LS gives nod to People's Representation Act amendment bill

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New Delhi, Dec 9 (ANI): The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2009 with a voice vote.

The centre amended the Representation of People Act 1951 to discourage non- serious candidates in elections to the Lok Sabha and to the state assemblies.

With parliament giving nod to the bill disqualification of elected representative has been simplified.

The new bill also imposes restrictions on exit polls.

Replying to the debate Union Law and Justice Mi Minister M Veerappa Moily said: "The Centre would bring a comprehensive amendment to the Representation of People's Act to remove certain distortions in the electoral system and national consultations will be held next June-July 2010."

"The government will consider the use of finger-prints for voting to end the scope of rigging and that instructions have been issued for making Election I-Card a lifelong document of a holder even though the address may change," he added.

Moily also opined that making voting compulsory was not practical and contended that greater deliberations were needed on having Lok Sabha and Assembly polls together and banning surrogate advertisements.

According to the new amendment a candidate for the Lok Sabha has to pay Rs 25,000 as against Rs.10,000 as deposit.

In the same lines the deposit amount for Scheduled caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates has also been increased from Rs.5,000 now to Rs.12,500 for the Lok Sabha polls.

For Assembly polls, a candidate belonging to general category will now have to deposit Rs.10,000 as against the Rs. 5,000 before, while those belonging to the SC/ST category have to pay Rs. 5,000 against Rs. 2,500 previously.

The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha early last week. (ANI)

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