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REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT, 1951

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 43 of 1951


  • Part I
  • Part II. Qualifications and Disqualifications
    • Chapter I
    • Chapter II
    • Chapter III. Disqualifications for Membership of Parliament and State Legislatures
    • Chapter IV
  • Part III. Notification of General Elections
  • Part IV
  • Part IVA. Registration of Political Parties
  • Part V
    • Chapter I
    • Chapter II
    • Chapter III
    • Chapter IV
    • Chapter V
    • Chapter VI
    • Chapter VII
    • Chapter VIIA. Declaration of Assets and Liabilities
    • Chapter VIII
  • Part VA. Free Supply of Certain Material to Candidates of Recognised Political Parties
  • Part VI
    • Chapter I
    • Chapter II. Presentation of Election Petitions to High Court
    • Chapter III
    • Chapter IV
    • Chapter IVA. Appeals
    • Chapter V
  • Part VII. Corrupt Practices and Electoral Offences
    • Chapter I. Corrupt Partices
    • Chapter III
  • Part VIII
    • Chapter I
    • Chapter II
    • Chapter III
    • Chapter IV. Powers of Election Commission in Connection with Inquiries as to Disqualifications of Members
  • Part IX
  • Part X
  • Part XI
  • Amending Acts
  • Act nº 43 of 1951

Preamble

THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT, 1951

[Act, No. 43 of 1951]

[17th July, 1951]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the conduct of elections to the Houses of Parliament and to the House or Houses of the Legislature of each State, the qualifications and disqualifications for membership of those Houses, the corrupt1[***] practices and other offences at or in connection with such elections and the decision of doubts and disputes arising out of or in connection with such elections.

BE it enacted by Parliament as follows: -

1. The words "and illegal" omitted by Act 27 of 1956, section. 2


Part I

Section 1. Short title

This Act may be called the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Section 2. Interpretation

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) each of the expressions defined in section 2 or sub-section (1) of section 27 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (43 of 1950), but not defined in this Act, shall have the same meaning as in the Act;

(b) "appropriate authority" means, in relation to an election to the House of the People or the Council of Slates1[***], the Central Government, and in relation to an election to the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council of a State, the State Government;

2[(bb) "chief electoral officer" means the officer appointed under section 13A of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (43 of 1950);]

(c) "corrupt practice" means any of the practices specified in section 1233[***];

4[(cc) "district election officer" means the officer designated or nominated under section 13AA of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (43 of 1950);]

(d) "election" means an election to fill a seat or seats in either House of Parliament or in the House or either House of the Legislature of a State other than the State of Jammu and Kashmir5[***];

6[(e) "elector" in relation to a constituency means a person whose name is entered in the electoral roll of that constituency for the time being in force and who is not subject to any of the disqualifications mentioned in section 16 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (43 of 1950);]

7[(f) "political party" means an association or a body of individual citizens of India registered with the Election Commission as a political party under section 29A;]

(g) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

4[(h) "public holiday" means any day which is a public holiday for the purposes of section 25 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (26 of 1881);]

8[***]

9[***]

10[(1)] "sign" in relation to a person who is unable to write his name means authenticate in such manner as may be prescribed.

11[***]

12[***]

(2) For the purposes of this Act,1[* * *] a Parliamentary constituency, an Assembly constituency, a Council constituency, a local authorities' constituency, a graduates' constituency and a teachers' constituency shall each be treated as a constituency of a different class.

(3) Any requirement under this Act that a notification, order, rule, declaration, notice or list issued or made by any authority shall be published in the Official Gazette, shall, unless otherwise expressly provided in this Act, be construed as a requirement that the notification, order, rule, declaration, notice or list shall--

(a) where it is issued or made by the Central Government, be published in the Gazette of India;

(b) where it is issued or made by a State Government, be published in the Official Gazette of the State; and

(c) where it is issued or made by any other authority, be published in the Gazette of India if it relates to an election to, or membership of, either House of Parliament1[***] and in the Official Gazette of the State if it relates to an election to, or membership of, the House or either House of the Legislature of a State.

(4) Where, under any of the provisions of this Act, anything is to be prescribed, different provisions may be made for different cases or classes of cases.

13[***]

14(5) Any reference in this Act to a law which is not in force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall, in relation to that State, be construed as a reference to the corresponding law, if any, in force in that State.]

