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ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA


Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi-ll0001
No. 3/ER/2016/SDR/ / ~ ---,,--_ -D~t~-d~--6thJ~~e, 2016

To
The Secretary to the Govt. of India,
Ministry of Law & Justice
Legislative Department,
Shastri Bhawan,
New Delhi.

Sub: Proposal for insertion of new Section 58B in the Representation of the People
Act, 1951.

Sir,
I am directed to state that Section 58A of Representation of the People Act,

1951, provides for adjournment of poll or countermanding of election on the ground


of booth capturing. As per sub-section (1) of the said Section, in the event of booth

capturing in any polling station the Returning Officer shall report the matter to the

Commissionforthwith. Sub-section (2) provides that the Commissionshall, on receipt

of the report and after taking all material circumstances into account, either declare
the poll in the polling station concerned void and order a fresh poll in that polling
station, or if t\',e Commission is satisfied that large number of polling stations are

involved in booth capturing and hence the result of the election is likely to be affected,

countermanding election in that constituency.

2. Section 58A was inserted in 1989 by Act 1 of 1989. At that point of time, , booth

capturing' was considered to be a major malpractice in election. Over a period of time

and especially in the recent years, misuse of money power is seen to be having a

serious vitiating effect on the conduct of free and fair elections. There have been

several instances of seizure of large amounts of cash, liquor, narcotics, gift items etc,
"
from candidates/ their agents, political party workers, during the elections. Recently,

in the general election to the LegislativeAssemblyof Tamil Nadu, the Commissionhad

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-.

to recommend to the Hon'ble Governor of Tamil Nadu to rescind the election


notification in respect of two constituencies in view of large scaleincidents of bribery

of electors on behalf of some of the candidates by way of distribution of cash and gift
articles in the constituency, resorting to plenary powers under Article 324 of the
Constitution. There could be several caseswhich go undetected. Considering the

reality of misuse of money power in elections, the Commission is of the considered


view that there should be a provision in the Representation of the People Act, 1951,

to deal with such cases.Therefore, the Commissionrecommends that on the lines of

Section 58A, there should be a specific provision enabling the Commission to take
appropriate action including countermanding of election in the event of incidents of

bribery of electors in a constituency, and if the Commission is satisfied that such

incidents are likely to affect the result of election in that constituency.

3. Accordingly, it is requested that, afterSection 58A, a new Section 58B may be


inserted in the Representation of the PeopleAct, 1951 on the following lines :-

.. 5~B. Adjournment of poll or countermanding of election on the ground of


bribery> (I) If at any election, bribery is likely to take place or has taken place
in a polling area or polling areas or at a place fixed for the poll (hereafter in this
section referred to as a polling area) which is likely to vitiate or has vitiated the
conduct of free and fair election, the Returning Officer shall forthwith report the
matter to the Election Commission.

(2) The Election Commission may, on the receipt of the report from the
Returning Officer under sub-section (I) or otherwise, and after taking all material
circumstances into account,-
(a) postpone the poll in the affected polling area or areas to such later date as the
Commission may deem appropriate in the facts and circumstances of the case,
appoint a fresh date, and fix afresh the hours, for taking poll in the said polling
area or areas, and notify the date so appointed and hours so fixed in such manner
as il may deem fit; or
(b) where the poll has already taken place in the affected polling area or areas on
the date previously appointed under clause (d) of section 30, declare the poll so
taken as void, aopoint a day, and fix the hours, for taking fresh poll in that polling
area or areas and notify the date so appointed and hours so fixed in such manner
as it may deem fit; or
(c) if satisfied that in view of the large number of polling areas involved in
incidents of bribery, the result of the election in the constituency is likely to be
affected, countermand ~he election in that constituency.
Explanation> (1) In this connection, "bribery" shall have the same meaning as
in clause (l) of section 123.
(2) In this section and section 58A, the expression "countermand the election"
shall mean rescinding of the entire electoral process in the constituencyab
initio so that the election in the constituency may be called anew in all respects".

