Twenty-four seats of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly are vacant as they fall under Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and will not be taken into account for reckoning the total strength of the House, Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said on Tuesday.
According to section 47 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, the Legislative Assembly comprises of 111 members chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the state, he said.
"However, as per section 48 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, until the area of the state under the occupation of Pakistan ceases to be so occupied and the people residing in that area elect their representatives, 24 seats in the Legislative Assembly shall remain vacant and shall not be taken into account for reckoning the total membership of the Assembly," Reddy said in the Lok Sabha, replying to a written question.
The minister said Article 170 of the Constitution of India, which deals with delimitation of constituencies for state legislative assemblies, has not been extended to Jammu and Kashmir.
"Delimitation of Legislative Assembly Constituencies in the State of Jammu and Kashmir is carried out under sections 47 and 141 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
The current strength of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly is 87.
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