Assemblies within one month, and by the Speaker of the House of the People within two months of the commencement of this Act, and

(b) shall be communicated to the Chief Election Commissioner and where the nominations are made by the Speaker of a Legislative Assembly, also to the Speaker of the House of the People.

(4) None of the associate members shall have a right to vote or to sign any decision of the Commission.

Section 6. Casual vacancies

If owing to death or resignation the office of the Chairman or of a member or of an associate member falls vacant, it shall be filled as soon as may be practicable by the Central Government or the Speaker concerned under and in accordance with the provisions of section 3, or as the case may be, of section 5.

Section 7. Procedure and powers of the Commission

(1) The Commission shall determine its own procedure and shall in the performance of its functions have all the powers of a civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908,while trying a suit in respect of the following mailers namely -

(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses:

(b) requiring the production of any document and

(c) requisitioning any public record from any Court or office.

(2) The Commission shall have power to require any person to furnish any information on such points or mailers as in the opinion of the Commission may be useful for, or relevant to, any matter under the consideration of the Commission.

(3) The Commission may authorise any of its members to exercise any of the powers conferred on it by clauses (a) to (c) of sub-section (1) and sub-section (2), and any order made or act done in exercise of any of those powers by the member authorised by the Commission in that behalf shall be deemed to be the order or act, as the case may be of the Commission.

(4) If there is a difference of opinion among the members the opinion of the majority shall prevail and acts and orders of the Commission shall be expressed in terms of the views of the majority.

(5) The Commission as well as any group of associate members shall have power to act notwithstanding the temporary absence of a member or associate member or the existence of a vacancy in the Commission or in that or any other group of associate members; and no act or proceeding of the Commission or of any group of associate members; shall he invalid or called in question on the ground merely of such temporary absence or of the existence of such vacancy.

(6) The Commission shall be deemed to be a civil Court for the purposes of sections 480 and 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.

Section 8. Readjustment of number of seats

The Commission shall, on the basis of the latest census Figures and having regard to the provisions of Articles 81, 170, 330 and 332 and also in relation to the State of Nagaland clause (2) (h) of Article 371Aand sub-section (1) of section 2 of the State of Nagaland Act, 1962, in relation to the Union territories except Delhi sections 3 and 39of the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963 and in relation to the Union territory of Delhi section 3and sub-section (1) of section 4 of the Delhi Administration Act 1966by order determine-

(a) the number of seats in the House of the People to be allocated to each State and the number of seats if any, to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and for the Scheduled Tribes of the State; and

(b) the total number of seats to be assigned to the Legislative Assembly of each State and the number of seats, if any, to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and for the Scheduled Tribes of the State:

PROVIDED that the total number of seats assigned to the Legislative Assembly of any State under clause (b) shall be an integral multiple of the number of seats in the House of the People allocated to that State under clause (a).

Section 9. Delimitation of constituencies

(1) The Commission shall, in the manner herein provided then distribute the scats in the house of the People allocated to each State and the seats assigned to the Legislative Assembly of each State to single member territorial constituencies and delimit them on the basis of the latest census figures having regard to the provisions of the Constitution and the provision of the Acts specified in section 8-and also to the following provisions namely: -

(a) all constituencies shall, as far as practicable be geographically compact areas, and in delimiting them regard shall be had to physical features existing boundaries of administrative units, facilities of communication and public convenience;

(b) every assembly constituency shall be so delimited as to fall wholly within one parliamentary constituency;

(c) constituencies in which seats are reserved for the Scheduled Castes shall be distributed in different parts of the Slate and located, as far as practicable, in those areas where the proportion of their population to the total is comparatively large; and

(d) constituencies in which seats are reserved for the Scheduled Tribes shall, as far as practicable, be located in areas where the proportion of their population lo the total is the largest.

(2) The Commission shall -

(a) publish its proposals for the delimitation of constituencies, together with the dissenting proposals, if any, of any associate member who desires publication thereof, in the Gazette of India and in the Official Gazettes of all the States concerned and also in such other manner as it thinks fit;

(b) specify a date on or after which the proposals will be further considered by it;

(c) consider all objections and suggestions which may have been received by it before the date so specified, and for the purpose of such consideration, hold one or more public sittings at such place or places in each State as it thinks fit; and

(d) thereafter by one or more orders determine-

(i) that delimitation of parliamentary constituencies, and

(ii) the delimitation of assembly constituencies, of each State.