4. It is requested that early action may be taken on the above proposal.

Yours faithfully,

l~
(K.F. WILFRED)
PRINCIPAL SECRETARY
~ ..
\¥~~'
Chief 51ection Commissioner of India
D.O. No. 3IERI2015
'1' I~,: ".'~
. II '.: .
).

.
.
,
v.".;I
m«r PtClM"I 3#4/41
Election Commission of In ia
25 July 2016

At the outset, I, on behalf of the Commission, would like to


congratulateyou on your newassignmentas Minister for law & Justice.

2. I would like to bring to your kind notice that the Commissionhas


made a number of recommendationsfrom time to time for amendments in
relevant law in the interest of free and fair elections. The Commissionhad also
taken up'the subjectwith your predecessors. A copy of my last letter dated 4th
-', .:

December,2015,to Shri D.V SadanandaGowda is enclosedfor your reference. A


gist of the pendingelectoral reforms proposalsis alsoenclosedfor perusal. We,in
., the Commission,believe that under your stewardship, the electoral reforms
proposalsmovedby the Commissionwill get the neededpush.

3. In the meantime, the Commissionhas held several interactions with the


-
.
jJ Secretary, legislative Department, to discuss the reforms proposals. These
meetingshave proved fruitful in putting acrossthe mutual points of view and the
Commissionhasreceived excellentcooperation from the Secretaryand the other
officialsof the Ministry.

4. Further, many of the proposalsmade by the Commission(gist of which is


enclosed) and earlier referred to the law Commission by law Ministry for
examination in their entirety, have received endorsements from the law

Commissionin their 244th and25Sth Reports. It is understoodthat the two reports


of the law Commissionare under consideration in the Task Forceset up in the
Ministry to delineate a roadmap. The Commissionis hopeful that there will be
._Contd/- ..•

~ ~. ~ m. ~ ~- 110001
NirvachanSadan. Ashoka Road, New Oelhi"O 001 ~/Tel: 011-23052323, 23052424 ~/Fax: 011-23052525
~-~/E-mail: nasimzaidi@eci.govin,
~/Website: www.eci.nic.in
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-; 2 ;-

prompt action in this regard and atleast some of the proposals will be cleared for
appropriate amendments in the law.

5. I slJggest that following proposals may please be taken up by Law Ministry

for action on priority basis. These proposals are already with the Ministry.

(i) Proposal to add a new Section 58B in RP Act 1951, to enable the

Commission to take appropriate action including countermanding

election in the event of incidents of brlberv of electors in the

constituency and if the Commission is satisfied that such incidents are

likely to affect the result of election in that constituency;

(ii) Proposal to amend Section 14 of RPAct, 50 to provide for two qualifying

dates (1st January and I" July) for the purpose of enrolment of 18 - 19

years old voters in electoral roll for assembly and parliamentary


constituency;

(iii) Proposal for amendment of Section 60 of RP Act, 51 to provide for

alternative voting options through proxy and postal ballot paper with

one-way electronic transmission, in respect of service voters and


overseas electors;

(iv) Amendment of relevant provisions in the Conduct of Elections Rules,

1961, to provide for use of Totalizer for counting of votes in EVMs;

(v) Proposal to make bribery at elections a cognizable offence;

(vi) Proposal to make 'paid news' in connection with elections an electoral


offence.

...Contd./-...
I ' .

-:3 :-

6. I would also bring to your notice that some of the proposals on electoral

reforms involve only amendments in the Rules which are to be carried out in the

Ministry of Law and Justice. In fact, on the Commission's proposals for simplifying

some of the Forms appended to the Registration of Electors' Rules, 1960, the

Commission was informed that the amendments had been examined and

approved, and were to be notified. I would request that necessary notification

may be brought out now so that the revised Forms can be circulated to the field

level for printing and use well before the next round of revision of electoral rolls is
taken up.

:;
7.
On behalf of the Commission, I would request you to kindly give your

personal attention for taking up and monitoring the reforms proposals for
concrete action.

