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Report No. 255

Electoral Reforms

Contents
Chapter I Background to the Report
A. History of Electoral Reform in India
B. Consultation Paper Issued by the Law Commission
C. The 244th Report of the Law Commission
D. The Present Report
Chapter II Election Finance Reform
Election Finance Reform
A. The Current Law: A Summary Snapshot
B. Need for Election Finance Reform
C. Laws Regulating Election Expenditure, Contributions, and Disclosure
(i) Laws regulating election expenditure for candidates
(ii) Laws regulating election expenditure for political parties: Third party expenditure
(iii) Laws regulating disclosure of election expenditure for candidates and parties
(iv) Laws regulating contribution to political parties
(v) Laws regulating disclosure of political contribution by parties and companies
D. Electoral Expenditure, Disclosure, and Contribution: A Comparative Analysis
(i) United Kingdom
(ii) Germany
(iii) United States of America
(iv) Australia
(v) Japan
(vi) Philippines
E. Legal Lacunae and the Under-reporting of Election Spending
(i) Understanding the reality of election financing today
(ii) Legal lacunae
(iii) Recommendations
(a) On Expenses and Contribution
(b) On Disclosure
(c) On Penalties
(d) On electoral trusts
On Expenses and Contribution
On Disclosure
On Penalties
On Electoral Trusts
F. State Funding of Elections
(i) History of reform proposals
(ii) Comparative provisions governing public funding of elections
(iii) Recommendations
G. Recommendations
(a) On Expenses and Contribution
(b) On Disclosure
(c) On Penalties
Relating to political parties
(d) On State Funding of Elections
Chapter III Regulation of Political Parties and Inner Party Democracy
Regulation of Political Parties and Inner Party Democracy
A. History of Reform Proposals
B. Laws Regulating Internal Democracy
C. Internal Democracy: A Comparative Perspective
(i) Germany
(ii) Portugal
(iii) Spain
D. Recommendations
Chapter IV From First Past the Post to Proportional Representation
A. The Current System and Its Alternatives
B. The Merits and Demerits of the FPTP System
(i) Simplicity
(ii) Stability
(iii) Representativeness
C. Merits and Demerits of Proportional Representation
(i) Simplicity
(ii) Stability
(iii) Representativeness
D. The List System in Germany
E. Recommendations of Past Reports
(i) Report of the ECI on the fifth General Elections in India (1971-72)
(ii) Chief Election Commissioner Shakdher's proposal
(iii) 170th Report of the Law Commission
F. Recommendations
Chapter V Anti Defection Law in India
A. Introduction
B. Exceptions to the Law on Defection
C. Procedure under Paragraph 6 of the Tenth Schedule
(i) The role of the Speaker in deciding petitions under the Tenth Schedule
(ii) History of reform proposals
D. Recommendation
Chapter VI Strengthening the Office of the Election Commission of India
A. Constitutional Protection of all the Members of the ECI
B. Appointment of the Election Commissioners and the CEC
(i) Appointment process
(ii) Comparative practices
(iii) Recommendations
C. Permanent, Independent Secretariat of the ECI
Recommendation
Chapter VII Paid News and Political Advertising
A. Introduction
B. Paid News and Political Advertising: Defining The Phenomena
C. Issues and Problems with Paid News and Political Advertising
D. Legal Framework
(i) Restrictions on election expenses
Disqualification
Illegal payments in connection with an election
(ii) Disclosure provisions
(iii) Pre-certification of political advertisements
(iv) Requirement of maintaining distinction between news and advertisement
(v) Media Certification and Monitoring Committee
(vi) Inclusion of notional expenditure of paid news into the election expenses
(vii) Is paid news "undue influence"?
E. Recommendations by Other Studies on Paid News
(i) Mandatory disclaimer and separation of editorial and management
(ii) Amendment to the RPA
(iii) Guidelines for determining paid news
Election Commission of Guidelines
Standing Committee on Information Technology (2012-13)
Recommendations by TRAI
F. Constitutional Issues: Article 19(1)(a) and Article 19(2)
Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression [Article 19(1)(a)]
G. A Comparative Perspective
(i) The United Kingdom
(ii) Australia
(iii) Canada
(iv) ECHR standards on permissibility of such restrictions
(v) US standards on permissibility of restrictions
H. Recommendations
(i) Definitions
(ii) Electoral offence
(iii) Corrupt practice
(iv) Disclosure for political advertisements
Chapter VIII Opinion Polls
A. Regulation of Opinion Polls in Indi.- A Background
(i) Development of opinion polls in India
(ii) 1998 opinion poll guidelines
(iii) Challenge to the guidelines of the ECI
(iv) Important developments in 2004
(v) Amendments to RPA, 195.- Insertion of Sections 126A and 126B
(vi) Opinion polls and self-regulatory standards
(vii) Current law and late Mr. Goolam E. Vahanvati's view on opinion polls
B. Issues with Current Regulations
