12 Jul 2013

Election System in India : How Much Efficient?

The Representation of People Act, 1951 is an act of Parliament of India to provide for the conduct of elections of the Houses of Parliament and to the House or Houses of the Legislature of each State, the qualifications and disqualifications for membership of those Houses, the corrupt practices and other offences at or in connection with such elections and the decision of doubts and disputes arising out of or in connection with such elections.
The acts were amended several times, but one of the notable amendments is the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 1966 (47 of 1966), which abolished the election tribunals and transferred the election petitions to the high courts whose orders can be appealed to Supreme Court. However, election disputes regarding the election of President and Vice-President are directly heard by the Supreme Court.

There are many faults in our election system like corruption, not very much transparent and many others. The leader who spends too much money during election will compete. People in our India give vote according to castism. People also expect for freebies. On the basis of freebies they are putting their votes. But time to time some actions have been taken by our Court & Election commission as-

         1)   The Election Commission has fixed the legal limits on the amount of money which a candidate can spend during election campaigns. These limits have been revised from time to time. The Election Commission by appointing observers keeps an eye on the individual account of election expenditure. The contestants are also required to give details of expenditure with 30 days of declaration of results. However, political parties do not adhere to the financial ‘Lakshman Rekha’ as huge amount are spent by parties under the garb of their supporters.
      2)   The campaign period was reduced by the Election Commission from 21 to 14 days for Lok Sabha and Assembly elections which is for trimming down the election expenditure. The Election Commission’s this attempt to impose these measures has been a move in the right direction. Moreover, Election Commission takes details of candidate’s assets on affidavit at the time of submitting nomination paper.

Few disciplinary incidents:

·         Umlesh Yadav is the first politician to be disqualified by the Election Commission of India for a period of three years for suppression of her election expenses incurred when she was elected as an MLA to the Bisauli constituency in the Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections, 2007

·         The Allahabad high court invalidated found Indira Gandhi, who was the then Prime Minister, guilty on the charge of misuse of government machinery for her election campaign. The court declared her election null and void and unseated her from her seat in the Lok Sabha representing Rae Bareilly constituency.
Recently SC has taken a very important decision about politicians having criminal backgrounds. The verdict should have been like this if any member who is contesting for the election at both center and state should not hold any sort of criminal record and if case is registered after elected he should be disqualified. This is a very good step taken by SC. If it will be implemented then the election of candidates will become transparent. After long time this decision has come & we hope this decision will do great work in clearing of Indian politics.

Finally I want to say that if we want to abolish the current corrupt election system, then firstly we have to change the mind setup of people for castism.NGO's should develop awareness in the people with detailed views and explanation that what is the effect if a person gets elected on the caste basis, increase awareness in people for their right of vote, educate by moral values and so on.

What is your view for present Indian election and political system?

What can be done to make it corruption free and more effective for choosing the right leaders to the houses?

What is your opinion for recent SC ruling on elections?

Please comment with your views…

(Written by by co-host Sumbul Rizvi of the event Group Discussion for UPSC CSE (Daily 9PM to 11PM) of the group Mission Mussoorie UPSC Civil Services based up on daily discussions. Please join and give your valuable views)



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