Research Dissertation
On

ROLE OF ELECTION COMMISSION IN ENSURING FREE AND FAIR ELECTION AND DETERRENCE OF DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF CASTE AND RELIGION

Submitted to:
Amity Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (AIALS), Amity University Uttar Pradesh

IN PART FULFILLMENT OF REQUIREMENT FOR
THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF LAWS (LLM)

Submitted by:


2014-2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS



Contents Page No.

1. Chapter-1
Introduction
• Outline of role of election commission in ensuring free and fair election
• Theory of State
• Theory of Democracy
• Government and Politics in India

2. Chapter-2
Framework of Election Commission of India
• Electoral system
• Constitutional status of ECI
• Reservation in legislative bodies

3. Chapter-3
Legislative Framework Relating to Election
• Election Process
• Representation of People Act(Amendment and validation) Bill, 2013
• President and Vice-President Act

4. Chapter-4
Election Disputes and Issues
• Free and Fair Elections
• Registration of Political Parties
• MCC- Model Code of Conduct
• Election Expenditure
• Election Offences:
 Penal Laws
 Anti-Defection Laws
• Election Petition

5. Chapter-5
Political and Religious Influence on Elections-
An Analytical Overview
• Vote Bank Politics
• Religious impact on Election
• Discrimination on the basis of caste – its aftermaths

6. Chapter-6
Conclusion and Suggestions

Table of cases……………………………………………………………………
Bibliography…………………………………………………………………….

CHAPTER – 1
INTRODUCTION

1.1 OUTLINE OF ROLE OF ELECTION COMMISSION IN ENSURING FREE AND FAIR ELECTION
The Election Commission of India is an independent and self-governing body, established under federal authority. It is responsible for administering all the electoral processes in India. Under the supervision of the commission, free and fair elections have been held in India at regular intervals as per the principles enshrined in the Constitution. The Election Commission has the power of superintendence, direction and control of all elections to the Parliament of India and the State Legislatures and of elections to the office of the President of India and the Vice-President of India.
Elections are conducted according to the constitutional provisions and other laws made to that effect by the Parliament. The major laws in this regard are Representation of the People Act, 1950, which mainly deals with the preparation and revision of electoral rolls; the Representation of the People Act, 1951 which deals with all aspects of conduct of election disputes in detail. These disputes include the post-election disputes. The Supreme Court of India has held that where the enacted laws are silent or make insufficient provisions to deal with a given situation in the conduct of elections, the Election Commission has the residuary powers under the Constitution to act in an appropriate manner. One of the most important features of the democratic polity is elections at regular intervals. Holding intervallic free and fair elections are essentials of democratic system. It is a part of the basic structure of the Constitution. The Election Commission is regarded as the guardian of free and fair elections. In every election, it issues a Model code of Conduct for political parties and candidates to conduct elections in a free and fair manner. The Commission issued the code for the first time in 1971 and revised it from time to time. It laid down guidelines for conduct of political parties and manner of candidature during elections. However, there occur instances of violation of code by the political parties and misuse of official machinery by the candidates. The need for such code is in the interest of free and fair elections. However, the code does not have any specific statutory basis. It has only a persuasive effect. It only contains “rules of electoral morality". But this lack of statutory backing does not prevent the Commission from enforcing it.
A law regarding the registration process for political parties was enacted in 1989 and many parties got registered with the Commission. It was effective in avoiding the confusion of the administrative machinery and the electorate and ensuring that political parties are brought under the purview of the Election Commission. Also, in order to get rid of the growing corrupt influence of money during elections, the Election Commission has made many suggestions in this regard. The Election Commission has fixed the legal limits on the amount of money which a candidate can spend during election campaigns. These limits have been revised from time to time. The other measures have also been taken by the Election Commission in order to ensure free and fair elections. Modern methods such as introduction of EVMs- Electronic Voting Machines, supervision of electoral candidature, etc. are some of the basic steps taken by the Commission so as to develop the process of