(i) Effects on the purity of the electoral process
(ii) Potential of opinion polls to influence voters
(iii) Independence of polling agencies
(iv) Issue of robustness in findings
C. Regulation in Other Countries
(i) United Kingdom
(ii) Canada
(iii) France
(iv) Singapore
D. Opinion Poll.- A Case for Regulation, and Not Outright Ban
E. Approach to Amendments
F. Recommendations
(i) Expand scope of Section 126 of the RPA, 1951
(ii) Add specific sections on disclosures related to opinion polls
Chapter IX Compulsory Voting
Compulsory Voting
A. Compulsory Voting in India: History and Context
B. Evaluating the Arguments For and Against Compulsory Voting
(i) Participation: Does compulsory voting increase voter turnouts and improve the quality of political engagement?
Increase in voter turnouts
Improvement in the quality of political participation and debate
(ii) Equality: Does compulsory voting ensure the enfranchisement of the weaker classes?
(iii) Democracy: Does compulsory voting increase the 'representativeness' of the government or is it constitutionally untenable?
(iv) Legitimacy: Does compulsory voting increase the legitimacy of elected governments?
(v) Other arguments for and against compulsory voting
C. Compulsory Voting: A Comparative Perspective
D. Recommendation
Chapter X Election Petitions
A. History
B. Formalistic Nature of the Current Procedure of Filing a Petition
C. Appeal Procedure
D. Drawbacks in the Present System
E. Comparative Practices
F. Recommendations
(i) Section 79
(ii) Section 80A
(iii) Section 82
(iv) Section 86
(v) Section 98
(vi) Inserting a new Section 98A
(vii) to (xi) Sections 99 to 112
(xii),(xiii) Section 116A,B
(xiv),(xv) Sections 117,119
Chapter XI NOTA and the Right to Reject
A. History and Context Leading Up to the Supreme Court's Decision in the NOTA Case
B. Comparative Practices
C. Recommendations
Chapter XII Right to Recall
A. History and Context
B. Analysing the Arguments For and Against the RTR
C. Comparative Practices
Chapter XIII Totaliser for Counting of Votes
Totaliser for Counting of Votes
Recommendation
Chapter XIV Restriction on Government Sponsored Advertisements
Restriction on Government Sponsored Advertisements
Recommendation
Chapter XV Restriction on the number of seats from which a candidate may contest
Restriction on the number of seats from which a candidate may contest
Recommendation
Chapter XVI Independent Candidates
A. Previous Suggestions
B. Comparative Practices
C. Recommendations
Chapter XVII Preparation and use of Common Electoral Rolls
Preparation and use of Common Electoral Rolls
Chapter XVIII Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations
Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations
Regulation of Political Parties and Inner Party Democracy
Proportional Representation
Anti Defection Law in India
Strengthening the office of the Election Commission of India
Paid News and Political Advertisements
Opinion Polls
Compulsory Voting
Election Petitions
NOTA and the Right to Reject
Totaliser for Counting of Votes
Restriction on Government Sponsored Advertisements
Restriction on the Number of Seats from which a Candidate May Contest
Independent Candidates
Preparation and Use of Common Electoral Rolls
Annexure Amendments to the representation of the people act, 1951
Part I Preliminary
Chapter I: Qualifications for Membership of Parliament
Interpretation
Part II Qualifications and Disqualifications
Qualifications for membership of the House of the People
Qualifications for membership of a Legislative Assembly
Chapter III: Disqualifications for Membership of Parliament and State Legislatures
Disqualification for failure to lodge account of election expenses and contribution reports
Part IVA Registration of Political Parties
Part IVB Regulation of Electoral Trusts
Part IVC Regulation of Political Parties
Part V Conduct of Elections
Chapter I Nomination of Candidates
Chapter VIII Election Expenses and Maintenance of Accounts
Part VI Disputes Regarding Elections
Chapter I: Interpretation
Interpretation
Chapter II: Presentation of Election Petitions to Election Commission
Presentation of Election Petitions to Election Commission
Chapter III: Trial of Election Petitions
Trial of Election Petitions
Chapter IV: Withdrawal and Abatement of Election Petitions
Withdrawal and Abatement of Election Petitions
Chapter V: Costs and Security for Costs
Costs and Security for Costs
Part VII Corrupt Practices and Electoral Offences
Chapter I: Corrupt Practices
Corrupt Practices
Chapter III: Electoral Offences
Electoral Offences
Part V Counting of Votes in Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies
Conduct of Election Rules, 1961
Amendments to the Constitution of India, 1950
Chapter 1 Preliminary
Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners
Amendments to the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013)
Amendments to the Income Tax Act, 1961(43 of 1961)


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