The Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2016

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The Election Laws (Amendment) Act of 2016 (Act no. 10 of 2016) was enacted by the Parliament of India in the 67th year of republic of India and it was given assent by the honourable President of India on 3rd day of March, 2016. The main object and purpose behind the said enactment is to amend the provisions of the two existing legislations, viz. the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and the Delimitation Act, 2002. Both of these enactments are regulating the allocation of the seats to the national and state legislatures, and delimitation i.e. the fixing of the boundaries of the parliamentary and assembly constituencies.

The bill as to this enactment was introduced by the Minister for Law and Justice- Mr. D. V. Sadananda Gowda. The Aims and objects specified in the Bill was to empower the Election Commission to carry out delimitation in areas that were affected by the enactment of the Constitution (100th Amendment) Act, 2015. Under the 2015 Act, enclaves were exchanged between India and Bangladesh. Enclaves are territories belonging to one country that are entirely surrounded by another country. India transferred 111 enclaves to Bangladesh, and received 51 enclaves from Bangladesh on 31st day of July, 2015.

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Now, the provisions of this Act are divided into three sections which are specifically divided into three different and separate chapters. The first chapter in this Act is providing the introductory provisions, in which the short title that the Act may be called ‘the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2016’ is given along with the commencement of effect of this statute. While, the other two chapters are making the amending provisions in this Act.

The second chapter in the Act is providing for the amendment of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (Act no. 43 of 1950) and the third chapter is providing for the amendment of the Delimitation Act, 2002 (Act no. 33 of 2002). Both of these statutes are providing for the Election Commission with the responsibility to maintain up- to- date delimitation orders. Such orders specifying the boundaries of the territorial constituencies. However, the present Amending Act is amending both of these Acts for giving additional powers and responsibilities to the Election Commission. The Amending Act as such is empowering the Election Commission to amend the delimitation order for excluding Indian enclaves that were transferred to Bangladesh, from the relevant constituencies, and for including the Bangladeshi enclaves which were transferred to India, in the relevant constituencies.

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Read the Bare Act: The Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2016

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