Salient Features of the Representation of Peoples Act

 

The Representation of People’s Act (RPA) is an important legislation in Indian polity. It is important to read all about this Act for the IAS exam. In this article, we give you the salient features of the RPA for civil services exam.

The Representation of People’s Act is an Act to provide for the conduct of elections to 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 and illegal 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.

Representation of Peoples Act 1951

Representation of the People Act is a short title for legislation enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom and the Parliament of India dealing with the electoral system.An Act to provide for the conduct of elections to the Houses of Parliament and to the House or Houses of the Legislature of each State, the disqualifications and qualifications for. membership of those Houses, the offences and other corrupt practices at or in connection with such elections and the decision of disputes and doubts arising out of or in connection with such elections. Under the Representation of the People Act, as it stood at the end of 1994, the power to decide an election petition is vested in the High Court, with appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Parliament has prescribed the following additional qualifications in the RPA (1951):

  1. He must be registered as an elector for a parliamentary constituency. This is mandated for both the Houses of Parliament.
  2. The requirement that a candidate contesting an election to the Rajya Sabha from a particular state should be an elector in that particular state was dispensed with in 2003.
  3. In 2006, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of this change.
  4. In order to contest from a seat reserved for SC/STs, he must be a member of that category. However, an SC/ST member can contest from a seat not reserved for them also.

The Parliament has laid down the following additional disqualifications in the Representation of People Act (1951):

  • He must not have been found guilty of certain election offences or corrupt practices in the elections.
  • He must not have been convicted for any offence resulting in imprisonment for 2 or more years. But, the detention of a person under a preventive detention law is not a disqualification.
  • He must not have failed to lodge an account of his election expenses within the time.
  • He must not have any interest in government contracts, works or services.
  • He must not be a director or managing agent nor hold an office of profit in a corporation in which the government has at least 25 per cent share.
  • He must not have been dismissed from government service for corruption or disloyalty to the State.
  • He must not have been convicted for promoting enmity between different groups or for the offence of bribery.

Also see: