1) Which of the following is/are true?
1) Places of worship can be used as forum for election propaganda.
2) Posters issued by one party shall not be removed by workers of another party.
3) Political parties shall ensure that their supporters do not break up meetings organized by other parties.
4) Parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life.
a. 1, 3, 4
b. 2, 3, 4
c. 1, 2, 4
d. 1, 2, 3
ANSWER: 2, 3, 4
General Conduct related to elections -
a. No party or candidate shall indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic.
b. Criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programmes, past record and work.
c. Parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties.
d. Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortions shall be avoided.
e. There shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes.
f. Mosques, churches, temples or other places ofworship shall not be used as forum for election propaganda.
g. All parties and candidates shall avoid scrupulously all activities which are “corrupt practices” and offences under the election law,such as bribing of voters, intimidation of voters, impersonation of voters, canvassing within 100 meters of polling stations, holding public meetings during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the close of the poll, and the transport and conveyance of voters to and from polling station.
h. The right of every individual for peaceful and undisturbed home-life shall be respected, however much the political parties orcandidates may resent his political opinions or activities.
i. Organizing demonstrations or picketing before the houses of individuals by way of protesting against their opinions or activities shall not be resorted to under any circumstances.
j. No political party or candidate shall permit its or his followers to make use of any individual’s land, building, compound wall etc., without his permission for erecting flag-staffs, suspending banners, pasting notices, writing slogans etc.
k. Political parties and candidates shall ensure that their supporters do not create obstructions in or break up meetings and processions organized by other parties.
l. Workers or sympathizers of one political party shall not create disturbances at public meetings organized by another political party by putting questions orally or in writing or by distributing leaflets of their own party.
m. Processions shall not be taken out by one party along places at which meetings are held by another party.
n. Posters issued by one party shall not be removed by workers of another party.
Meetings during elections -
a. The party or candidate shall inform the local police authorities of the venue and time of any proposed meeting well in time so as to enable the police to make necessary arrangements for controlling traffic and maintaining peace and order.
b. A party or candidate shall ascertain in advance if there are any restrictive or prohibitory orders in force in the place proposed for the meeting.
c. If such orders exist, they shall be followed strictly. If any exemption is required from such orders, it shall be applied for and obtained well in time.
d. If permission or license is to be obtained for the use of loudspeakers or any other facility in connection with any proposed meeting, the party or candidate shall apply to the authority concerned well in advance and obtain such permission or license.
e. Organizers of a meeting shall invariably seek the assistance of the police on duty for dealing with persons disturbing a meeting or otherwise attempting to create disorder.
f. Organizers themselves shall not take action against such persons.
2) Which of the following is/are true?
1) Candidates shall not display any posters, flags, symbols in their camps on polling day.
2) Election campaign processions shall be so regulated as to keep as much to the right of the road as possible.
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
ANSWER: Both 1 and 2
Code of Conduct for processions -
a. A party or candidate organizing a procession shall decide before hand the time and place of the starting of the procession, the route to be followed and the time and place at which the procession will terminate.
b. There shall ordinarily be no deviation from the programme.
c. The organizers shall give advance intimation to the local police authorities of the programme so as to enable the latter to make necessary arrangements.
d. The organizers shall ascertain if any restrictive orders are in force in the localities through which the procession has to pass, and shall comply with the restrictions unless exempted specially by the competent authority.
e. Any traffic regulations or restrictions shall also be carefully adhered to.
f. The organizers shall take steps in advance to arrange for passage of the procession so that there is no block or hindrance to traffic.
g. If the procession is very long, it shall be organized in segments of suitable lengths, so that at convenient intervals,especially at points where the procession has to pass road junctions, the passage of held up traffic could be allowed by stages thus avoiding heavy traffic congestion.
h. Processions shall be so regulated as to keep as much to the right of the road as possible and the direction and advice of the police on duty shall be strictly complied with.
i. If two or more political parties or candidates propose to take processions over the same route or parts thereof at about the same time, the organizers shall establish contact well in advance and decide upon the measures to be taken to see that the processions do not clash or cause hindrance to traffic.
j. The assistance of the local police shall be availed of for arriving at a satisfactory arrangement.
k. The political parties or candidates shall exercise control to the maximum extent possible in the matter of processionists carrying articles which may be put to misuse by undesirable elements especially in moments of excitement.
l. The carrying of effigies purporting to represent members of other political parties or their leaders, burning such effigies in public and such other forms of demonstration shall not be countenanced by any political party or candidate.
