REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT, 1950
- The Representation of the People Act, 1950, was enacted toprovide for the allocation of seats in the House of the People and in the Legislative Assemblies and Legislative Councils of States.
- In allotting seats in the House of the People to different States and in fixingthe total number of seats in the Legislative Assemblies of different States, the population of each State as on 1st March 1950 was taken into account.
- The Act also sought to confer on the President the powers to delimit, afterconsultation with the Election Commission, the various constituencies for the purpose of elections to fill seats in the House of the People and in the Legislative Assemblies and Legislative Councils of States.
- The Act further provided for the registration of electors for Parliamentary Constituencies and for the Assembly and Council Constituencies, and the qualifications and disqualifications for such registration. A special provision has been included for
- Certain action was already taken by the Constituent Assembly Secretariatfor the preparation of the electoral rolls for elections to the House of the People and the Legislative Assemblies of the States.
- The act provides for direct election for every Parliamentary constituency.
- It provides for delimitation of constituencies which ensures the incorporation of changing dynamics of the increasing population making the process more liveable.
- The act strengthened the federal polity of the country by giving due representation to each state in the house of people.
REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT, 1951
- The Representation of the People Act, 1950 did not contain all the provisions relating to elections but merely provided for the allocation of seats in and the delimitation of constituencies for the purpose of elections to the House of People and Legislatures of States, the qualifications of voter at such election and the preparations of electoral rolls.
- The provisions for the actual conduct of elections to the Houses ofParliament and to the House or Houses of the Legislature of each State, the qualifications and disqualifications for the membership of these Houses, the corrupt practices and other election offences, and the decision of election disputes were all left to be made in a subsequent measure. In order to provide for these provisions, the Representation of the People Act, 1951 was enacted.
Broadly speaking, this Act contains provisions relating to the following electoral matters:
1. Qualifications and disqualifications for membership of Parliament and State Legislatures
2. Notification of general elections
3. Administrative machinery for the conduct of elections
4. Registration of political parties
5. Conduct of elections
6. Free supply of certain material to candidates of recognised political parties
7. Disputes regarding elections
8. Corrupt practices and electoral offences
- The act is significant for the smooth functioning of the Indian democracy as it bars the entry of persons with criminal background into representative bodies, thus decriminalizing Indian politics.
- The act requires every candidate to declare his assets and liabilities, and maintain an account of election expenses. This provision ensures the accountability and transparency of the candidate in the use of public funds or misuse of power for personal benefits.
- It prohibits corrupt practices like booth capturing, bribery or promoting enmity etc., which ensures the legitimacy and free & fair conduct of elections which is essential for the success of any democratic setup.
- The Article 326, Representation of the People Act 1950 and Representation of the People Act 1951 cover almost all the essential provision required to make any electoral process efficient and accountable. Thus, making the whole process more accommodative and inclusive along with paving the way for participative democracy.
DELIMITATION ACT. 2002
- Articles 82 and 170 of the Constitution of India provide for readjustment and the division of each State into territorial constituencies (Parliamentary constituencies and Assembly constituencies) on the basis of the 2001 census by such authority and in such manner as Parliament may, by law, determine.
- Therefore, the Delimitation Act, 2002, was enacted to set up aDelimitation Commission for the purpose of effecting delimitation on the basis of the 2001 census so as to correct the aforesaid distortion in the sizes of electoral constituencies. The proposed Delimitation Commission would also re-fix the number of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes on the basis of the 2001 census, without affecting total number of seats based on the 1971 census.