Electoral Reforms In India

Supreme Court: How can convict be office-bearer of party?


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Mains Paper 2: Polity | Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Representation of People’s Act

Mains level: Corruption in politics and ways to reduce it


Rationale behind allowing a convicted person to form a political party

  1. The Supreme Court has questioned the rationale behind allowing a convicted person to form a political party
  2. Under the existing law, a convicted legislator cannot contest elections for six years

SC questions

  1. How can a convicted person be an office-bearer of a political party and select candidates to contest elections?
  2. It is that what you cannot do individually, you can do collectively through some of your agents

Against SC judgments

  1. This goes against SC judgments that corruption in politics is to be ostracised for the purity of elections
  2. On the contention that people have a right to form associations, SC said they can form an association to establish a school, but when they are in the field of governance, it matters

EC’s affidavit

  1. In its affidavit, the EC said it had earlier proposed to the government that the present law should be amended
  2. It should provide that any person accused of an offense punishable by imprisonment for five years or more should be disqualified from contesting elections even while trial is pending, provided the court has framed charges against him
  3. The commission also sought powers to de-register a political party and to be able to issue orders regulating registration and de-recognition of parties
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