The Representation of the People Act of 1950 was needed because at that time many things were not clear to hold elections; Such as voter list and allotment of seats etc. To clarify this, the Representation of the People Act, 1950 was enacted. [E9/10]
In this article we are going to discuss Representation of the People Act 1950 precisely, so to understand well, read this article till the end;
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Representation of the People Act 1950
Background of the Representation of the People Act 1950
Free and fair elections are a fundamental element of any democracy. To ensure this in India, a strong and autonomous Election Commission was established on 26 November 1949, which is described in Articles 324-329 of Part XV of the Constitution.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) is responsible for conducting free and fair elections in the country. After independence, we adopted universal adult franchise system and gave it constitutional recognition under Articles 325 and 326 .
Where Article 325 ensures universal suffrage and provides that no person shall be disqualified on grounds of religion, race, caste or sex for claiming to be included in any electoral roll. And it is written in Article 326 that the elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assembly shall be on the basis of adult suffrage.
[Universal adult suffrage is the right to vote of all adult citizens, regardless of wealth, income, gender, social status, race or ethnicity. (with only minor exceptions)]
So overall the Election Commission was formed but before the first election it had to face many policy problems because the laws related to it were not clear. Many such questions were left unanswered such as allocation of seats for Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies, eligibility of voters, preparation of electoral rolls, eligibility and disqualification of candidates, corrupt practices, code of conduct etc.
That is why the Parliament enacted the Representation of the People Act, 1950, and the Representation of the People Act, 1951, so that all the provisions relating to elections could be clear and in accordance with democratic values, and there would be a provision for the conduct of elections. Provide a suitable legal framework.
Explanation of the Representation of the People Act 1950
This entire Representation of the People Act is divided into 5 parts and 7 schedules. Where if we talk about the schedules, out of the 7 schedules, the last 3 schedules have been cancelled. You can see in this table what are the provisions in which part and what are the provisions in any schedule. Remember this so that a map is prepared in the mind.
Representation of the People Act 1950: At a Glance
|2||Allocation of seats and demarcation of constituencies||3-13|
|2B||Voter List for Parliamentary Constituencies||13D|
|3||Voter List for Assembly Constituencies||14-25A|
|4||Voter List for Council Areas||26-27|
|4A||Filling of seats in the councils of states, Filling of seats by federal representatives||27A-27K|
Schedules of the Representation of the People Act 1950
|first schedule||Allotment of seats in Lok Sabha|
|second schedule||Total number of seats in the Legislative Assemblies|
|third schedule||Allotment of seats in Legislative Councils|
|fourth schedule||Local officials for the purposes of election to Legislative Councils|
️| Part 1 whose subject matter is preliminary , (under this section 1 and section 2 comes) there is nothing special to know in it, so it is not of much use to discuss it here. Still, if you want to know, then you can read the given PDF. Apart from this, you will be given the original PDF of the next part so that you can see it to study in detail.
Part 2 – Allocation of Seats and Demarcation of Constituencies pdf
This part of the Act consists of sections 2 to 13, which are divided into five headings.
Title 1 – Lok Sabha
Although there are sections from 3 to 6 in it, but except section 3 and 4, everything has been canceled. Section 3 is about “Allotment of seats in Lok Sabha” and Section 4 is about “Filling of seats in Lok Sabha and Parliamentary constituencies” . Let’s understand it.
In Article 81 and Article 170 of the Constitution, provisions have been given regarding the maximum number of seats in the Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies of the states, as well as the principles on the basis of which the allocation of seats in the Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies of the states is done. But the actual allocation of such seats is provided by the Representation of the People Act 1950.
We know that a maximum of 550 seats have been allotted for the Lok Sabha, while a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 500 (with few exceptions) have been provided for the State Legislative Assemblies but the actual number is always less than that. Where there will be how many seats, it is decided by the recommendations of the delimitation commission.
Section 3 of Part II basically states that the seats allocated to the Lok Sabha in the States (with seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes) shall be the same as provided for in the Representation of the People Act, 1950. set out in Schedule 1.
Presently the status of Schedule 1 under the Delimitation Order 2008 is as shown in the given PDF↗️.
It is said in section 4 that the seats allotted under section 3 shall be filled by persons elected by direct election in that parliamentary constituency.
Title 2 – State Legislatures
It comes under section 7 and section 7A. Section 7 states that the allocation of seats to the State Legislative Assemblies (with seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes) shall be as specified in Schedule 2 . You can see the current status of Schedule 2 in the given PDF.
Section 7A is about the total number of seats in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly and Assembly Constituencies. You will know that this act is of 1950, while Sikkim became a state of India in 1975, hence some provision was added for Sikkim later.
Title 3 – Delimitation Order of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies
There are 3 sections under it – 8, 8A and 9. Section 8 is about “consolidation of demarcation orders”. Section 8A deals with the “demarcation of parliamentary and assembly constituencies in the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur or Nagaland”. And section 9 is about “power of the Election Commission to keep up to date the delimitation order”.
The Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1950 provides for the delimitation of constituencies. That is, it makes provision for the allocation of seats in the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies and Legislative Councils.
The Act empowers the President to re-determine the number of different constituencies to fill seats in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies and Legislative Councils in consultation with the Election Commission.
The President can modify the system of delimitation after consulting the Election Commission. The Election Commission has the power to determine the constituencies reserved for the Scheduled Tribes in the States of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.
