The Madras High Court today issued notice to the authorities, including the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission, on a PIL seeking delimitation proceedings in respect to fishing villages in the 13 coastal districts of the state.
Also, the public interest litigation sought the declaration of the villages, which meet the criteria for the delimitation, as separate village panchayats before the elections to local bodies.
The PIL filed by president of "Fishermen Care", an NGO, L T A Peter Rayan came up for hearing before a division bench, comprising Justices T S Sivagnanam and Bhavani Subbaroyan.
The petitioner said there are 13 coastal districts in the state consisting of 608 fishing villages with a population of 9.24 lakhs.
He said the Mandal Commission had, in 1980, recommended the inclusion of the fishermen community in the list of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and carving out the areas of their concentration into separate constituencies at the time of delimitation.
But, the government and the Delimitation Commission ignored the recommendations, the petitioner said.
Similarly, empowerment of fishing community by declaring their villages as village panchayats was not done, he added.
The petitioner said the villages along the coasts were isolated and deprived of the democratic rights of administering and developing the villages.
Alleging a conspiracy by certain vested interests not to delimit the fishing villages or empower them, the petitioner said he has moved the court as no action had been taken on his complaints in this regard.
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