Sun. Jan 24th, 2021

Amendment to the Delimitation Act, 2002 and the Representation of the People Act, 1950 regarding delimitation of constituencies in West Bengal consequent upon exchange of the territories between India and Bangladesh

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The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to amend section 11 of the Delimitation Act, 2002 and section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950. It will enable Election Commission to carry out limited delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary Constituency(cies) in the Cooch Behar District of West Bengal consequent upon the exchange of 51 Bangladeshi enclaves and 111 Indian enclaves respectively between India and Bangladesh, with effect from 31st July, 2015. This is in pursuance of the Constitution (One Hundredth Amendment) Act, 2015 and also allows for introduction of a Bill, namely, the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Parliament.

Background
In a historic pact between India and Bangladesh, 51 Bangladeshi enclaves (Chhitmahals) in Indian Territory and 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh territory were exchanged with effect from 31st July, 2015. The move altered the geography and demography of the district of Cooch Behar in West Bengal. With a view to carry out consequential geographic and demographic alterations vis-à-vis the electoral mosaic of the affected areas, the Election Commission requested to amend section 11 of the Delimitation Act, 2002 and section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 to enable it to carry out limited delimitation of constituencies in the affected areas. Since the newly acquired area consequent upon the exchange of territory between India and Bangladesh has become the part of the Indian territory, it is required to make delimitation exercise within the limited constituency area before the ensuing State Assembly elections in West Bengal. Accordingly, the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has been proposed for enactment. 

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(Release ID :136485)

Source: Press Information Bureau (PIB) 

Source: Bombay High Court

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