The Indian Constitution grants the right to vote to all citizens of India who
are at least 18 years old and have registered as voters. These people have the
right to vote in elections for federal, state, local, and local government
No person may be held against their will or stopped from casting a ballot unless
they meet the requirements for disqualification.
Each voter is only permitted one vote. A voter may only cast a ballot in the
district in which he or she has registered to vote.
In order to receive picture election identification cards, eligible voters must
register in the constituency where they reside. If a person has not registered
to vote or does not have a voter ID card, they are not allowed to participate in
the election process.
Election Commission of India:
The Indian Electoral Commission (ECI) is a constitutional body. It was created
by the Indian Constitution to conduct and regulate elections in the country.
Section 324 of the Constitution stipulates that the power to supervise, direct
and control elections over the Parliament, the State Legislatures, the Office of
the President of India and the Office of the Vice President of India shall be
vested in the Electoral Commission. The Electoral Commission is thus an
all-India body in the sense that it is common to both central and state
This body administers elections to the House of Representatives, members of the
House of Representatives, state legislatures, state legislative councils, and
the offices of the president and vice president of the country. The Electoral
Commission operates under constitutional authority under Section 324 and the
People's Representation Act enacted thereafter. The Commission has
constitutional powers to act appropriately when the legislation enacted contains
inadequate provisions to address particular situations in the conduct of
elections. It is a permanent constitutional body.
Chapter IXA of The Indian Penal Code, 1860.:
Chapter IXA of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 contains section 171A to section 171I
which hold the classification of offences relating to elections:
Section 171A defines the frequently used terms: "Candidate" and "Electoral
Right" as follows:
- "candidate" means a person who has been nominated as a candidate at an
- "electoral right" means the right of a person to stand, or not to stand
as, or to withdraw from being, a candidate or to vote or refrain from voting
at any election.'
Offences relating to the elections in India consists of the following:
- Undue influence at elections.
- Personation at election.
Section 171B describes "Bribery" as given bellow:
- Gives a gratification to any person with the object of inducing him or any
other person to exercise any electoral right or of rewarding any person for
having exercised any such right;
- accepts either for himself or for any other person any gratification as
a reward for exercising any such right or for inducing or attempting to
induce any other person to exercise any such right;
Commits The Offence Of Bribery:
Provided that a declaration of public policy or a promise of public action shall
not be an offence under this section.
- A person who offers, or agrees to give, or offers or attempts to
procure, a gratification shall be deemed to give a gratification.
- a person who obtains or agrees to accept or attempts to obtain a
gratification shall be deemed to accept a gratification, and a person who
accepts a gratification as a motive for doing what he does not intend to do,
or as a reward for doing what he has not done, shall be deemed to have
accepted the gratification as a reward.
Section 171C. Undue influence at elections:
- Whoever voluntarily interferes or attempts to interfere with the free
exercise of any electoral right commits the offence of undue influence at an
- Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section
- threatens any candidate or voter, or any person in whom a candidate or
voter is interested, with injury of any kind, or
- induces or attempts to induce a candidate or voter to believe that he or
any person in whom he is interested will become or will be rendered an
object of Divine displeasure or of spiritual censure, shall be deemed to
interfere with the free exercise of the elec�toral right of such candidate
or voter, within the meaning of sub-section (1).
- A declaration of public policy or a promise of public action, or the
mere exercise of a legal right without intent to interfere with an electoral
right, shall not be deemed to be interference within the meaning of this
Section 171D talks about personation at Elections, as written below:
Whoever at an election applies for a voting paper or votes in the name of any
other person, whether living or dead, or in a fictitious name, or who having
voted once at such election applies at the same election for a voting paper in
his own name, and whoever abets, procures or attempts to procure the voting by
any person in any such way, commits the offence or personation at an election:
[Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to a person who has been
authorized to vote as proxy for an elector under any law for the time being in
force in so far as he votes as a proxy for such elector.].
Punishments for offences relating to elections in India:
- Under the Indian Penal Code, every offence is accompanied by its punishment;
Hence, following are the punishments for offences relating to elections in
Section 171E contains the Punishment for Bribery:
Whoever commits the offence of bribery shall be punished with imprisonment of
either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or
Provided that bribery by treating shall be punished with fine only.
"Treating" means that form of bribery where the gratification consists in food,
drink, entertainment, or provision.
171F. Punishment for undue influence or personation at an election:
Whoever commits the offence of undue influence or persona�tion at an election
shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may
extend to one year or with fine, or with both.
171G. False statement in connection with an election:
Whoever with intent to affect the result of an election makes or publish�es any
statement purporting to be a statement of fact which is false and which he
either knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, in relation
to the personal character or conduct of any candidate shall be punished with
171H. Illegal payments in connection with an election:
'Whoever without the general or special authority in writing of a candidate
incurs or authorizes expenses on account of the holding of any public meeting,
or upon any advertisement, circular or publication, or in any other way
whatsoever for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of such
candidate, shall be punished with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees:
Provided that if any person having incurred any such expenses not exceeding the
amount of ten rupees without authority obtains within ten days from the date on
which such expenses were in�curred the approval in writing of the candidate, he
shall be deemed to have incurred such expenses with the authority of the
Written By: Kritika Raj
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860
(Studying BALLB at USLLS)