Yours sincerely,

N <Un"':' ~J,.
(Dr. Nastm Zaidi)
Shr; Ravi Shankar Prasad,
Minister for Law & Justice,
Shastri Bhawan,
New Delhi.

~."-'
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STo 1ftlq ~
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.DR. NAStM ZAIDI
Chief Election Commissioner of India
Election Commission of India

D.O. No. 3/r~RJ2015 r)ated:+~)ecember; 2015

Ejection Commission of India (Et.I) for past several years bas taken up
with 1..<1\V Ministry the urgent need for electoral reforms with a view to further
enhancing {he purity of election process, My predecessors have also corresponded
with Law Ministry on this subject in the past. I enclose herewith a gist of the
updated pending proposals for your perusal and reference (Annex).

Earlier based on proposals submitted by Eel, Law Ministry along with .ECI
conducted regional consultations with stakdwldcrs. The national consultation the
last in the series could not he held.

3. Later, IAn\' Ministry referred proposals of Fer on electoral reforms to the


Law Commission to examine these proposals in its entirety. The Law Cornmission
has submitted their reports in this behalf (244,1l and 25Sth Reports) endorsing the
recommendations ofthe Eel in many of these cases.

4. You would kindly observe from rhe Report that while the majority of the
proposals and recouuncudanon, would require amendments in the Acts, there are
a few proposals which involve only amendments in the Rules, i.e the Conduct of
Elections Rules 196 L and the Registration of Electors Rules, 1960, to be done at
the Govt. level (Ministry of Law) only. r~CI considers that it would be appropriate
if proposals requ iring amendment 0 t' rules could be de-linked from those req uiring
amendments in Acts 1\)1 expeditious action on rules. IAI\V Ministry should also
examines on priority the proposals which require legislative sanctions in Acts.

flqj·"l.-j' ~<:.;. ;W·<itif> ~';S. ~. f~~- 110001


NlfVaGhanSaOan.Asl10ka Fto<ld,New Delhi 110 0(11''i~/Tel; 011 -2305232:3, 23052424 <tift'll Fax; 011-23052525
t -~i.'!/ F·maill1{Jsifn1a;(jI@ed.gov.in ~lf'fl1~ IWebsite. www.eci me.m
--.;._----------_ __ ...•..._--_ •.__ ..

On behalf of the Commission. I would request you to grve your kind


consideration to these proposals and push for appropriate amendments in the Law
as per the recommendations of the Commission, and also finalise amendments in
rules at Law Ministry level as early as convenient. Suffice to say that the pending
proposals need to attain finality sooner than later.

With regards,

Yours sincerely,

Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda,


Hon'ble Minister for Law &: Justice,
Shastri Bhawan,
New Delhi.
- /:: ,,', ,

'$To- ~~l'f-~ ,- - I

~-q}-~:Pt4l:q"t'~, -
DR. NASIM,ZAIDI"J' '
Chi~f Election-Cdmm(~s1onE!iJ of rrrdia '

No. 3/ER'j201S ~3 N9Vemberi 2.0l6'


/. ....
<,
'(])~ar S~·\',· R- ~' -..~
-'
/

I 'would ---in~ite - your kind attention to / the Commi$si,on,'s letter . '


NO.3/ER/2Q16!SDR/257; dated 6thJune, 2016, recommending that ~J,~wSe(:tion 5,8n, "'
-' may b~ inserted--in the R~pre$enta'tion ~nhe\people Act, 19S1j'to empowerthe
Commission to countermand election in the event of widespread incid~nts ot bribery ,
of
.
electors.
.
I enclose a copy
......
of ~h~)etter dated 6thJune~ 2016 'for convenlence~f'
" ,...
- - ~~
.::: .
, .- .. ('"

reference, :' " I


/ -, -
2.< -Th~ Law Ministry" vlcie thelr ~Ie~te" No. H-ll029/20i6/teg,II, -dated ~6th"
: • -, . ',_ .: . . , '. . 'I..~ '.' '.
-'
september, 2016, and"vide yo,ui' letter dated 18.11.2016 have opined that; it would
,', " ,' , -/
,

to compare
, ,- , ' , '

not be , correct
-' _,' '.' .o'
booth capturing with allegations
..... _.
of bribery, a's the
,
latter-
would bea matter of .investigatlon arid proof: In this context,': would pbih(6uHh~t
• . .'. . - ( _' . . _', " 1\
everr.ln the case of booth- capturing, the Commission takes up fbHow up legal.action
" . " " r. .,'. '/ .' . - _ l

