Representation of the People Act, 1951
Why in news? The Supreme Court refused to set aside a provision in the election law which allows candidates to contest polls from two constituencies simultaneously.
- Supreme court opinioned that is a policy matter and an issue concerning political
- Section 33(7) of the Representation of People Act allows a person to contest a general election or a group of by-elections or biennial elections from two constituencies but candidate can retain only one
- Prior 1996, a candidate could contest from many constituencies , but after amendment it was limited to two seats.
- Allahabad High Court in Raja John Bunch v. Union of India (2014) upheld the constitutional validity of Section 33(7), Representation of People Act, 1951
What is the Election commission view on this matter ?
- Election commission wanted to bar people from contesting from two seats
- Its proposal also stated that the winning candidate should bear the cost of the by-election to the seat he or she vacates for that reason deposit of 5 lakh for assembly election if contesting in both houses and Rs 10 lakh in a general election
Why this section 33(7) of RPA is a matter of concern ?
- It will result in consequent unavoidable financial burden on the public exchequer and the manpower and other resources for holding by-election
- The resultant vacancy would be an injustice to the voters of the constituency which the candidate is quitting as Vacant constituency goes unrepresented
View of law commission
- 255th report of Law Commission headed by Justice A P Shah (Retd) had also recommended barring candidates from contesting polls from more than one seat.
Is it a time for “One person, one vote and one candidate, one constituency” theory . Explain