Common questions on ‘Election Laws’
What is election law?
Elections are the sine qua non of the Indian State as India is a functional democracy. Hence there are several statutes, guidelines, and principles which aim at facilitating the correct process of election.
Some of the applicable laws to this topic:
Brief overview of Election Laws in India:
Election Commission of India, an autonomous entity constituted as per the Constitution of India is the primary agency w.r.t Elections in India. This body is a federal authority which holds the task of fair administration of the electoral processes in India.
No party is allowed to make usage of government resources for their campaigning, govt. cannot start a project at the time of the election period. As per the guidelines, campaigning must stop at 6:00 pm on 2nd last day before the polling day. The collector of each district is the head of the polling processes in his district.
Supreme Court on 27th September 2013 recognised the right of negative voting. The option of utilising a ‘None of the above; (NOTA) option was recognised as per which the voters can choose not to cast their vote for a particular political party. In cases where the NOTA votes exceed the votes which the party with the highest votes received, then the concerned party shall be asked to form govt. instead of a re-election.
As per the 2010’s amendment of the Representation of the People Act, Non-Resident Indians can now vote in elections however they would have to be physically present at the time of voting.
Donations of any amount are allowed for election purposes, however, as per Section 29C of the Representation of the People Act 1951, any contributions above Rs. 20,000 to a political party has to be reported.
Chapter IXA of the Indian Penal Code 1860 deal with offences relating to elections. They recognise offences such as bribery, exercising undue influence, false statements in connection to an election, and so on.
Opinion polling on the Election Day is not allowed. Contacting voters with a bonafide intention such as assisting them in reaching the polling place is permissible.