Electoral Reforms In India

Law Commission for simultaneous polls

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Mains Paper 2: Polity | Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Law commission

Mains level: Recommendations given by the Law Commission


News

Recommendation of the Law Commission

  1. It recommends that in 2019, the election could be held in phases
  2. In the first phase, it says, elections to the legislatures which are scheduled to go for polls synchronous with the Lok Sabha in 2019 could be held together
  3. The rest of the States could go to elections in proximity with the Lok Sabha elections of 2024
    Relaxation: anti-defection law
  4. It even suggests the relaxation of the “rigours” of the anti-defection law in the Tenth Schedule to prevent a stalemate in the Lok Sabha or Assemblies in case of a hung Parliament or Assembly
  5. The panel says that in case of mid-term elections, the new Lok Sabha or Assembly would only serve the remainder of the term of the previous Lok Sabha/Assembly and not a fresh term of five years
    Go for constitutional amendments
  6. The commission says the Centre should get the Constitutional amendments, if agreed upon, to be ratified by all the States so as to avoid any challenge to them
  7. It also says that the Prime Minister/Chief Minister should be “elected” to lead by the full House like the Lok Sabha Speaker

Major raodblock to simultaneous elections

  1. Citing no-confidence motion and premature dissolution of House as major roadblocks to simultaneous elections, the commission says the parties which introduce the no-confidence motion should simultaneously give a suggestion for an alternative government

Back2basics

Law Commission of India

  1. Law Commission of India is an executive body established by an order of the Government of India
  2. Its major function is to work for legal reform
  3. Its membership primarily comprises legal experts, who are entrusted a mandate by the Government
  4. The Commission is established for a fixed tenure and works as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice
  5. Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan, a former judge of the Supreme Court was appointed Chairman of the 21st Law Commission on 10 March
  6. This post was lying vacant since September 2015. 66-year old Justice Chauhan is currently heading the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal
  7. One of the key issues pending before the Law Commission is a call on amending the Indian Penal Code (IPC) amid allegations of abuse and arbitrary use of the law
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