Important Acts

This article is the part of Polity Guide Initiative. To access complete material – Click Here 

# THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT

THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT

To ensure the conduct of elections in free, fair and in an impartial manner, the constitution-makers incorporated Part XV (Article 324-Article 329) in the constitution and empowered Parliament to make laws to regulate the electoral process. In this context, the Parliament has enacted the Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1950 and Representation of the People Act, 1951.

 

Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1950

  • Seat allocation in the Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies through direct elections.
  • Lays down procedures for delimitation of constituencies.
  • Provides for the allocation of seats in the House of the People and in the Legislative Assemblies and Legislative Councils of States.
  • Lays procedure for the preparation of electoral rolls and the manner of filling seats.
  • Lays down the qualification of voters.

The Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1951

  • It regulates the actual conduct of elections and by-elections.
  • It provides administrative machinery for conducting elections.
  • It deals with the registration of political parties.
  • It specifies the qualifications and disqualifications for membership of the Houses.
  • It provides provisions to curb corrupt practices and other offences.
  • It lays down the procedure for settling doubts and disputes arising out of elections.
  • Section 126 of the RPA, 1951 – 48 hours before the polling ends or concludes, displaying of any election matter by television or similar apparatus in a constituency is prohibited.
    • not applicable to the print media, news portals and social media
    • Section 126A prohibits the conduct of exit poll and dissemination of its results during the period mentioned.
  • Section 8 (3) – If an MP or MLA is convicted for any other crime and is sent to jail for 2 years or more, he/ she will be disqualified for 6 years from the time of release.
    • Section 8(4) allowed convicted MPs, MLAs and MLCs to continue in their posts, provided they appealed against their conviction/sentence in higher courts within 3 months.
    • The Supreme Court in July 2013 (Lily Thomas Case) struck down section 8(4) of the RPA, 1951 and declared it ultra vires and held that the disqualification takes place from the date of conviction.
  • Section 29 of RPA, 1951 – Political parties should be enforced to submit audit reports to ECI.
    • Now, political parties are eligible to accept contributions from foreign companies defined under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.

# RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT 2005

RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005

Right to Information Act was enacted to provide for legal right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of the public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority.

Objectives

  • To empower the citizens
  • To promote transparency and accountability
  • To contain corruption and
  • To enhance people’s participation in the democratic process.

Features

  • The Act provides for the appointment of Information Commissioners at Central and State level. Public authorities have designated some of its officers as Public Information Officer.
  • Time period: In normal course, information to an applicant is to be supplied within 30 days from the receipt of application by the public authority.
    • If the information sought concerns the life or liberty of a person, it shall be supplied within 48 hours.

Relevant Sections

  • Section 1(2) – It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Section 2(f) – “Information” means any material in any form, including Records, Documents, Memos, e-mails, Opinions, Advices, Press releases, Circulars, Orders, Logbooks, Contracts, Reports, Papers, Samples, Models, Data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a Public Authority under any other law for the time being in force.
  • Section 4 – suo moto disclosure of information by each public authority. However, such disclosures have remained less than satisfactory.
  • Section 8 (1) mentions exemptions against furnishing information under RTI Act.
  • Section 8 (2) provides for disclosure of information exempted under the Official Secrets Act, 1923 if larger public interest is served.
RTI (Amendment) Bill, 2019

  • The Bill removes this provision and states that the central government will notify The term of office for the CIC and the ICs.
  • The Bill removes these provisions and states that the salaries, allowances, and other terms and conditions of service of the central and state CIC and ICs will be determined by the Central government.

#CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT 2019

CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 2019

The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 replaced the old Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

Objective

The objective of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 is to save the rights of the consumers by establishing authorities for timely and effective administration and settlement of consumers’ disputes.

