Sample Material of Our Online Coaching Programme
Topic: Electoral System in India
Ques. 1 :
Representative democracy rests on periodical elections that are free and fair.
Discuss in context of Indian elections?
Ans. India is the most populous democracy
in the world, with about 70 crores of voters. Being a three-tiered democracy,
with a central, state and local layer of governance, the depth of democracy is
great. Representative democracy rests on periodic elections that are free and
fair, that is, people vote without any coercion or fear; and all social groups
are free to participate in decision without any discrimination.
Constitutional provisions, supplemented by
laws made by Parliament are the basis for the conduct of elections and matters
related to elections.
Part XV of the Constitution (Art.324-329)
contains provisions related to elections are two RPAs:
Representation of the People Act,
1950, which mainly deals with the preparation and revision of electoral
Representation of the People Act, 1951
which deals, in detail, with all aspects of conduct of elections and post
Other laws that confer powers on the EC
are- Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Acts, 1952, Government of
Union Territories Act, 1963, Government of the National Capital Territory of
Delhi Act, 1991 and the Rules and powers under them.
Further, the Supreme Court of India held
that where the enacted laws are silent or inadequate, the Election Commission
has the residuary powers under the Constitution to act in an appropriate manner.
Art. 324 broadly speaks of the functions
of the Election Commission and its composition. It confers the power of
superintendence, direction and control of elections in the Election Commission.
It includes the preparation of the electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all
elections to Parliament and State Legislature; and elections to the offices of
President and Vice-President of India.
The Election Commission shall consist of
the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners,
as the President may from time to time fix. President appoints the Chief
Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners Subject to any law made
When any Election Commissioner is
appointed, the Chief Election Commissioner shall act as the Chairman of the
Before each general election to the House
of the People, and to the Legislative Assembly of each State, and before the
first general election and thereafter before each biannual election to the
Legislative Council of each State having such Council, the President may also
appoint, after consultation with the Election Commission, such Regional
Commissioners as he may consider necessary to assist the Election Commission in
the performance of their functions.
President determines the conditions of
service and tenure of office of the Election Commissioners and the Regional
Commissioners, subject to the provisions of any law made by the Parliament.
The manner of removal of the CEC and the
ground for removal are the same as that of the Supreme Court judges-
parliamentary vote followed by the Presidential consent. The conditions of
service of the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be varied to his
disadvantage after his appointment.
Election Commissioner or a Regional
Commissioner shall not be removed from office except on the recommendation of
the Chief Election Commissioner.
The President, or the Governor of a State,
shall, when so requested by the Election Commission, make available to the
Election Commission or to a Regional Commissioner such staff that is necessary
for the conduct of the elections.
Art: 325 says that there shall be one
general electoral roll for every territorial constituency for election to either
House of Parliament and State Legislature. It establishes equality among
citizens for being enrolled as voters by affirming that no person shall be
ineligible for inclusion in the electoral roll on grounds of religion, race,
caste or sex.
Article 326 lays down adult suffrage as
the basis for elections to the house of the People and to the Legislative
Assemblies of States. The following are the qualifications to vote
Should be a citizen of India
Should be not less than eighteen years
is not disqualified under this
Constitution or any law made by the appropriate Legislature on the grounds
2. unsoundness of mind
3. crime, or
4. corrupt or illegal practice.
Art. 327- confers on Parliament the power
to make provision with respect to elections to federal and state Legislatures,
subject to the provisions of the Constitution, on all matters relating to
elections to Parliament or Legislature of a State including the preparation of
electoral rolls, the delimitation of constituencies etc.
Art. 328- confers on the State Legislature
power to make laws with respect to elections to such Legislature, subject to the
provisions of the Constitution and any law made in that respect by Parliament.
Such powers include the preparation of electoral rolls and all other matter
necessary for securing the due constitution of such House or Houses.
Art. 329- bars interference by courts in
electoral matters. Notwithstanding anything in the Constitution—
(a) the validity of any law relating to
the delimitation of constituencies or the allotment of seats to such
constituencies, made or purporting to be made under article 327 or article 328,
shall not be called in question in any court;
(b) no election to either House of
Parliament or to the House either House of the Legislature of a State shall be
called in question except by an election petition presented to such authority
and in such manner as may be provided for by or under any, law made by the
Any elector or candidate can file an
election petition on grounds of malpractice during the election. An election
petition can only be filed before the High Court, in respect of elections to the
Parliament and State Legislatures. In respect of elections for the offices of
the President and Vice President, such petitions can only be filed before the