The first delimitation order was issued by the President with the Election Commission and with the approval of the Parliament in August 1951
Demarcation Act, 2002
Articles 82 and 170 of the Constitution of India provide for the division and resettlement of each state into territorial constituencies (parliamentary constituencies and assembly constituencies) and the basis for this is the census, 2001.
In addition, Articles 330 and 332 of the Constitution of India provide for the re-determination of the number of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies on the basis of Census, 2001.
However, remember that the current demarcation of parliamentary and assembly constituencies is based on the 1971 census. Uneven population growth in different parts of India as well as continuous migration of voters from one place to another within the same state has resulted in wide variation in the size of constituencies within the same state.
Hence the Demarcation Act 2002 was enacted which aimed to make demarcation effective on the basis of 2001 census. So that uniformity can be established in the size of all the constituencies. For this, the Demarcation Commission was formed in 2001 itself, one of its tasks was also to redefine the number of seats reserved for scheduled castes and tribes. But without affecting the total number of seats fixed on the basis of 1971 census.
Section 8 simply says that the extent of all parliamentary constituencies (except parliamentary constituencies in the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Manipur and Nagaland) shall be such as may be determined by orders made by the Delimitation Commission under the provisions of the Delimitation Act, 2002.
And further the extent of parliamentary constituencies for the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Manipur and Nagaland shall be such as provided in the Delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Order 2008 having regard to the provisions of section 10A and section 10B of the Delimitation Act 2002.
It is written in Section 10A and Section 10B of the Delimitation Act 2002 pdf , you can see it in pdf.
So now you would understand that section 8 talks of consolidating all similar orders into a single order. Which is known as the Delimitation Order 2008. The power of the Election Commission to update in this order has been mentioned in Section 9.
Title Fourth – State Legislative Councils
Sections 10 and 11 respectively deal with the allocation of seats in the legislative councils and the demarcation of council constituencies. Article 171 provides for the maximum and minimum seats in the Legislative Council of a State, and also specifies the methods by which the seats shall be filled. But here also the actual allotment of seats is provided by section 10 of this Act. And section 11 talks of delimitation.
Title Fifth – Provisions regarding demarcation orders of constituencies
There are two sections under this, Section 12 and Section 13. Section 12 empowers the President to modify an order made under Section 11 after consulting the Election Commission. And under section 13, every order made under sections 11 and 12 shall be laid, as soon as may be, before Parliament.
Part 2A – Officer pdf
There are total 5 sections under this part, which are as follows.
⚫ The Chief Electoral Officer has been said under section 13A.
⚫ The District Election Officer has been talked about under Section 13AA.
⚫ Election Registration Officer under 13B,
⚫ Assistant Election Registration Officer under 13C and
⚫ Chief Electoral Officer under 13CC, District Election Officer etc. to be considered on deputation to the Election Commission. We have already talked about this, you read the article named Election process for this .
Part 2B – Electoral Rolls for Parliamentary Constituencies pdf
This has been explained in section 13D. It states that the electoral roll for every parliamentary constituency other than a parliamentary constituency (in the State of Jammu and Kashmir or in a Union territory having no Legislative Assembly) shall consist of the electoral rolls of as many assembly constituencies as there are in that parliamentary constituency. and it shall not be necessary to prepare or revise the electoral roll separately for any such parliamentary constituency.
Part 3 – Electoral List for Assembly Constituencies pdf
It has been mentioned in section 14 to 25A which is as follows.
Section 14 – Definitions
Section 15 – There shall be an electoral roll for every constituency which shall be prepared under the superintendence, direction and control of the Election Commission in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
Section 16 – Disqualifications to be registered in the electoral roll
If a person – is not a citizen of India; or is of unsound mind and there exists a declaration of a competent court to be so; or is for the time being disqualified to vote under the provisions of any law relating to corrupt practices and other offences. Such a person shall not be enrolled in the electoral roll.
Section 17 – No person’s name shall be registered in more than one constituency.
Section 18 – No person shall be registered more than once in any constituency.
Section 19 – Conditions of registering in the voter’s roll.
Every person who— (a) is not less than 18 years of age on the date of qualification; and (b) is ordinarily resident in any constituency, shall be entitled to be registered in the electoral roll for that constituency.
Section 20 – Ordinarily resident means, that is to say, a person who shall be or shall not be deemed to be ordinarily resident of any constituency; That is what has been described in this section.
Section 21 – This section deals with the preparation and revision of electoral rolls.
Section 22 – deals with the correction of entries made in the electoral rolls.
Section 23 – Inclusion of names in electoral rolls whose names are not there. (by applying to the Electoral Registration Officer)
Section 24 – Appeals; That is, against an order made by an Electoral Registration Officer under section 22 or section 23.
Section 25 – Fees charged for applications and appeals will not be refunded.
Section 25A – The conditions for registration as an elector in the Union Constituency of Sikkim are set forth in this section.
Part 4 – Voter List for Legislative Council Areas pdf
This has been explained in section 27. It deals with the preparation of electoral rolls for the Legislative Council constituencies.
Part 4A pdf
This section deals with the manner of filling seats in the Council of States to be filled by the representatives of the Union territories.
This part contains a compilation of sections 28 to 32.
Section 28 – deals with power to make rules.
Section 29 – Providing staff to local authorities as needed.
Section 30 – Jurisdiction of civil courts barred
Section 31 – False declaration
Section 32 – Violation of official duty relating to preparation of electoral rolls, etc.
So overall this was the Representation of the People Act 1950, many sections have not been explained in detail in this article, to know in detail, you can read its original PDF ️ .