Review and set right draft recommendation in final report: Ashok Bhan writes to Delimitation Commission

Urges commission to recommend reservation of 3 seats for Kashmiri Pandits, one sear for Sikh community

Urges commission to recommend reservation of 3 seats for Kashmiri Pandits, one sear for Sikh community

Srinagar, Dec 27 (KNS): Senior advocate of the Supreme and chairman Kashmir (Policy and Strategy) Group, Ashok Bhan has urged the delimitation commission chairperson Justice Ranjan Desai and others members of the commission to review and set right draft recommendations in the final report in the interest of democracy and justice to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

In an open letter to the commissioner, a copy of which lies with Kashmir News Service (KNS), Bhan has also urged the commission to recommend reservation of at least one seat for Sikh community and three seats for Kashmiri Pandits. 

The letters reads that a huge debate has ensued and a criticism has popped up over the draft recommendation for not being bonafide in the context of distribution of seven additional seats in the ratio of 1:6 for Kashmir and 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,” it reads.

It reads that whatever be the merit & demerit of the opposing campaign by all the JK major political class or parties, being the real actors in promoting electoral democracy doctrine in the most turbulent JKUT, it has to be taken serious cognisance 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.”

The letter reads that as a conscientious citizen and a Kashmiri stakeholder advocating and promoting constitutional democracy in Jammu & Kashmir has 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,” it reads. 

It reads that 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 the past three decades by the terrorist turbulence particularly in the Valley therefore all the more appropriate is setting right the recommendations and winning over the minds of people.”

It also reads that 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 the past more than three decades, for recommendations by the commission for reservations of at least one and three assembly seats respectively.”

It reads: “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 recognising 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 or affairs and best interests of inclusive democracy.”

The letter further reads that 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 recognised by the UNSC and the constitution. (KNS)

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