Report No. 170
Relevant Legislative Provisions
1.2.1. Part XV of the Constitution deals with elections. It contains six articles viz., articles 324 to 329. Article 324 declares that the superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to Parliament and to the Legislature of every State and of elections to the offices of President and Vice-President held under the Constitution, shall be vested in the Election Commission.
Article 325 declares that there shall be one general electoral roll for every parliamentary constituency for election to either House of Parliament or to the House or either either House of the Legislature of a State and that no person shall be ineligible for inclusion in any such roll or claim to be included in any special electoral roll for any such constituency on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or any of them.
This article read with article 326 confers a right upon every citizen of this country to be included in the electoral roll provided he has completed 18 years of age on the specified date and is not otherwise disqualified under any of the provisions of the Constitution or any law made by Parliament or the appropriate Legislature.
Article 327 empowers Parliament to provide by law with respect to all matters relating to, or in connection with, elections to either House of Parliament or to the Houses of either House of the Legislature of a State including the preparation of electoral rolls, the delimitation of constituencies and all other matters necessary for securing the due constitution of such House or Houses.
This power, the article says clearly, can be exercised by Parliament from time to time subject to the provisions of the Constitution. Article 328 confers a similar power upon the Legislature of a State in so far as a provision in that behalf is not made by Parliament. Article 329 creates a bar to interference by courts in electoral matters. Clause (a) declares that the validity of any law relating to the delimitation of the constituencies or the allotment of seats to such constituencies, made or purporting to be made under article 327 or 328 shall not be called in question in any court.
Clause (b) declares that no election to either House of Parliament or to the House or either House of Legislature of a State shall be called in question except by an election petition presented to prescribed authority and in the prescribed manner.
1.2.2. Pursuant to article 325 to 327, Parliament has enacted the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and Representation of the People Act, 1951 (besides certain other minor enactments and orders) which cover the entire gamut of elections to Parliament and State Legislatures.