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Report No. 251

19. Disputed Elections (Prime Minister and Speaker) Act, Act 16 of 1977

Category: Delimitation and Elections

Recommendation: Repeal

This law provided that the general procedure for disputing an election by presenting an election petition to the High Court, would not apply where the elected representative went on to become the Prime Minister or Speaker of the Lok Sabha. In such cases, this Act would apply, and election petitions questioning their elections would be heard by a single Judge of the Supreme Court, set up as a separate Authority under this Act.

The decisions of the Authority were final. Article 329A was inserted into the Constitution which allowed this distinction to be made. Both the amendment and this law were created during the time the Emergency proclamation was in place. Article 329A was subsequently removed through the 44th Amendment to the Constitution in 1978.

Without Article 329A, this law is unconstitutional, since the Constitution does not allow a distinction to be made between the election disputes of different types of elected representatives. Hence, since the constitutionality of this Act is suspect, this Act should be repealed.


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