[Polity] Recent updates on Representation of Peoples Act,1951

I would like to share various sections of Representation of people Act(RPA) 1951 which were in news recently.

1. Section 123

It explains about what comes under corrupt practises in election. The SC, upholding the offer of grinders, mixies, laptops, etc, made by the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu said that all promises made in the election manifesto
cannot be considered as a corrupt practice. The judgement also said that the state distributing largesse in the form of colour TVs, laptops, mixer-grinders, etc, to eligible and deserving persons is directly related to the Directive Principles.

However the SC directed the Election Commission to frame guidelines in this regard in consultation with all recognised parties as it was doing for the general conduct of candidates, holding of meetings and processions, polling day discipline and norms for the party in power.

2. Section 8(4)


SC has struck down Section 8(4) of RPA as unconstitutional. It allows convicted lawmakers a 3 month period for filing their appeal to the higher court and to get a stay of the conviction and the sentence. SC held that charge-sheeted Members of Parliament and MLA’s on conviction for offences will be disqualified from holding membership.


3. Section 62(5)


Here, SC upheld the findings of the Patna Highcourt. It states that “A person who has no right to vote by virtue of the provisions of Section 62(5) of RPA 1951 is not an elector and is not qualified to contest the election of the house of people or the legislative assembley of the state”. Section 62(5) of act prevents those in lawful custody from voting, it points that those in lawful custody are not qualified for membership of legislative bodies.

But this verdict might result in vendetta politics as political parties in power uses police to file a case and effect arrest of rivals.

4. Section 10 A


The Election Commission has served a show-cause notice to senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde, asking why he should not be disqualified for failing to maintain and lodge a true account of his expenditure on the 2009 Lok Sabha poll campaign.The show-cause notice, served under Section 10A of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951, asked Munde to reply within a 20-day time frame, failing which he would face disqualification and be barred from contesting an election to either Houses of Parliament or to the legislative assembly/council for a period of three years.


Under Section 10A of the Representation of the People Act 1951,Election Commision has jurisdiction and power to conduct an enquiry and to look into the correctness or falsity of the return of election expenses maintained and filed by a candidate in an election.

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