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Report No. 170

Section 11I: Whereapublic authority provides facilities or offers public services for use to a political party, it must accord equal treatment to all. The scale of such facilities and services may be graduated to conform to the importance of the parties subject to the minimum extent needed for the achievement of their aims. The importance of a party shall be decided on the basis of the results of immediately previous election to Parliament or State Legislative Assembly, as the case may be.

The granting of public services shall be only in connection with and for the duration of the election campaign period. For the purposes of this section, the election campaign period shall be deemed to commence 14 days prior to the commencement of poll in a State.

(Rules made under the Act can provide the requisite details on the pattern of the provisions of the German Law on Political Parties, 1967)."

(Paragraph 3.1.3.1.)

9.7. Part IV-A of the Act, containing section 29A shall be deleted.(The substance of section 29A has been incorporated in section 11A).

(Paragraph 3.1.4.)

9.8. The Law Commission is of the opinion that the list system should be introduced as suggested by it in the working paper, for the reasons stated in Chapter II of Part III but subject to the following modifications :

(a) The Commission decided to drop its proposal with respect to territorial units which means that the entire country will be one unit for the purpose of the List System.

(b) If the votes received by a candidate of a RPP do not exceed one-sixth of the valid votes polled by all the candidates in a given constituency, these shall be excluded from cnonsideration for the purpose of sections 78D to 78F. Accordingly, it is recommended that a new part, Part V-B, containing sections 78D, 78E and section 78F, as indicated in Annexure-A, be enacted. (paragraph 3.2.15.)

9.9. Though we are dropping the proposal with respect to territorial units, we do hereby affirm that the distribution of seats in Lok Sabha among the States, as set out in the First Schedule to the Representation of the People Act, 1950, should be frozen for another 25 years. For this purpose, it would be necessary to amend the proviso to clause (3) of article 81 of the Constitution by substituting the figure "2025" for the figure "2000."

(Paragraph 3.2.15.1.)

9.10. With a view to arresting and reversing the process of proliferation and splintering of political parties and with a view to bringing about a polarisation of political process as well as to reducing the number of political parties or pre-election political fronts to three or four parties/front.- we recommend that a new section, namely, section 65A, be inserted in Chapter V of Part V of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to the following effect:

"65A (1) Any political party, whether recognised or not, which obtains less than 5% of the total valid votes cast in an election to the House of the People shall not be entitled to any seat in that House.

(2) Any political party, whether recognised or not, which obtains less than 5% of the total valid votes cast in an election to the Legislative Assembly of a State shall not be entitled to any seat in the Legislative Assembly.

(3) For the purpose of sub-section (1) and (2), the relevant date shall be the date on which the notification contemplated by section 73 of this Act is issued.

(4) Any constituency which has elected the candidate of a political party which is deprived of a seat in the House of the People or in the Legislative Assembly on account of requirement in sub-section (1) or (2), as the case may be, shall be represented by the candidate of a political party which has obtained the next highest votes provided that his political party obtains 5% of the total valid votes cast in that election and that he has not lost the security deposit.

(5) The requirements in sub-section (1) to (3) shall not apply in the case of a bye-election.

(Paragraph 3.2.15.3.)

In this connection, it may be noted that we have proposed a new definition of "political party" in the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution to include a pre-election front or a pre-election coalition which would mean that defection of a constituent party from the front/coalition wouldbe treated as defection leading to the disqualification of all the members of that defecting constituent party. This provision alongwith our recommendation regarding the requirement of five per cent votes (paragraphs 3.2.14. and 3.2.15.3.) would go a long way in polarisation of political parties and processes.

9.11. In Law Commission's view, the time is now ripe for debarring independent candidates from contesting Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly election. Any person proposing to contest Lok Sabha election can always form a political party and contest elections but its entitlement to any seat in Lok Sabha will be subject to the condition that it obtains not less than 5% of the total valid votes cast in an election to Lok Sabha.Therefore, it cannot be legitimately argued that our proposal tends to interfere with the democratic ethos or political processes.

(Paragraphs 3.3.6. and 3.3.6.1.)

9.12. Accordingly, it is recommended that a new sub-section, namely, sub-section (1) be introduced in section 4 of this Act, as suggested hereinbelow, and the existing provision may be renumbered as sub-section (2).



Reform of The Electoral Laws Back




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