- Delimitation denotes the act or process of fixing boundaries or limits of territorial constituencies in a country in order to better represent changes in population.
- Article 82 of the Constitution allows for the readjustment of the state wise allocation of seats in the Lok Sabha after each census.
- It also allows for the readjustment of the division of each State into territorial constituencies.
- Article 170 of the Constitution allows the states also to get classified into territorial constituencies after every census
- This can be done by such authority and in such manner as Parliament may by law
- To enforce this the parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every Census.
- The first exercise of delimitation was carried out by the President with the help of the Election Commission in 1950-51.
- Delimitation Commission is set up by the union government under the Delimitation Act.
- Delimitation Commissions have been set up four times so far, viz, 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002 under the Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002.
- The Delimitation Commission is appointed by the President of India to work in collaboration with the Election Commission of India.
- The commission is composed of Retired Supreme Court judge, Chief Election Commissioner, Respective State Election Commissioners.
Function of Delimitation Commission
- The Delimitation Commission has the responsibility to determine the number and boundaries of constituencies in such a manner so that the population of all seats is the same, as far as practically possible.
- The Commission also identifies the seats to be reserved for the communities of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, in areas where their population is significant.
- The decision of the majority will be taken into consideration if the members of the Commission have differing opinions.
- The Commission releases the draft proposals to the public through the Gazette of India and the official gazettes of states, and also in regional language newspapers.
- It also conducts public sittings so that the public’s opinion is heard through oral or written.