13[***]

1. Certain words omitted by Act 103 of 1956, Section 66.

2. Inserted by Act 27 of 1956, Section 3,

3. The words and figures "or section 124" omitted by, Section 3.

4. Inserted by Act 47 of 1966, Section 15 w.e.f. 14-12-1966.

5. Certain words omitted by Act 58 of 1958, Section 14.

6. Substituted by Act 27 of 1956, Section 3, for clause (e)

7. Clause (f) which was omitted by act 27 of 1956, Section 3 and Inserted by Act 1 of 1989, Section 3 w.e.f. 15-6-1989.

8. Clauses (h) and (i) omitted by Act 27 of 1956, Section 3.

9. Clauses (i) re-lettered as clause (h) by Act 27 of 1956, Section 3 and omitted by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 2) Order,1956.

10. Clauses (k) and (i) re-lettered as clauses (i) and (k) by Act 27 of 1956, Section 3.

11. Clause (j) Inserted by act 27 of 1956, section, 3 and omitted by the Adaptation of Laws (No.2) Order, 1956.

12. Clause (k) omitted by Act 47 of 1966, Section 15 w.e.f. 14-12-1966.

13. Sub-sections (5) and (7) omitted and sub-section (6) renumbered as sub-section (5) by Act 27 of 1956, Section 3.

14. Substituted by act 47 of 1966, Section 15, for sub-section (5).


Part II
Qualifications and Disqualifications

1. Substituted by Act 47 of 1966, Section 16, for the previous heading w.e.f. 14-12-1966.


Chapter I

Section 3. Qualification for membership of the Council of States

1[3. Qualification for membership of the Council of States. -

A person shall not be qualified to be chosen as a representative of any State2[***] or Union territory in the Council of States unless he is an elector for a Parliamentary constituency3[in India]]

1. Substituted by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 2) Order, 1956, for section 3.

2. Inserted by Act 47 of 1966, Section 18 w.e.f. 14-12-1966.

3. Substituted for the words "in that State or territory" by Act No. 40 of 2003


Section 4. Qualifications for membership of the House of the People

A person shall not be qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in the House of the People 1 [***] unless -

(a) in the case of a seal reserved for the Scheduled Castes in any State, he is a member of any of the Scheduled Castes, whether of that State or of any other State, and is an elector for any Parliamentary constituency;

(b) in the case of a seat reserved for the Scheduled Tribes in any State (other than those in the autonomous districts of Assam), he is a member of any of the Scheduled Tribes, whether of the Slate or of any other State (excluding the tribal areas of Assam), and is an elector for any Parliamentary constituency;

(c) in the case of a seat reserved for the Scheduled Tribes in the autonomous districts of Assam, he is a member of any of those Scheduled Tribes and is an elector for the Parliamentary constituency in which such seat is reserved or for any other Parliamentary constituency comprising any such autonomous district; 2 [***]

3 [(cc) in the case of the seat reserved for the Scheduled Tribes in the Union territory of 4 [Lakshadweep], he is a member of any of those Scheduled Tribes and is an elector for the Parliamentary constituency of that Union territory;5 [***]]

6 [(ccc) in the case of the seat allotted to the State of Sikkim, he is an elector for the Parliamentary constituency for Sikkim;]

(d) in the case of any other seat, he is an elector for any Parliamentary constituency.

1. Certain words omitted by Act 29 of 1975, Section 12 w.e.f. 15-8-1975.

2. The word "and" omitted by Act 47 of 1966, Section 18 w.e.f. 14-12-1966

3. Inserted by Act 47 of 1966, Section 18 w.e.f. 14-12-1966.

4. Substituted by the Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands (Alteration of Name) Adaptation of Laws Order, 1974 w.e.f. 1-11-1973.

5. The word "and" omitted by Act 10 of 1976, Section 2 and Schedule w.e.f. 9-9-1975.

6. Inserted by Act 10 of 1976, Section 2. and Schedule w.e.f. 9-9-1975.


Chapter II

Section 5. Qualifications for membership of a Legislative Assembly

A person shall not be qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in the Legislative Assembly of a State unless --

(a) in the case of a seat reserved for the Scheduled Castes or for the Scheduled Tribes of that State, he is a member of any of those castes or of those tribes, as the case may be, and is an elector for any Assembly constituency in that State;"MARGIN-LEFT:'>(b) in the case of a seat reserved for an autonomous district of Assam,1[***] he is member of a2[Scheduled Tribe of any autonomous district] and is an elector for the Assembly constituency in which such seat or any other seat is reserved for that district;"MARGIN-LEFT:'>(c) in the case of any other seat, he is an elector for any Assembly constituency in that State:

3[Provided that for the period referred to in clause (2) of article 371 A, a person shall not be qualified to be chosen to fill any seat allocated to the Tuensang district in the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland unless he is a member of the regional council referred to in that article.]

