Qualification for Registration of Name in Electoral Roll

ELIGIBILITY CONDITIONS FOR ENROLMENT
 
Introduction
The statutory provisions and the Election Commission’s instructions provide an adequate mechanism for preparation and revision of electoral rolls. However, the electoral system in the country is dynamic in nature and the registration authorities have to deal with many such questions for which the statutory provisions do not offer readymade solutions.
 
Qualifications and Disqualifications for Registration:- Article 326 has provided for basic principle of adult suffrage in the country. This Article says that every person who is a citizen of India and who is not less than (18 years) of age on such date as may be fixed in that behalf by or under any law made by the appropriate legislature and is not otherwise disqualified under this Constitution or any law made by the appropriate legislature on the ground of non-residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt or illegal practise, shall be entitled to be registered as a voter. Accordingly, the Parliament has prescribed specific conditions of registration and disqualification for registration in electoral roll in Section 19 and 16 respectively, of the Representation of the People Act, 1950.
1. On the basis of the above provisions made in the Representation of the People Act, 1950 read with Article 326, a person applying for enrolment in electoral roll must be fulfilling each of the following conditions as well as must not be disqualified on the grounds mentioned below:-
1.1 Qualifications/conditions for registration as elector:- Any person applying for registration as an elector in an assembly or parliamentary constituency must fulfil the following eligibility conditions.
(i) he must be a citizen of India
(ii) he must not be less than 18 years of age on the qualifying date as prescribed by law
(iii) he should be ordinarily resident in the constituency concerned he must not be disqualified for such registration under the law made by Parliament
1.2 Disqualifications for registration as elector:- The Constitution provides that appropriate legislature may prescribe any disqualifications for registration as elector on the ground of non-residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt or illegal practice at an election (art 326). Such disqualifications for registration as an elector have been prescribed by Parliament in Section 16 of the 1950 Act. According to that section, a person shall be disqualified for registration in an electoral roll, if he:
(i) is not a citizen of India; or
(ii) is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court; or
(iii) is for the time being disqualified from voting under the provisions of any law relating to corrupt practices and other offences in connection with election. (Disqualifications for voting have been explained in Section 11A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. It provides that a person shall be disqualified if he is convicted of an offence punishable under Section 171E and 171F of IPC and Sections 125, 135, 136 (2) (a)and 8A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The name of any person who becomes so disqualified after registration shall forthwith be struck off from the electoral roll in which it is included. In case the disqualification is removed by the competent court during the currency of the existing electoral roll, the Electoral Registration Officer can suo-motu restore name of the concerned person in electoral roll. As per Section 62 (5) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, no person shall vote at any election if he is confined in a prison, whether under a sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise, or is in the lawful custody of the police. However the proviso of the Section mentions that by reason of the prohibition to vote in under this sub-section a person whose name has been entered in the electoral roll shall not cease to be an elector.)
 
It is obvious from the above description that a person shall be eligible, for registration in electoral roll only if he fulfils the above conditions and simultaneously is not be disqualified on the grounds described above.