Code of Conduct during Polling Day - All political parties and candidates shall -
a. Co-operate with the officers on election duty to ensure peaceful and orderly polling and complete freedom to the voters to exercise their franchise without being subjected to any annoyance or obstruction.
b. Supply to their authorized workers, suitable badges or identity cards.
c. Agree that the identity slip supplied by them to voters shall be on plain (white) paper and shall not contain any symbol, name of the candidate or the name of the party.
d. Refrain from serving or distributing liquor on polling day and during the twenty-four hours preceding it.
e. Not allow unnecessary crowd to be collected near the camps set up by the political parties and candidates near the polling booths so as to avoid confrontation and tension among workers and sympathizers of the parties and the candidates.
f. Ensure that the candidate’s camps shall be simple.
g. They shall not display any posters, flags, symbols or any other propaganda material.
h. No eatable shall be served or crowd allowed at the camps.
i. Co-operate with the authorities in complying with the restrictions to be imposed on the plying of vehicles on the polling day and obtain permits for them which should be displayed prominently on those vehicles.
3) Which of the following is/are true?
1) The Ministers can combine their official visit with electioneering work.
2) Civil Servants can lay foundation stones etc., of projects or schemes when election code of conduct is in place.
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
ANSWER: Only 2
- Excepting the voters, no one without a valid pass from the Election Commission shall enter the polling booths.
Conduct of Party in Power -
a. The party in power whether at the centre or in the state or states concerned, shall ensure that no cause is given for any complaint that it has used its official position for the purposes of its election campaign and in particular -
1. The Ministers shall not combine their official visit with electioneering work and shall not also make use of official machinery or personnel during the electioneering work.
2. Government transport including official air-crafts, vehicles, machinery and personnel shall not be used for furtherance of theinterest of the party in power.
b. Public places such as maidans etc., for holding election meetings, and use of helipads for air-flights in connection with elections shall not be monopolized by itself.
c. Other parties and candidates shall be allowed the use of such places and facilities on the same terms and conditions on which they are used by the party in power.
d. Rest houses, dak bungalows or other Government accommodation shall not be monopolized by the party in power or its candidates and such accommodation shall be allowed to be used by other parties and candidates in a fair manner.
e. But no party or candidate shall use or be allowed to use such accommodation (including premises appertaining thereto) as a campaign office or for holding any public meeting for the purposes of election propaganda.
f. Issue of advertisement at the cost of public exchequer in the newspapers and other media and the misuse of official mass media during the election period for partisan coverage of political news and publicity regarding achievements with a view to furthering the prospects of the party in power shall be scrupulously avoided.
g. Ministers and other authorities shall not sanction grants/payments out of discretionary funds from the time elections are announced by the Commission.
h. From the time elections are announced by the Commission, ministers and other authorities shall not -
1. Announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof.
2. (Except civil servants) lay foundation stones etc., of projects or schemes of any kind.
3. Make any promise of construction of roads, provision of drinking water facilities etc.
4. Make any ad-hoc appointments in government, public undertakings etc., which may have the effect of influencing the voters in favor of the party in power.
i. The Commission shall announce the date of any election which shall be a date ordinarily not more than three weeks prior to the date on which the notification is likely to be issued in respect of such elections.
j. Ministers of Central or State Governments shall not enter any polling station or place of counting except in their capacity as a candidate or voter or authorized agent.
4) Which of the following is/are true regarding Election officials?
1) Election Commission of India appoints Election Commissioners.
2) Election Commission of India nominates the Chief Electoral Officer.
3) Election Commission of India nominates the District Election Officer.
4) Election Commission of India nominates the Returning Officer.
a. 1, 3
b. 2, 3, 4
c. 1, 3, 4
d. 1, 2, 4
ANSWER: 2, 3, 4
- Election Commission of India (ECI) - Under Article 324 of the Constitution of India, the Election Commission of India is vested with the power of superintendence, direction and control of conducting the elections to the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies.
- The Election Commission of India isa three-member body, with one Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
- The President of India appoints the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioners.
- Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) - The Chief Electoral Officer of a State/Union Territory is authorized to supervise the election work in the State/Union Territory subject to the overall superintendence,direction and control of the Election Commission.
- The Election Commission of India nominates or designates an Officer of the Government of the State/Union Territory as the Chief Electoral Officer in consultation with that State Government/Union Territory Administration.
- District Election Officer (DEO) - Subject to the superintendence, direction and control of the Chief Electoral Officer, the District Election Officer supervises the election work of a district.
- The Election Commission of India nominates or designates an officer of the state Government as the District Election Officer in consultation with the State Government.
- Returning Officer (RO) - The Returning Officer of a Parliamentary or assembly constituency is responsible for the conduct of elections in the Parliamentary or assembly constituency concerned.
- The Election Commission of India nominates or designates an officer of the government or a local authority as the Returning Officer for each of the assembly and parliamentary constituencies in consultation with the State Government/Union Territory Administration.
- In addition, the Election Commission of India also appoints one or more Assistant Returning Officers for each of the assembly and Parliamentary constituencies to assist the Returning Officer in the performance of his functions in connection with the conduct of elections.
- Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) - The Electoral Registration Officer is responsible for the preparation of electoral rolls for a Parliamentary/assembly constituency.
- The Election Commission of India, in consultation with the State/UT Government, appoints an officer of the government or the local authorities as the Electoral Registration Officer.