1. Certain words omitted by the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) (Adaptation of Laws on Union Subjects ) Order, 1974 w.e.f. 21-1-1972.

2 . Substitutedby Act 47 of 1966, Section 19, for "Scheduled Tribe of that district" w.e.f. 14-12-196

3 . Inserted by Act 27 of 1962, Section 11.

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Section 5A. Qualifications for membership of Legislative Assembly of Sikkim

1[5A. Qualifications for membership of Legislative Assembly of Sikkim. -

2[(1)] Notwithstanding anything contained in section 5, a person shall not be qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in the Legislative Assembly of Sikkim (deemed to be the Legislative Assembly of that State duly constituted under the Constitution) unless -

(a) in the case of a seat reserved for Sikkimese of Bhutia-Lepcha origin, he is a person either of Bhutia or Lepcha origin and is an elector for any Assembly constituency in the State other than the constituency reserved for the Sanghas;

(b) in the case of a seat reserved for Sikkimese of Nepali origin, he is a person of Nepali origin and is an elector for any Assembly constituency in the State;

(c) in the case of a seat reserved for Scheduled Castes, he is a member of any of the castes specified in the Representation of Sikkim Subjects Act, 1974 and is an elector for any Assembly constituency in the State; and

(d) in the case of a seat reserved for Sanghas, he is an elector of the Sangha constituency.]

3[(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 5, a person shall not be qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in the Legislative Assembly of the State of Sikkim, to be constituted at any time after the commencement of the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 1980 (8 of 1980), unless-

(a) in the case of a seat reserved for Sikkimese of Bhutia-Lepcha origin, he is a person either of Bhutia or Lepcha origin and is an elector forany Assembly constituency in the State other than the constituency reserved for the Sanghas;

(b) in the case of a seat reserved for Scheduled Castes, he is a member of any of those castes in the Stale of Sikkim and is an elector for any Assembly constituency in the State;

(c) in the case of a seat reserved for Sanghas, he is an elector of the Sangha constituency; and

(d) in the case of any other seat, he is an elector for any Assembly constituency in the State.

Explanation. -In this sub-section "Bhutia" includes Chumbipa, Dopthapa, Dukpa, Kagatey, Sherpa, Tibetan, Tromopa and Yolmo.]

1. Inserted by Act 10 of 1976, Section 2 and Schedule w.e.f. 9-9-1975.

2. Section 5A renumbered as sub-section (1) of that section by Act 8 of 1980, Section 3 w.e.f. 1-9-1979.

3. Inserted by act 8 of 1980, Section 3 w.e.f. 1-9-1979.


Section 6. Qualifications for membership of a Legislative Council

(1) A person shall not be qualifled to be chosen to fill a seat in the Legislative Council of a State to be filled by election unless he is an elector for any Assembly constituency in that State.

(2) A person shall not be qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in the Legislative Council of a State to be filled by nomination by the Governor1[***] unless he is ordinarily resident in the State.

1. Certain words omitted by the Adaptation of Laws (No.2) Order, 1956.


Chapter III
Disqualifications for Membership of Parliament and State Legislatures

1. Substituted by Act 47 of 1966, Section 20, for Chapter III w.e.f. 14-121966.


Section 7. Definitions

In this Chapter,--

(a) "appropriate Government" means in relation to any disqualification for being chosen as or for being a member of either House of Parliament, the Central Government, and in relation to any disqualification for being chosen as or for being a member of the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council of a State, the State Government;

(b) "disqualified" means disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament or of the Legislative Assembly or ., Legislative Council of a State.

