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Offences related to Elections under IPC | Criminal Law for Judiciary Exams PDF Download

  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860(IPC) provides guidelines that outline different violations concerning elections.
  • Offences related to Elections encompass a range of corrupt behaviors like bribery, undue influence, personation, and other deceptive acts intended to sway the election results.
  • These regulations are in place to uphold the integrity of elections by punishing such misconduct.
  • Examples:
    • Bribery: Offering money or gifts to voters in exchange for their support.
    • Undue Influence: Exerting pressure or influence on voters to manipulate their voting decisions.
    • Personation: Impersonating another voter to cast a fraudulent vote.
    • Other Fraudulent Activities: Engaging in deceptive practices to alter the election outcome.
  • Bribery: Bribery, as per Section 171B of the IPC, involves offering, giving, accepting, or soliciting any undue advantage or gift to influence election outcomes. For example, offering money or gifts in exchange for votes.
  • Undue influence: Defined in Section 171C of the IPC, undue influence includes using force, coercion, or pressure to sway someone's voting decisions. This could involve threats or intimidation tactics to manipulate voting behavior.
  • Personation: Personation, outlined in Section 171D of the IPC, occurs when someone pretends to be another individual to cast a vote or interfere with another person's voting rights. For instance, impersonating a voter to cast multiple votes.
  • Illegal payments in connection with an election: Section 171E of the IPC prohibits illegal payments related to elections, such as offering money or any other benefit to influence voting choices. This aims to prevent electoral corruption and maintain the integrity of the electoral process.
  • False statement in connection with an election: Section 171F of the IPC makes it unlawful to spread false information or make deceitful claims regarding a candidate or political party during elections. This includes publishing fake news or spreading misinformation to sway public opinion.

These provisions are designed to uphold the principles of free and fair elections, fostering transparency and accountability within the electoral system. Individuals convicted of these offences may face penalties like imprisonment, fines, or both.

Question for Offences related to Elections under IPC
Try yourself:
What is the offense of bribery in relation to elections?
View Solution

Bribery under Section 171B

  • Definition of Bribery: Bribery, as per Section 171B of the Indian Penal Code, involves the act of offering, giving, accepting, or soliciting an unfair advantage or gift to influence election outcomes. This encompasses various actions such as providing bribes to voters, candidates, or election officials.
  • Significance of the Provision: Bribery is identified as a form of corruption that jeopardizes the fairness of the electoral process. It is targeted by the IPC to uphold the integrity of elections and prevent the distortion of results through monetary or other incentives.
  • Legal Consequences: Individuals convicted of bribery under Section 171B may face imprisonment, fines, or both, depending on the severity and context of the offense. The primary aim is to ensure that elections are conducted transparently and reflect the genuine choices of voters.

Key Elements of Section 171B

  • Offering, Giving, Accepting, or Soliciting: Encompasses a wide range of bribery-related activities, including offering, giving, accepting, and soliciting bribes.
  • Undue Advantage or Gift: Central to bribery under Section 171B is the exchange of unfair advantages or gifts, such as money or goods, to sway election results.
  • Influence on Election Result: Focuses on preventing undue influence on election outcomes, ensuring fair and unbiased electoral processes free from corrupt practices.

Punishment as per Section 171E

  • Penalties for Bribery: Section 171E stipulates penalties for bribery offenses under Section 171B. Those found guilty may face imprisonment ranging from six months to two years, fines, or both.

Undue Influence at an Election as per Section 171C

  • Section 171C of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, outlines the offense of undue influence during elections.
  • Use of Undue Influence: This section prohibits the utilization of any undue influence, like force or coercion, to impact an election's result. For instance, employing physical force, threats, or any pressure to sway voters is strictly forbidden.
  • Causing Fear or Alarm: Section 171C also bars the dissemination of fear or alarm among voters to influence election outcomes. This could involve spreading false information or making deceptive threats.

Undue influence at an election, according to Section 171C of the Indian Penal Code, involves using various tactics to impact the election's result.
Let's delve deeper into the key aspects:

  • Understanding Use of Undue Influence: This pertains to employing tactics like coercion, intimidation, or any form of pressure to influence voters. For example, threatening individuals with negative consequences if they do not vote a certain way.
  • Exploring Causing Fear or Alarm: This aspect involves creating an atmosphere of fear or alarm among voters. An instance of this could be spreading rumors about potential dangers associated with voting for a particular candidate.

By comprehending and abiding by Section 171C, individuals can ensure fair and unbiased electoral practices, safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process.

Understanding Personation at Elections under Section 171D

  • Definition of Personation: Personation at elections, as outlined in Section 171D of the Indian Penal Code, involves impersonating another individual with the intention of casting a vote on their behalf or to prevent them from voting.

Key Elements of Section 171D

  • Impersonation: The statute prohibits the act of assuming someone else's identity to vote in their place or to hinder the legitimate voter from exercising their right. For instance, using another person's ID card to cast a vote would constitute personation.
  • Intent Requirement: To be considered a violation of Section 171D, there must be a deliberate intent to impersonate another individual. This implies that the act of personation must be purposeful and not accidental. For example, intentionally pretending to be someone else at the polling station to cast a fraudulent vote.

