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An Undertrial can Contest Elections but Can’t Vote – Why? | RPA 1950 | RPA 1951 – Indian Judiciary – Free PDF

“election” as under Section 2(d) of Representation of the People Act, 1951

  • “election” means an election to fill a seat or seats in either House of Parliament or in the House or either House of the Legislative of a State

Bombay HC Held that

  • The Supreme Court in Anukul Chandra Pradhan V/s. Union of India and S. Radhakrishnan V/s. Union of India has upheld the constitutional validity of Section 62 and
  • categorically held that the classification between the persons who are in custody and those who are not in custody, is a reasonable classification based on an intelligible differentia.

a person in custody not allowed to vote –

  • “If a full play is given to the provisions contained in section 2(d) and Section 62(5) of the RP Act 1951, an inference becomes inescapable that a person in custody, either post conviction or during the course of investigation or trial, is prohibited from casting vote in any election

Allowing a person in prison to vote, wouldn’t strengthen democracy.

  • It would be suffice to note that the concept of ‘democracy’ transcends ‘electoral democracy’. Purity of electoral process and probity of the participants therein, are also of equal significance in strengthening the democratic principles…..I am, therefore, not inclined to accede to the broad proposition that permitting the persons (who are otherwise not qualified to vote in the election) strengthens the democracy,”

Other Take Aways from this Judgement-

  • A right to vote is not merely a statutory right, but has been elevated to the level of a constitutional right, though certainly not a fundamental right

Articles 324 to 329 of Part XV of the Indian Constitution

  • Electoral System Governed by
  • RPA 1951,
  • RPA 1950

Articles 324 to 329 of Part XV of the Indian Constitution-

  • 324. Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission.
  • 326. Elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assemblies of States to be on the basis of adult suffrage
  • 327. Power of Parliament to make provision with respect to elections to Legislatures.

RPA in 1950

  • This Act makes provisions for:
    • Allocation of seats in the House of the People and the Legislative Assemblies through direct elections.
    • The voters’ qualifications for the elections.
    • The Delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies

RPA 1950

  • Electoral rolls for parliamentary constituencies and for Assembly Constituencies –
  • Disqualifications for registration in an electoral roll.
  • No person to be registered in more than one constituency.
  • No person to be registered more than once in any         

Representation of the People Act,1951

  • Qualifications and Disqualificationsfor Membership of Parliament and State Legislatures
  • Disqualifications for voting
  • Nomination of Candidates
  • General Procedure at Elections
  • Counting of Votes
  • Election Expenses


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