Section 10. Publication of orders and their date of operation

(1) The Commission shall cause each of its orders made under section 8 or section 9 to he published in the Gazette of India and in the Official Gazettes of the States concerned.

(2) Upon publication in the Gazette of India, every such order shall have the force of law and shall not be called in question in any court.

(3) As soon as may be after such publication, every such order shall be laid before the House of the People and the Legislative Assemblies of the Stales concerned.

(4) Subject lo the provisions of sub-section (5), the readjustment of representation of the several territorial constituencies in the House of the People or in the Legislative Assembly of a State and the delimitation of those constituencies provided for in any such order shall apply in relation to every election to the House or to the Assembly, as the case may be, held after the publication in the Gazette of India of that order and shall so apply in super session of the provisions relating to such representation and delimitation contained in the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and the Delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Order, 1966, and any Final orders of the Election Commission relating to the delimitation of parliamentary constituencies or, as the case may be, of assembly constituencies of any State made in pursuance of the provisions of any other Acts.

(5) Nothing in this section shall affect the representation in the House of the People or in the Legislative Assembly of a State until the dissolution of the House or of the Assembly, as the case may be, existing on the dale of publication in the Gazette of India of the Final order or orders of the Commission relating to the delimitation of parliamentary constituencies or, as the case maybe, of the assembly constituencies of that State and any bye-election to fill any vacancy in such House or in any such Assembly shall be held on the basis of the provisions of the laws and orders superseded by sub-section (4) as if the said provisions had not been superseded.

Section 11. Power to maintain delimitation orders up-to-date

(1) The Election Commission may from time to time, by notification in the Gazette of India and in the Official Gazette of the State concerned,

(a) correct any printing mistake in any of the orders made by the Delimitation commission under section 9 or any error arising therein from an inadvertent slip or omission; and

(b) where the boundaries or name of any district or any territorial division mentioned in any of the said orders are or is altered, make such amendments as appear to it to be necessary or expedient for bringing the orders up-to-date, so, however, that the boundaries or areas or extent of any constituency shall not be changed by any such notification.

(2) Every notification under this section shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is issued, before the House of the People and the Legislative Assembly of the State concerned.

Repealing Act1
Delimitation Act, 2002

1. Substituted by Delimitation (amendment) Act, 2003 (3 of2004) w.e.f. 31.10.2003.Prior to substitution it read as under:

"Explanation.--Forthe purposes of clause (c), the Slate Election Commissioner of concerned State,in respect of the duties of the Commission relating to that State, means the State Election Commissioner appointedby the Governor of that State under clause (7) of article 243K."

4. Duties of the Commission

(1) The readjustmentmade, on the basis of the census figures as ascertained at me census held in the year1971 by the Delimitation Commission constitutedunder section 3 of theDelimitation Act, 1972 (76 of 1972),of the allocation of seats in the House of the People to the several States andthe total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of each State snail bedeemed to be the readjustment made by the Commission for the purposes of thisAct.

(2) Subject to the provisions of sub-section(1) and any other law forthe time being in force, the Commission shall readjust the division of each State into territorial constituenciesfor the purpose of elections to the House of the People and to the StateLegislative Assembly on the basis of the census figures as ascertained at thecensus held in the year 1 [2001]:

Provided that whereon such readjustment only one seat is allocated in the House of the People to aState, the whole of that State shallform one territorial constituency for the purpose of elections to the House ofthe People from that State.

1. Word "1991" substituted by Delimitation (amendment) Act, 2003 (3 of 2004) w.e.f. 31.10.2003.

5. Associate members

(1) The Commissionshall associate with itself for thepurpose of assisting it in its duties in respect of each State, ten personsfive of whom shall be members of the House of the People representingthat State and five shall bemembers of the Legislative Assembly ofthat State:

Provided that wherethe number of members of theHouse of the People representing any State is five or less, then, all suchmembers shall be the associate members for that State and in the latter casethe total number of associate membersshall be less than ten by such numberas by which the total number of membersof the House of the People representing that State is less than five.

(2) The persons to be soassociated from each State shallbe nominated, in the case of the membersof the House of the People, by the Speaker of that House, and in the case ofmembers of a Legislative Assembly, bythe Speaker of that Assembly, having due regard to the composition of the Houseor, as the case may be, of the Assembly.