Section 8. Disqualification on conviction for certain offences

[(1) A person convicted of an offence punishable under--

(a) section 153A (offence of promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) or section 171E (offence of bribery) or section 171F (offence of undue influence or personation at an election) or sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of section 376 or section 376A or section 376B or section 376C or section 376D (offences relating to rape) or section 498A (offence of cruelty towards a woman by husband or relative of a husband) or sub-section (2) or sub-section (3) of section 505 (offence of making statement creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes or offence relating to such statement in any place of worship or in any assembly engaged in the performance of religious worship or religious ceremonies) or the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), or

(b) the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 (22 of 1955), which provides for punishment for the preaching and practice of "untouchability", and for the enforcement of any disability arising therefrom; or

(c) section 11 (offence of importing or exporting prohibited goods) or the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962); or

(d) sections 10 to 12 (offence of being a member of an association declared unlawful, offence relating to dealing with funds of an unlawful association or offence relating to contravention of an order made in respect of a notified place) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967); or

(e) the Foreign Exchange (Regulation) Act, 1973 (46 of 1973); or

(f) the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (61 of 1985); or

(g) section 3 (offence of committing terrorist acts) or section 4 (offence of committing disruptive activities) of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 (28 of 1987); or

(h) section 7 (offence of contravention of the provisions of section 3 to 6) of the Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1988 (41 of 1988); or

(i) section 125 (offence of promoting enmity between classes in connection with the election) or section 135 (offence of removal of ballot papers from polling stations) or section 135A (offence of booth capturing) or clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 136 (offence of Fraudulently defacing or fraudulently destroying any nomination paper) of this Act;1[or]

1[(j) section 6 (offence of conversion of a place or worship) of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act 1991],2[or]

3[(k) section 2 (offence of insulting the Indian National Flag or the Constitution of India) or section 3(offence of preventing singing of National Anthem) of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 (69 of 1971)4[or];]

4[(l) the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987 (3 of 1988); or

(m) the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (49 of 1988); or

(n) the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (15 of 2002),]

5[shall be disqualified, where the convicted person is sentenced to--

(i) only fine, for a period of six years from the date of such conviction;

(ii) imprisonment, from the date of such conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a further period of six years since his release]

(2) A person convicted for the contravention of--

(a) any law providing for the prevention of hoarding or profiteering; or

(b) any law relating to the adulteration of food or drugs; or

(c) any provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act,6[1961 (28 of 1961);]

7[***]

and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than six months, shall be disqualified from the date of such conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a further period of six years since his release.

(3) A person convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years [other than any offence referred to in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2)] shall be disqualified from the date of such conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a further period of six years since his release.]

8[(4)] Notwithstanding anything9[in sub-section (1), sub-section 2 and sub-section (3)] a disqualification under either sub-section shall not, in the case of a person who on the date of the conviction is a member of Parliament or the Legislature of a State, take effect until three months have elapsed from that date or, if within that period an appeal or application for revision is brought in respect of the conviction or the sentence, until that appeal or application is disposed of by the court.

Explanation. - In this section-

(a) "law providing for the prevention of hoarding or profiteering" means any law, or any order, rule or notification having the force of law, providing for-

(i) the regulation of production or manufacture of any essential commodity;

(ii) the control of price at which any essential commodity may be brought or sold;

(iii) the regulation of acquisition, possession, storage, transport, distribution, disposal, use or consumption of any essential commodity;

(iv) the prohibition of the withholding from sale of any essential commodity ordinarily kept for sale;

(b) "drug" has the meaning assigned to it in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (23 of 1940);

(c) "essential commodity" has the meaning assigned to it in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (10 of 1955);

(d) "food" has the meaning assigned to it in the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (37 of 1954).

1. Inserted by Act 42 of 1991, Section 8 w.e.f. 18-9-1991.

2. Added by Act 21 of 1996, Section 3 w.e.f. 1-8-1996

3. Inserted by Act 21 of 1996, Section 3 w.e.f. 1-8-1996.

4. Inserted by The Representation Of The People (Amendment) Act, 2002 (9 Of 2003)

5. Substituted for "shall be disqualified for a period of six years from the date of such conviction." by The Representation Of The People (Amendment) Act, 2002 (9 Of 2003)

6. Substituted for "1961 (28 of 1961); or" by The Representation Of The People (Amendment) Act, 2002 (9 Of 2003)

7. "clause (d)" omitted by The Representation Of The People (Amendment) Act, 2002 (9 Of 2003). Prior to omission it read as under:

" (d) any provisions of the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987 (3 of 1988),"

8. Subs-section (3) renumbered as sub-section (4) by Act 1 of 1989, Section 4 w.e.f. 15-3-1989.

9. Substituted by Act 1 of 1989, Section 4, for "in sub-section (1) and sub-section (2)" w.e.f. 15-3-1989.