), -
. only iJ'fte(ver;ification .offactsand on its satisfaction as laid down under relevant-law.
..
\:
,.,same~~t,Jld b~th~ case on the is'sue,ofbrib~ry: While pros~cution;tOf,th~ crf~iral .
.side of the offence would. be a legal processwhich ~iII take its ?~n·t'~me'and'course; ..
. the Commission has to act in a,very limited time frame whid:lifdoes a(t~r serious"
fair and'factbased
'. - -
eriqulrvarrd vertfication-
.
Thus, the .Commi~~i6n does.not ~onside;
..
. ' "

.thi;lt;the two offences need to be looked-at dlnerentjy for th'e ~urpos~t otaction, by
. t~eCommission. . . , . . " (,_ .

/ 3., . A~ alr~ad'f pr9posed in the earlier letter, considering the'wid,espread 'incidents


ofrtlisuse of'r,1oney and rampant atternpts to b:~ibeelectors, it wouid, bedesirable to
- have ~ spectfic pro..,ision _in the law to deal with /~uch-cases Jathertharr"r~sorting to-,
pienarypower u~-d~rArtiere 324 on'each such oc~asion. ' I.' ,
-, -

., 4~ On' behalf of the, Commission, I would request you to kindly,revi~it the mat~er:.
.'~-
'-,

.:.-___...-;..:......_ " .;-

-~ -T_-~th'fegards;
-" , "~ " ,

" ~,Yo'tirssincerely,
, rJ~..; to.,.;: l"
,. (Dr. Nasim Zaidi) i

1-
Shri Ra~d~I)ankar,pr,~~ad,
Minister for ~lW & )ustice, ,:..

Shastri Bhawan,
NeW Delhi.

.~ ~. 3r.ri'r<P ~. ~ ~- 11.0 001


NirvaChan
Sadan,AshokaRoad,NewDeI~O 001~ ITe.: 011-23052323. 23052424 $mI Fax: 011-23052525
~--.t;r/E-mail: nasimzaidl@ed,90v.in, ~/Website: www,ecLnic.i.n
...

ELECTION COMMISSION OF iNDIA


Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi-H0001
NO.3/ER/ECI/lET/FUNC/JUD/2016/SDR!VOl_VII Dated: 24th April, 2017

To

The Secretary to the Govt. of India,


Ministry of law & Justice
legislative Department,
Shastri Bhawan,
New Delhi.

Sub: Proposal for insertion of new Section 5So in the Representation of the
People Act, 1951.

Sir,

I am directed to refer to your letter No. H.ll021/11/2016-leg.IJ, dated 8th


March, 2017, on the subject cited above.

2. The proposal to make a specific provision to deal with cases of bribery in

elections was made in the background of increasing instances of attempt to bribe

electors in the last few years. Through the monitoring and preventive mechanism

put in place by the Commission through the ground level election machinery, large

quantities of cash, liquor, narcotics and other goods meant for distribution among

electors have been seized in the last several elections. A statement giving the

amount of seizure of cash and other goods during the last year's elections to the

/
legislative assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry

and also during the period of the recently held Assembly general elections in

Manipur, Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh is enclosed herewith. These

figures are only indicative of the extent and seriousness of the issue as it is generally

felt that these seizures are only tips of icebergs and the law needs to be tightened to

place effective curbs on the misuse of money power vitiating the fairness of electoral

process. The Commission desires that the matter may be re-considered in the light of
these facts.
----------------------------