(3) The first nominations to be made under sub-section (2)--

(a) shall be made by theSpeakers of the several Legislative Assemblies within one month, and by theSpeaker of the House of the People within two months, of the commencement ofthis Act; and

(b) shall becommunicated to the Chief Election Commissioner, and where the nominations aremade by the Speaker of a Legislative Assembly, also to the Speaker of the Houseof the People.

(4) None of theassociate members shall have a right to vote or to sign anydecision of the Commission.

(5) The Commission shallhave power to call upon--

(a) the Registrar-General and CensusCommissioner, India or hisnominee; or

(b) the Surveyor General of India orhis nominee; or

(c) any other officer of the Central Government or State Government; or

(d) any expert in geographical informationsystem; or

(e) any other person,

whose expertise and knowledge are considered necessary by theCommission to provide assistance to it in addition 10 the assistance provided by the personsreferred to in subsection (1) and the officers and persons so called uponshall be duty bound to assist theCommission.

(6) The Secretary to theElection Commission shall be theex officio Secretary of the Commission and shall discharge hisfunctions with the assistance of the employees of the Election Commission underthe supervision of the Chairperson of the Commission.

6. Casual vacancies

If the office of the Chairperson or of a member or of an associate member falls vacant owing to his death or resignation, it shall be filled as soon as may be practicableby the Central Government or the Speaker concerned under and in accordance withthe provisions of section 3 of,as the case may be, of section 5.

7. Procedure and powers of the Commission

(1) The Commissionshall determine its own procedure andshall, in the performance of itsfunctions, have all the powers of a civil court under the Code of CivilProcedure, 1908 (5 of 1908),while trying a suit, in respect of the following matters, namely:--

(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses;

(b) requiring the production of any document; and

(c) requisitioning any public record from any court or office.

(2) The Commissionshall have power to require any personto furnish any information on such points or matters as in the opinion of theCommission may be useful for, or relevant to, any matter under theconsideration of the Commission.

(3) The Commission mayauthorise any of its members toexercise any of the powers conferred on it by clauses (a) to (c) of sub-section (1) and sub-section (2), and any order made or act done in exercise of any of those powers by the member authorised by the Commission in thatbehalf shall be deemed to be theorder or act, as the case may be, ofthe Commission.

(4) If there is adifference of opinion among the members,the opinion of the majorityshall prevail, and acts and orders of the Commission shall be expressed in terms of the views of themajority.

(5) The Commission aswell as any group of associate membersshall have power to act notwithstandingthe temporary absence of a memberor associate member or theexistence of a vacancy in theCommission or in that or any othergroup of associate members; andno act or proceeding of the Commission or of any group of associate members shall be invalid or called in question on the ground merely of such temporary absence or of theexistence of such vacancy.

(6) The Commissionshall be deemed to be a civil court forthe purposes of sections 345 and 346 of the Code of CriminalProcedure, 1973.

Explanation.--Forthe purposes of enforcing the attendance of witnesses, the local limits of thejurisdiction of the Commission shallbe the limits of the territory of India.

8. Readjustment of number of seats

The Commission shall,having regard to the provisions of articles 81, 170, 330 and 332, and also, in relation to the Union territories, except NationalCapital Territory of Delhi, sections 3 and 39 of theGovernment of Union Territories Act, 1963 (20 of 1963) and in relation to the National Capital Territory ofDelhi sub-clause (b) of clause (2) of article 239AA, by order, determine,--

(a) on the basis of the census figures as ascertained at the censusheld in the year 1971 andsubject to the provisions of section4, the number of seats in the House of thePeople to be allocated to each State and determine on the basis of the censusfigures as ascertained at the census held in the year 1 [2001] the number of seats, if any, to be reservedfor the Scheduled Castes and for the Scheduled Tribes of the State; and

(b) on the basis of the census figures as ascertained at the censusheld in the year 1971 andsubject to the provisions of section 4, the total number of seats to be assigned tothe Legislative Assembly of each State and determine on the basis of the censusfigures as ascertained at the census held in the year 1 [2001] the number of seats, if any, to be reservedfor the Scheduled Castes and for the Scheduled Tribes of the State:

Provided that thetotal number of seats assigned to the Legislative Assembly of any Slate underclause (b) shall be an integralmultiple of the number of seats in the House of the People allocated to thatState under clause (a).