- In addition, the Election Commission of India also appoints one or more Assistant Electoral Registration Officers to assist the Electoral Registration Officer in the performance of his functions in the matter of preparation/revision of electoral rolls.
- Presiding Officer - The Presiding Officer with the assistance of polling officers conducts the poll at a polling station.
- The District Election Officer appoints the Presiding Officers and the Polling Officers.
- In the case of Union Territories, such appointments are made by the Returning Officers.
5) Which of the following is true?
a. a) The state legislatures can also make provision with respect to matters relating to elections
b. The orders issued by Delimitation Commission can only be challenged in Supreme Court
c. Representation of the People Act of 1950 provides for election offences
d. Representation of the People Act of 1951 provides for preparation of electoral rolls
ANSWER: a) The state legislatures can also make provision with respect to matters relating to elections
- Articles 324 to 329 in Part 15 of the Constitution deal with provisions with electoral system in India.
- The Constitution (Article 324) provides for an independent Election Commission in order to ensure free and fair elections in the country.
- The power of superintendence, direction and conduct of elections to the Parliament, the State Legislatures, the office of the President and the office of the Vice-President is vested in the Commission.
- There is to be only one general electoral roll for every territorial constituency for election to the Parliament and the State Legislatures.
- Article 325 - No person is to be ineligible for inclusion in the electoral roll on grounds only of religion,race, caste, sex or any of them.
- Article 325 - Further, no person can claim to be included in any special electoral roll for any constituency on grounds only of religion, race, caste or sex or any of them.
- Thus, the Constitution has accorded equality to every citizen in the matter of electoral franchise.
- Article 326 - The elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies are to be on the basis of adult franchise.
- Thus, every person who is a citizen of India and who is 18 years of age, is entitled to vote at the election provided he is not disqualified under the provisions of the constitution or any law made by the appropriate legislature (Parliament or State Legislature).
- Article 327 - Parliament may make provision with respect to all matters relating to elections to the Parliament and the state legislatures including the preparation of electoral rolls, the delimitation of constituencies and all other matters necessary for securing their due constitution.
For exercising this power, the Parliament has enacted the following laws -
1. Representation of the People Act of 1950 which provides for the qualifications of voters,preparation of electoral rolls, delimitation of constituencies etc.
2. Representation of the People Act of 1951 which provides for the actual conduct of elections and deals with administrative machinery for conducting elections, the poll, election offences etc.
3. Delimitation Commission Act of 1952 which provides for the re-adjustment of seats, delimitation and reservation of territorial constituencies and other related matters.
- Article 328 - The State Legislatures can also make provision with respect to all matters relating to elections to the State Legislatures including the preparation of electoral rolls and all other matters necessary for securing their due constitution. But, they can make provision for only those matters which are not covered by the Parliament.
- Article 329 - The constitution declares that the validity of any law relating to the delimitation of constituencies or the allotment of seats to such constituencies cannot be questioned in any court.
- The orders issued by the Delimitation Commission become final and cannot be challenged in any court.
- The constitution lays down that no election to the Parliament or the State Legislature is to be questioned except by an election petition presented to such authority and in such manner as provided by the appropriate legislature.
- Since 1966, the election petitions are triable by High Courts alone.
- But, the appellate jurisdiction lies with the Supreme Court alone.
- Article 323 B empowers the appropriate legislature (Parliament or State Legislature) to establish a tribunal for the adjudication of election disputes.
- It also provides for the exclusion of the jurisdiction of all courts (except the special leave appeal jurisdiction of the Supreme Court) in such disputes.
- So far, no such tribunal has been established.
- The Supreme Court declared this provision as unconstitutional.
- So, if at any time an election tribunal is established, an appeal from its decision lies to the High Court.
6) What are benefits of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)?
1) It eliminates the possibility of invalid votes.
2) It makes process of counting of votes much faster.
3) It reduces cost of printing.
a. 1, 2
b. 2, 3
c. 1, 2
d. All of the above
ANSWER: All of the above
- An Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) is a simple electronic device used to record votes in place of ballot papers and boxes which were used earlier in conventional voting system.
The advantages of the EVM over the traditional ballot paper/ballot box system are -
a. It eliminates the possibility of invalid and doubtful votes which, in many cases, are the root causes of controversies and election petitions.
b. It makes the process of counting of votes much faster than the conventional system.
c. It reduces to a great extent the quantity of paper used thus saving a large number of trees making the process eco-friendly.
d. It reduces cost of printing (almost nil) as only one sheet of ballot paper is required for each Polling Station.
e. It reduces transportation cost related to transporting conventional ballot papers and the ballot boxes in which ballot papers are.
The other laws and rules in respect of elections are -
1. Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952.
2. Government of Union Territories Act, 1963.
3. Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991.
4. Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Conditions of Service) Act, 1991.
5. Prohibition of Simultaneous Membership Rules, 1950.
6. Registration of Electors Rules, 1960.
7. Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961.
- Election Commission has issued the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment)Order, 1968.
- It deals with the registration and recognition of political parties, allotment of symbols and settlement of disputes among them.