3. As regards the proposal for disqualification of a person against whom charges

are framed for offence of bribery and undue influence under Sections 171B and 171C

of the IPC, it is stated that such a provision will be another important step to deal

with the increasing incidents of bribery in elections. In the current round of bye-

elections, the Commission had to cancel the bye-election from Dr. Radhakrishnan

Nagar Assembly Constituency in Tamil Nadu (invoking powers under Article 324 of

the Constitution) on account of seizures of cash and documents indicating bribery of

electors on a large scale. Last year also, the Commission had to countermand

elections in two assembly constituencies, namely, Aravakurichi and Thanjavur in

Tamil Nadu on finding that money-power had been used on extensive scale to allure

voters. Copies of each of these orders issued by the Commission invoking its powers

under Article 324 of the Constitution is enclosed. In the context of countermanding

of elections in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur Aseembly Constituencies last year, several

writ petitions were filed before the Hon'ble Madras High Court seeking

disqualification of candidates and other legal action against to those parties who

indulged in such illegal activities. The petitioners also prayed that the cost of holding

re-election in the constituencies may be recovered from the candidates and political
parties concerned.

4. Bribery in elections is an attempt to manipulate the electors to influence their

choice, and is a very serious offence in the context of free and fair elections.

Considering the huge vitiating effect of the offence, the Commission is of the view

that this offence has to be put on a different pedestal as compared to other offences

for the purposes of disqualification for contesting elections. In this connection, it is

relevant to point out that the law already puts the offences of bribery and undue

influence under Sections 171B and 171C of IPC on a higher pedestal in as much as

any conviction under these Sections automatically disqualifies the convicted person

for a minimum period of six years under Section 8(1) of the RPAct, 1951. Therefore,

the Commission reiterates the proposal that for the offences of bribery and undue

influence under the abovementioned Sections of IPC, disqualification should arise at


• the stage of framing of cha'-ges by the ':ollrt. Such an amendment will prevent cases

of people facing charges of br;bing electC'rs again contesting election even as cases
are pending against them.

5. The Commission desires that the view of the law Ministry on both the

proposals mentioned abovo may be reviewed a-id these may be taken up for

necessary amendments in the Act in ~he larger interest of free and fair elections.

Yours~ir;:"Y
.e:
Under Secretary
he amount of cash

Legislative Assemblies of Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu & Puducherry,
2016 (as per the consolidated reports of poll day) : _

SI. Name of State Seizure Particulars of seizures


No
1. Assam Cash Seizure Rs. 10.78 Crore by FS/SST and other Police authorities +
Rs. 1.05 Crore seized independently by Income Tax
Department = Rs. 11.83 Crore

Liquor Seizure 9.72 Lakh Litres Liquor worth Rs. 4.69 Crore

Drugs seizure 11928 KG drugs/narcotics wortb Rs. 5.99 lakh


2. West Bengal Cash Seizure Rs. 8.42 Crore by FS/SST and other Police authorities +
Rs. 12.33 Crore seized independently by Income Tax
Department = Rs. 20.75 Crore
Liquor Seizure 40.56 Lakh Litres Liquor worth Rs. 14.35 Crore
Drugs seizure 52216 KG DrugslNarcotics worth Rs. 9.23 Crore
3. Kerala Cash Seizure Rs. 19.12 Crore by FS/SST and other Police authorities +
Rs. 4.03 Crore seized independently by Income Tax
Department = Rs. 23.15 Crore

Liquor Seizure 49669 Litres Liquor worth Rs. 1.76 Crore

Drugs seizure 521 KG DrugslNarcotics worth Rs. 1.22 Crore

4. Tamil Nadu Cash Seizure Rs. 80.58 Crore by FS/SST and other Police authorities +
Rs. 31.74 Crore seized independently by Income Tax
Department = Rs. 112.32 Crore