Features

  • Establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA): CCPA will protect, promote and enforce the rights of consumers.
    • Regulate cases related to unfair trade practices, misleading advertisements, and violation of consumer rights.
    • The CCPA will have the right to impose a penalty on the violators.
    • CCPA will have an investigation wing to enquire and investigate such violations.
    • The CCPA will be headed by the Director-General.
  • Rights of consumers: The following consumer rights have been defined in the Act, including the right to:
    • To be protected against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property;
    • To be informed of the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services;
    • To be assured of access to a variety of goods or services at competitive prices; and
    • To be able to seek redressal against unfair or restrictive trade practices.
  • Establishment of Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission: at the national, state and district levels. The CDRCs will entertain complaints related to;
    • Overcharging or deceptive charging
    • Unfair or restrictive trade practices
    • Sale of hazardous goods and services which may be hazardous to life.
    • Sale of defective goods or services
  • Jurisdiction:
    • The National CDRC will hear complaints worth more than Rs. 10 crores.
    • The State CDRC will hear complaints with value – more than Rs. 1 crore but less than Rs. 10 crore.
    • The District CDRC will entertain complaints when the value of goods or service is up to Rs. 1 crore

# CONTEMPT OF COURT ACT 1971

CONTEMPT OF COURT ACT, 1971

  • The Contempt of Court Act, 1971, outlines the procedure in relation to investigation and punishment for contempt.
  • The elements generally needed to establish a contempt are:
    • The making of a valid court order,
    • Knowledge of the order by respondent,
    • Ability of the respondent to render compliance, and
    • Willful disobedience of the order.
  • The act divides contempt into civil and criminal contempt.
  • Civil contempt: It is wilful disobedience to any judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other processes of a court or wilful breach of an undertaking given to the court.
  • Criminal contempt: It is any publication which may result in:
  • Scandalizing the court by lowering its authority.
    • ‘Scandalizing the Court’ broadly refers to statements or publications which have the effect of undermining public confidence in the judiciary
  • Interference in the due course of a judicial proceeding.
  • Obstruction in the administration of justice.

However, innocent publication and distribution of some matter, fair and reasonable criticism of judicial acts and comment on the administrative side of the judiciary do not amount to contempt of court.

Contempt of Courts (Amendment) Act, 2006:

  • The statute of 1971 has been amended by the Contempt of Courts (Amendment) Act, 2006 to include the defence of truth under Section 13 of the original legislation.
  • Defence of truth’ implies that the court must permit justification by truth as a valid defence if it is satisfied that it is in the public interest.

# FRBM ACT 2003

FRBM ACT, 2003

The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 (FRBMA) is an Act of the Parliament of India to institutionalize financial discipline, reduce India’s fiscal deficit, improve macroeconomic management and the overall management of the public funds by moving towards a balanced budget.

Objectives

  • Reduction of fiscal deficit and revenue deficit;
  • To achieve inter-generational equity in fiscal management by reducing the debt burden of the future generation;
  • Achieving long-term macroeconomic stability;
  • Better coordination between fiscal and monetary policy;
  • Transparency in fiscal operations of the Government.

Major Provisions of the FRBM Act, 2003

  • The FRBM rule set a target reduction of fiscal deficit to 3% of the GDP by 2008-09.
  • Revenue deficit has to be reduced by 0.5% of the GDP per year with complete elimination by 2008-09.
  • Reduction of Public Debt
  • Measures to reduce the fiscal deficit and revenue deficit so as to eliminate revenue deficit by 2008-09.
  • The government shall end its borrowing from the RBI except for temporary advances.
  • The revenue deficit and fiscal deficit may exceed the targets specified in the rules only on grounds of national security, calamity and other exceptional grounds to be specified by the Central government.

Amendments to FRBM Act:

  • Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 was amended in 2012 that mandated the Central Government to lay before the Houses of Parliament, Macro-Economic Framework Statement, Medium Term Fiscal Policy Statement and Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement along with the Annual Financial Statement and Demands for Grants.
NK Singh committee, that was set up in 2016 to review the FRBM Act, recommended that the government must target a fiscal deficit of 3% of the GDP in the years up to March 31, 2020, subsequently cut it to 2.8% in 2020-21 and to 2.5% by 2023.

 

Print Friendly and PDF