HC orders notice to Centre, EC on plea to reduce deposit amnt

Chennai, Jan 31 (PTI) The Madras High Court today orderedissue of notice returnable by four weeks to the Law Ministryand the Election Commission of India on a petition challengingthe increase in amount of security deposit from candidatescontesting Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

Justice P.Jyothimani ordered notice on a writ petition byG.Murugendran of Ramanathapuram who sought a direction tostrike down the recent amendment to section 34 of theRepresentation of Peoples Act and direct union government andthe Election Commission to follow the earlier stipulateddeposit amount as per the Representation ofPeoples (Amendment)Act 1996.

In 2009, the government amended the Representation ofPeoples Act 1996 in which it increased the security depositfor general candidates contesting parliamentary elections fromRs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 and for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribefrom Rs 5,000 to Rs 12,500.

For assembly elections, security deposit was increased fromRs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 for general candidates and from Rs 2500to Rs 5,000 for SC/ST, it was contended.

The petitioner contended the amendment to Section 34 was"indirectly encouraging the rich people" and on other hand"discouraging" the poor people and "the said amendment istherefore constitutionally invalid and liable to be setaside." PTI COR BN

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