Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

"Even Permanent NRIs Can Become PM/CM In India": Plea In Allahabad High Court Against Representation Of People Act, Reply Sought

Sparsh Upadhyay
4 Oct 2021 1:10 PM GMT
Even Permanent NRIs Can Become PM/CM In India: Plea In Allahabad High Court Against Representation Of People Act, Reply Sought
x

A plea has been moved before the Allahabad High Court challenging the constitutional validity of 3 provisions of the Representation of the People Act,1950 contending that they are violative of Articles 14 and 326 of the Constitution of India.Hearing the plea, the bench of Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice Ajai Kumar Srivastava-I today issued notice and sought a reply from the...

A plea has been moved before the Allahabad High Court challenging the constitutional validity of 3 provisions of the Representation of the People Act,1950 contending that they are violative of Articles 14 and 326 of the Constitution of India.

Hearing the plea, the bench of Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice Ajai Kumar Srivastava-I today issued notice and sought a reply from the Election Commission of India and the Union Government and listed the matter for further hearing on October 18.

The plea before the Court

The plea has been moved by Ex-Civil Servant S.N.Shukla, presently the General Secretary Lok Prahari arguing that Sub- Section 19 (b), clause (c) of Section 16 (1) and Section 20-A of the Act irrationally discriminate in registration as a voter on the grounds of non-residence, crime and illegal practices contrary to the express intentions of the founding fathers of the Constitution and framers of the 1950 Act.

Importantly, referring to Section 20-A of the RP Act, 1950 along with the definition of 'elector' in Section 2(1)(e) and Sections 3 to 6 of the RPAct,1951, the Plea avers that they enable even a permanently non-resident Indian citizen to become MP/MLA and even PM/CM.

Primarily, the instant PIL has been filed to challenge the constitutional validity of –

  • Sub- Section 19 (b) of the Representation of the People Act,1950 in its present form in terms of observations of the Constitution Bench in para 276 of its judgment dated 22.8.2006 in the case of Kuldip Nayar, AIR 2006 SC 3127 and the statement of Dr. Ambedkar during the debate on the original provision;
  • Clause (c) of Section 16 (1) of the Act in as much as it permits registration as voters in an electoral roll of persons disqualified from voting under other provisions of the law; and
  • Section 20-A of the said Act permitting registration as voters of even permanently non-resident Indian citizens

Importantly, Section 19 (b) states that a person, who is ordinarily a resident in a constituency, shall be entitled to be registered in the electoral roll for that constituency.

Essentially, in Kuldip Nayar's case, the Apex court had ruled that 'it is no part of the federal principle that the representatives of state must belong to that state' and that the word 'representative of each state' signify the members and it doesn't import any further concept or requirement of residence in the state.

In this regard, the plea avers thus:

"...the existing provision in Section 19 (b) of the Act suffers from the vices of arbitrariness and irrationality. Still, the well-considered observations of the Constitution Bench in the case of Kuldip Nayar have not been acted upon by the respondents even in the last 15 years."

Likewise, the plea lastly avers that Clause (c) of Section 16 (1) of the Act, limits disqualification only to the provisions of any law relating to corrupt practices and other offences in connection with elections, however, it does not disqualify convict from voting under any other law, such as Section 62(5) of the Representation of the People Act,1951.

Case Title- Lok Prahari v. Union of India and Anr.

Next Story