Unfair that states that failed in population control got more parliamentary seats, says Madras HC

Construction of the new Central Vista is in full swing and among the many buildings on the way is the new parliament building.

The new building will have a capacity of 888 members in the Lok Sabha chamber, with an option to increase this to 1,224 members in joint sessions. Similarly, the Rajya Sabha House would have a capacity of 384 members.


Currently, there are 543 members in the Lok Sabha and 245 in the Rajya Sabha.

Although there have been no official measures yet, the government has hinted that it will increase the number of MPs by 2024.

This will be based on the current population of the country, and several states have already said that this puts them at a disadvantage.

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South Indian states have long claimed they have been punished for implementing population control measures, while failed states get a bigger slice of government policies.

Southern states fear that an increase in the number of parliamentary seats based on population will further compound their problems.

Recently the Madras High Court said it was ‘unjust and unreasonable’ to reduce Tamil Nadu’s parliamentary seats in Lok Sabha after the state succeeded in reducing its population in 1967 through the successful implementation of birth control measures.


The court said such a practice amounted to punishing states that had successfully implemented family planning measures.

“Population control cannot be a factor in deciding the number of states’ political representatives in parliament. States that did not implement birth control programs benefited from more political representatives in parliament,” the House said.

He further stated that the the number of Lok Sabha seats should be frozen to existing numbers, or it should be upgraded to original level – 41 seats in Tamil Nadu as it was in 1962. From 41, the number of TNs dropped to 39 in 1967.

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The Bench of Justice N Kirubakaran and Judge B Pugalendhi also asked the Center why it should not be ordered to pay notional compensation of Rs 5,600 crore to Tamil Nadu for reducing its MP seats from 41 to 39 since the 1967 general election.

The court submissions came in a plea asking for the de-reservation of Tenkasi constituency which has remained a reserved constituency for nearly 50 years.

He said no such directive could be issued since the law does not allow the reservation of parliamentary constituencies by rotation.