REPRESENTATION OF PEOPLE ACT (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     15th September 2023        
output themes

Context: The Supreme Court has indicated their intention to separate the challenge to the validity of Section 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act from the process of expediting trials involving politicians.

Representation of the People Act 1951

  • Constitutional Authority: India's electoral system is governed by Articles 324 to 329, which are part of Part XV of the Indian Constitution.
  • Parliamentary Authority: According to the Constitution, the Parliament holds the authority to enact laws related to both Parliament and State Legislature elections.
  • Article 324:  Establishes the Election Commission of India, tasked with ensuring the fairness and integrity of elections.
  • Enactment of Electoral Laws: In accordance with these constitutional provisions, Parliament enacted the Representation of the People Act (RPA) in 1950 and the Representation of the People Act in 1951.
  • Scope of RPA: These acts regulate elections to the Houses of Parliament and State Legislature, determine eligibility criteria and disqualifications for membership in these bodies.

Section 8(3) of RPA 1951

  • About: Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, provides for the disqualification of a person convicted of certain offenses from being chosen as, or continuing as, a Member of Parliament or a Member of a Legislative Assembly.
  • In 2013, the Supreme Court of India upheld the constitutionality of Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act in the case of Lily Thomas v. Union of India.
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