1. Word "1991" substituted by Delimitation (amendment) Act, 2003 (3 of 2004) w.e.f. 31.10.2003.

9. Delimitation of constituencies

(1) The Commissionshall, in the manner herein provided,then, distribute the seats in the House of the People allocated to each Stateand the seats assigned to the Legislative Assembly of each State as readjustedon the basis of 1971 census tosingle-member territorial constituencies and delimit them on the basis of thecensus figures as ascertained, at the census held in the year 1 [2001], having regard to the provisions of theConstitution, the provisions of the Act specified in section 8 and the following provisions, namely:--

(a) all constituencies shall,as far as practicable, be geographically compact areas, and in delimiting themregard shall be had to physicalfeatures, existing boundaries of administrative units, facilities ofcommunication and public convenience;

(b) every assembly constituency shall be so delimited as to fall wholly withinone parliamentary constituency;

(c) constituencies in which seats are reserved for the Scheduled Castesshall be distributed in different partsof the State and located, as far as practicable, in those areas where theproportion of their population to the total is comparatively large; and

(d) constituencies in which seats are reserved for the Scheduled Tribesshall, as far as practicable, be locatedin areas where the proportion of their population to the total is the largest.

(2) The Commission shall--

(a) publish its proposals for the delimitation of constituencies,together with the dissenting proposals, if any, of any associate member who desires publication thereof, in theGazette of India and in the Official Gazettes of all the States concerned andalso in such other manner as itthinks fit;

(b) specify a date on or after which theproposals shall be furtherconsidered by it;

(c) consider all objections and suggestions which may have beenreceived by it before the date so specified, and for the purpose of suchconsideration, hold one or more public sittings at such place or places in eachState as it thinks fit; and

(d) thereafter by one or more orders determine--

(i) the delimitation of parliamentary constituencies; and

(ii) the delimitation of assembly constituencies, of each State.

1. Word "1991" substituted by Delimitation (amendment) Act, 2003 (3 of 2004) w.e.f. 31.10.2003.

10. Publication of orders and their date of operation

(1) The Commissionshall cause each of its orders made under section 8 or section 9 to be published in the Gazette of India and in the Official Gazettesof the States concerned and simultaneously cause such orders to be published at least in twovernacular newspapers and publicize on radio, television and other possible media available to the public and after such publication in the OfficialGazettes of the States concerned, every District Election Officer shall cause to be affixed, the Gazette versionof such orders relating to thearea under his jurisdiction, ona conspicuous part of his officefor public notice.

(2) Upon publication inthe Gazette of India, every such order shall have the forceof law and shall not be calledin question in any court.

(3) As soon as may beafter such publication, every such order shall be laid beforethe House of the People and the Legislative Assemblies of the States concerned.

(4) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (5), the readjustment of representation of the several territorialconstituencies in the House of the People or in the Legislative Assembly of aState and the delimitation of those constituencies provided for in any suchorder shall apply in relation to every election to the House or to the Assembly,as the case may be, held after the publication in the Gazette of India of thatorder and shall so apply in supersession of theprovisions relating to such representation and delimitation contained in anyother law for the time being in forceor any order or notificationissued under such law in so far as such representation and delimitation areinconsistent with the provisions of this Act.

(5) Nothing in this section shall affect the representation in the House of the People or in theLegislative Assembly of a State until the dissolution of the House or of theAssembly, as the case may be, existing on the date of publication in theGazette of India of the final orderor orders of the Commissionrelating to the delimitation of parliamentary constituencies or, as the casemay be, of the assembly constituencies of that State and any bye-election tofill any vacancy in such House or in any such Assembly shall be held on the basis of the provisions ofthe laws and orders supersededby sub-section (4) as if the said provisions had not beensuperseded.

(6) The Commissionshall endeavor to complete and publisheach of its orders referred toin sub-section (1) in the manner provided in that sub-section, within two years of theconstitution of the Commission under section 3.

11. Power to maintain delimitation orders up-to-date

(1) The ElectionCommission may, from time to time, by notification in the Gazette of India andin the Official Gazette of the State concerned,--

(a) correct any printing mistake in any of the orders made by the Commission under section9 or any error arising therein from aninadvertent slip or omission; and

(b) where the boundaries or name of any district or any territorialdivision mentioned in any of thesaid orders are or is altered,make such amendments as appear to it to be necessary or expedient for bringingthe orders up-to-date, so,however, that the boundaries or areas or extent of any constituency shall not be changed by any such notification.

(2) Every notificationunder this section shall belaid, as soon as may be after it is issued, before the House of the People andthe Legislative Assembly of the State concerned.

12. Repeal

The Delimitation Act,1972 is hereby repealed.