Different Penal Provisions Related to the Electoral Roll

According to Section 16 of the Representation of People Act, 1950, a person shall be disqualified for registration in an electoral roll if or she is not a citizen of India or is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court or is, for the time being, disqualified from voting under the provisions of any law relating to corrupt practices and other offences in connection with elections by Section 11A of the Representation of People Act, 1951.

 

The name of any person who becomes so disqualified after registration shall forthwith be struck off from the electoral roll in which it is included. No person shall be entitled to be registered in the electoral roll from more than one constituency and no person shall be entitled to be registered in the electoral roll for any constituency more than once as provided in Section 17 and 18 of the Representation of People Act, 1950.

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Conditions for registration in an electoral roll:

According to the provisions of Section 19 of the Representation of People Act, 1950, subject to the above said restrictions, every person shall be entitled to be registered in the electoral roll of the Constituency who–

1)      Is not less than 18 years of age on the qualifying date and

2)      Is ordinarily resident in a constituency,

 

Penal Provisions:

If any Electoral Registration Officer, Assistant Electoral Registration Officer or other person deployed to perform any official duly in connection with the preparation, revision or correction of an electoral roll or the inclusion or exclusion of any entry in or from that roll, without reasonable cause,is guilty of any act or omission in breach of such official duty, he shall be punishable under Section 32 of the Representation of People Act, 1950 with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 3 months but which may extend to 2 years and with fine.

 

No court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under Section 32 of the Representation of People Act 1950, unless there is a complaint made by order of, or under authority from,the Election Commission or the Chief Electoral Officer of the State concerned.No suit or other legal proceeding shall lie against any such officer or other person for damages in respect of any such act or omission as aforesaid.

 

Making False Declaration:

If any person makes, in connection with the preparation, revision or correction of an electoral roll or the inclusion or exclusion of any entry in or from an electoral roll, a statement or declaration in writing which is false and which he either knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, he shall be punishable under Section 31 of the Representation of People Act, 1950 with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine or with both.

 

Under Section 31 of the Representation of People Act, 1950, the offence is a non-cognizable, bailable offence triable by any magistrate. A magistrate will take cognizance of such offence only upon a written complaint by the person aggrieved. There is a period of limitation for taking such cognizance, which is 1 year.

 

The period of limitation commences on the date of the order passed by the Electoral Registration Officer and not on the date of offence as claimed by the complainant. In case of crossing this limit, a complaint should be accompanied by an application for condonation of delay.

 

 

Source: This information is an extract from the ‘Hand Book for Electoral Registration Officers- Election Commission of India – 2012’

 

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