Liquor Seizure 1.84 lakh Litres Liquor worth Rs. 3.23 Crore

Drugs seizure 595 KG worth Rs. 1.54 Crore

- -. - ------------
~. Puducherry Cash Seizure
Rs. 6.61 Crore by FS/SST and other Police authorities +
Rs. 87.33 lakh seized independently by Income Tax
Department == Rs. 7.48 Crore

Liquor Seizure 13722 Litres Liquor worth Rs. 26.05 Lakh

Drugs seizure NiJ

Cash Seizure Rs. 175.53 Crore

Liquor Rs. 52.76 lakh Iitres liquor worth Rs. 24.29 Crore
Gross Total
Seizure
Drugs 65260 KG drugs/narcotics worth Rs. 12.05 Crore
seizure

the Le islative Assemblies of Goa ManL ur! Pun ;ab, Uttarakhand & Uttar Pradesh held
in 2017 (AS ON 08.03.2017 Le. upto date of last poll) : _
SI. Name of State Seizure
No Particulars of seizures
1. Uttarakhand Cash Seizure Rs. 3.38 Crore
Liquor Seizure 1.01 lakh litres liquor worth Rs. 3.10 Crores
Drugs seizure 81 KG drugs/narcotics worth Rs. 37.23 lakh
Precious Metal -
Seizure
2. Punjab Cash Seizure 58.02 Crore
Liquor Seizure 12.43 lakh litres liquor & Lahan , all worth Rs. 13.36 Crore

Drugs seizure 2598 KG Drugs/ Narcotics (Heroin, Ganja and Capsules etc.),
all worth Rs. 18.26 Crore

Precious Metal 164.309 KG Gold & 26.520 KG Silver, all


Seizure worth Rs. 26.14
Crores
3. Goa Cash Seizure Rs. 2.24 Crore

(Rs. 58.43 lakh included as independent seizure by Income Tax


Department on suo-moto basis)
Liquor Seizure 76299 Litres liquor worth Rs. 1.07 Crore
Drugs seizure 6 KG DrugslNarcotics worth Rs. 33.21 lakh
Precious Metal 58.1939 KG silver and yellow colour articles & 175 Wrist
Seizure Watches "Rado", all worth Rs. 55.55 lakh

4. Uttar Pradesh Cash Seizure Rs. 119.03 Crore


(Rs. 4, 84,53,000/- included os independent seizures of Income Tox
Deportment)
Liquor Seizure 22.43 lakh BL liquor worth Rs. 64.66 Crore

Drugs seizure 3218 Kg DrugslNarcotics (Ganja, Heroin & Smack, Charas.


Doda, etc.) worth Rs. 9.60 Crore
Precious Metal Gold: 79.59543 KG &
Seizure Silver: 402.588 KG,
all worth Rs. 25.61 Crore
!

No
5.
Name of State

Manipur
Seizure

Cash Seizure
Particulars of seizures

Rs. 2.18 Crore

(Rs. 1.79 Crore included os independent seizures of Income Tax


Department)

Liquor Seizure 63722 Litres Liquor worth


;
Rs. 1.02 Crore
Drugs seizure (i) 361 KG DrugslNarcotics (Ganja, Heroine powder, capsules,
SP capsules, WY Tablets etc. ) & other drugs, all worth Rs. 3.22
Crore

(ii) Destruction oj illicit cultivation of Opium (poppy) in 37/


acres land
Precious Metal 0.0039 KG Gold worth Rs. 11310/-
Seizure
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S,L.- rJ D· [{ ( f.) 'No.H-11 021111/20 16-Leg.1I
Ministry of Law & Justice
Legislative Depaltment
Shashtri Bhavan
New Delhi - 110001
~
3)6 A l2£Jr7/in~
22nd May, 2017.