Question for Offences related to Elections under IPC
Try yourself:
What does Section 171B of the Indian Penal Code define as bribery?
View Solution

Punishment for Undue Influence or Personation at an Election

  • Section 171F of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 addresses penalties for offenses like undue influence during elections (Section 171C) and personation at elections (Section 171D).
  • Individuals convicted of these offenses may face imprisonment ranging from 6 months to 2 years, a fine, or both as per the provision.
  • The goal of the punishment outlined in Section 171F is to discourage corrupt practices that could sway election results.
  • It aims to ensure that elections are conducted fairly and without the interference of undue influence or impersonation.
  • Besides the penalties under Section 171F, those found guilty may also encounter additional consequences such as disqualification from public office, exclusion from future elections, or asset forfeiture.
  • These supplementary penalties are meant to further deter undue influence and personation in the electoral process.

False Statement in Connection with an Election

  • Section 177 of the Indian Penal Code: This section focuses on the offense of making false statements related to an election.
  • Prohibition of False Statements: It is prohibited to make false statements with the intention of influencing the election's outcome. This includes false information about a candidate's qualifications, views, or other pertinent details.
  • Requirement of Intent: To constitute a violation, the statement must be made with the specific intent of impacting the election's result. It must be a deliberate act aimed at influencing the electoral outcome, not a mistake or accident.

Illegal Payments in Connection with an Election

  • Section 171F of the Indian Penal Code: This section addresses illegal payments related to elections. It prohibits making or accepting payments that violate the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Key Elements of Section 171F

  • Illegal Payments: The law prohibits any payments that are against the rules of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. This includes bribes, gifts, or any form of inducement meant to sway election results.
  • Intent: To be considered a violation, there must be a clear intention to influence the election's outcome. This means payments should be made or accepted with the purpose of affecting the election result, not accidentally.

For instance, imagine a candidate offering money to voters in exchange for their votes. This act goes against the law as it aims to influence the election unfairly.

Question for Offences related to Elections under IPC
Try yourself:
Which section of the Indian Penal Code addresses penalties for offenses like undue influence during elections and personation at elections?
View Solution

Failure to Keep Election Accounts

  • Legal Requirement: Section 171-I of the IPC mandates that individuals obligated by law to maintain records of election expenses but fail to do so may face a fine of up to five hundred rupees.

Representation of the People Act, 1951

  • Section 77 Overview: This section of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 addresses the failure to maintain election accounts by candidates and political parties.
  • Account Maintenance: Candidates and political parties are obliged to keep detailed records of their election expenses, including contributions received and expenditures made during the election process.
  • Reporting Requirement: They must submit a comprehensive report of their election expenses to the Election Commission of India within 30 days of the election results being declared.

E Anoop v State of Kerala, 2012

  • The case involved a petitioner who committed personation by changing his identity at a polling station to obtain a voting paper illegally.
  • He was found guilty under Sections 171D and 171F of the law.

Veeraghavan v. Rajnikanth, 1997

  • Accusations were made against a famous actor for allegedly influencing voters through a tele-campaign speech offering money indirectly.
  • Despite the allegations, the court found the actor not guilty as the speech did not directly encourage bribery or undue influence.

Iqbal Singh v. Gurdas Singh, 1975

  • Allegations were made regarding the distribution of money and gun licenses to voters by the respondent.
  • The court dismissed the case due to lack of evidence supporting the claims of bribery and voter influence.

Raj Raj Deb vs Gangadhar, 1962

  • A case where a candidate used religious sentiments and caste appeal to influence voters, violating Section 171F.
  • The court ruled against the candidate for exploiting religious beliefs for electoral gain.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Indian Penal Code encompasses a range of provisions addressing offences connected to elections. These provisions meticulously address various forms of corrupt practices, including bribery, undue influence, personation, false statements in relation to elections, illegal payments, and the failure to maintain election accounts. Additionally, the Representation of the People Act of 1951 serves as a vital tool for regulating the conduct of elections, playing a key role in upholding the integrity of the electoral process. Together, these legal instruments contribute to the comprehensive framework aimed at ensuring fair and untainted elections in India.

The document Offences related to Elections under IPC | Criminal Law for Judiciary Exams is a part of the Judiciary Exams Course Criminal Law for Judiciary Exams.
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FAQs on Offences related to Elections under IPC - Criminal Law for Judiciary Exams

1. What are some of the offences related to elections as per the Indian Penal Code?
Ans. Some of the offences related to elections as per the Indian Penal Code include bribery, undue influence, personation, false statements, illegal payments, and failure to keep election accounts.
2. What is the punishment for undue influence or personation at an election according to the IPC?
Ans. The punishment for undue influence or personation at an election under the IPC can include imprisonment and/or a fine.
3. What are the provisions for bribery under Section 171B of the Indian Penal Code in relation to elections?
Ans. Section 171B of the IPC deals with bribery at elections and prohibits the giving or accepting of bribes to influence voters.
4. How does the IPC define personation at elections under Section 171D?
Ans. Section 171D of the IPC defines personation at elections as the act of pretending to be someone else in order to cast a vote illegally.
5. What are some landmark judgments related to offences related to elections under the Indian Penal Code?
Ans. Some landmark judgments related to offences related to elections under the IPC have set precedents for fair and transparent electoral processes in India.
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