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Report No. 255

Chapter XII

Right to Recall

A. History and Context

12.1. The right to recall (hereinafter "RTR") is one of the facets of direct democracy that refers to a process whereby an electorate is able to recall an elected representative for under-performance, corruption, or mismanagement while still in office, by filing a petition that triggers a reelection usually after a particular percentage of people sign the petition.

12.2 Currently, provisions for RTR are prescribed for local elections in Chhattisgarh,517 Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra and there are demands for introducing this system at the state and parliamentary level. However, proponents of RTR have not detailed the governing procedural framework, namely the percentage of electors needed to sign the petition; the grounds for initiating recall, or indeed whether any grounds are necessary; the minimum period, if any, after which recall can be initiated; nor specified the authority competent to decide whether to commence the recall based on the satisfaction of certain pre-conditions.518

Other questions such as determining whether voters who did not vote in the original election can initiate a recall, whether there can be repeated recall petitions, and whether the recall representative is disqualified from standing in the bye-elections from that or any constituency also require consensus.519

517. Section 47 of the Chhattisgarh Nagar Palika Act of 1961 provides for the right to recall of elected presidents for non-performance. The recall process is initiated when ¾ of the total elected representatives within the urban bodies write to the district collector demanding recall

518. Mendiratta, supra note 161, at 1174

519. Id.

12.3. The NCRWC in its 2001 report did not favour the introduction of RTR finding it either "impracticable or unnecessary."520

520. NCRWC Report, supra note 13, at para 4.7.2

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