To

Election Commission of India


Nirvachan Sadan,
New Delhi - 110001.
(Kind Attn: Shri K.F. Wilfred Principal Secretary)

Sub:- Proposal for insertion of new section 58B in the Repr~sentation of the People Act,
1951.
***
Sir,
I am directed to refer to Election Commission letters' No.
3/ER/ECIILET/FUNC/JUD/2016/SDRlVOL-VII dated 24th April, 2017 on the above subject
and to state that the view of this Department regarding insertion of section 58B in the
Representation of the People Act, 1951, has already been conveyed to the Commission vide
Hon 'ble MLJ's letter dated 18-11-2016. Regarding disqualification of a person on framing of
charges against him for the offence of bribery in terms of section 171Band 171C of IPe, the
position has been indicated in this Department's letter of even number dated s" March, 2017.
Apart from this, as Election Commission is aware, the Ministry of Home Affairs is separately
considering a proposal for making bribery a cognizable offence. When implemented, this
would also act as a deterrent in this regard.

Yours tfullY'
y
(K.K. Saxena)
Deputy Secretary to the Government of India
Tel 23384603
.•
~:

~~

~AVI SHANKAR PRASAD


~~~

~8~1~<tl 3lR ~
~

~
~~
'1ffil mcf)R
MINISTER OF
LAW & JUSTICE
and
ELECTRONICS & IT
r;>.O.No.H-1 1021,1 1,2016-Leg.l1
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
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Kindly refer to your D.O. letter NO.3/ER/2015/616 dated zs'' July,


2016, NO.3/ER/2015/957 dated 6th September, 2016 and NO.3/ER/2015/962
dated 7th Sept~mber, 2016 regarding electoral reform proposals pending in the
Legislative Department, Ministry of Law and Justice.
2. Regarding the proposal for making bribery of voters a cognizable
offence, it involves amendment to the Indian Penal Code. Therefore, the
Ministry of Home Affairs has been requested to take necessary action in thisv'
regard.
3. The proposal relating to removal of exemption in respect of
Dr;. CCJJj) expenditure on travel by star campaigners for bye-elections, was examined
_----_J:e::.cau..rI~ie::4-rThis would require wider consultation with political parties as alreadyV
- 1>1. ~-..n-I\" informed vide Legislative Department's letter dated 5thAugust, 2016.
gp* u.f 4. The proposal for requiring a candidate to maintain the election
'_j{j expense accounts from the date of notification of election does not appear to
~ be logically sound since nomination of candidates by political parties for
,,'"¥')( I different constituencies takes place later after discussions, consultations and
deliberations by the party leaders. Therefore, there does not appear to be any
rationale for keeping expenditure incurred by any person in anticipation of his.,
being nominated for a particular constituency.

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6. As for the proposal for insertion of specific provisions in the
Representation of the People Act, 1951 for countermanding elections in case of
bribery of voters, I may state that it may not be advisable to compare booth
capturing with allegations of bribery of voters since the circumstances are
incomparable. Allegations of bribery are always a matter of investigation and
proof. Besides, the Commission has been dealing with such situations in the
past under the powers vested on it under article 324 of the Constitution.,! ~ ;;,...s..-.I-
Therefore, it may be desirable to maintain status quo. ~
7. Regarding the proposal for amending section 60 of the
Representation of the People Act, 1951, relating to amplifying the voting
facilities available to armed force personnel and overseas electors, I may inform
you that Notification dated 21 st October, 2016 has since been issued facilitating
e-postal ballot system to overseas electors, in addition to voting in person as (...t/~~·
available now.
8. The proposal for dual qualifying dates for enrolment of voters has
already been agreed to in principle. The Home Ministry had initially supported
the proposal but subsequently conveyed that the matter needs to be re-
examined on the advisability or otherwise of engaging the States' administrative
machinery twice a year for the purpose. However, as recommended by the
Election Commission, action is being separately taken to amend relevant I/
provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 to insert dual
qualifying dates for revision of electoral rolls.
9. As proposed by the Election Commission, simplified Forms as
appended to the Registration of Electors Rules, 1960 and the Conduct of ./
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Election Rules, 1961 have already been notified on 16th September, 2016.

With regards,

Dr. Nasim Zaidi,


Chief Election Commissioner of India ,
Nirvachan Sadan,
Ashoka Road,
New Delhi -110 001.