Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 2: Indian Constitution- Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
- Governance, Administration and Challenges- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021- Context
- Recently, the Lok Sabha passed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 to link electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem without any substantial discussion.
Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021- Key Features
- Aadhar linking of Voter Id: The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 seeks to allow electoral registration officers to seek Aadhaar number of people who want to register as voters.
- Eliminating duplication by reauthentication of Voter Id with Aadhar: The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 seeks to allow the electoral registration officers to ask for Aadhaar numbers from persons already included in the electoral roll for the purposes of-
- Authentication of entries in the electoral roll, and
- To identify registration of the name of the same person in the electoral roll of more than one constituency or more than once in the same constituency.
- This aims to curb the menace of multiple enrolments of the same person in different places.
- Voluntary in Nature: Aadhar linking with Voter Id is voluntary in nature and concerned authorities can not deny inclusion in the electoral roll only due to the inability of an individual to furnish or intimate the Aadhaar number.
Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021- Amending the Representation of People’s Act
- The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend certain sections of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and 1951. These are-
- Amendment to the Representation of People’s Act 1950:
- Section 23: It will be amended by the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 to allow the linking of electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem.
- Section 14: It will be amended by the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 to allow having four “qualifying” dates for eligible people to register as voters.
- As of now, January 1 of every year is the sole qualifying date.
- Now, the 1st day of January, April, July, and October in a calendar year will be the qualifying dates in relation to the preparation or revision of electoral rolls.
- Amendment to Section 20 of the RP Act, 1950 and section 60 of the RP Act, 1951: these will allow the elections to become gender-neutral for service voters.
- It will replace the word “wife” of service voter with the word “spouse” of service voter, making the statutes “gender-neutral”.
- This seeks to redress any discrimination against male spouses of women armed services employees.