Explained: When can a Rajya Sabha vote be rejected?

Elections for 57 seats in the Rajya Sabha in 15 states are detained Friday. With as many as 41 candidates already declared unopposed, the competition is for 16 seats in four states – Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana and Karnataka.

The members of the Rajya Sabha are elected by a single transferable vote via open ballot. Members of the State Legislative Assembly vote in the Rajya Sabha elections in what is called proportional representation using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system. Each MLA’s vote is counted only once.

There have been multiple instances in the past where MPs and MLAs’ votes have been rejected for violating rules.

When the Election Commission turned to Article 324

In 2017, as the high-stakes Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat approached, the count was delayed by three after Congress asked the Election Commission (EC) to reject the votes of two of its rebels, who allegedly showed their ballot papers to unauthorized persons in a booth. Polling in Gandhinagar.

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Later, in a push for the Congress party and its candidate, Ahmed Patel, the European Commission eliminated two votes by Congress MLAs that were in favor of the BJP. The commission’s order was issued after it was petitioned by the Congress saying that the two MLAs showed their vote for a BJP agent and thus, it was declared invalid. Two of the MLAs were Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel.

The commission invoked its constitutional powers to overrule the returning officer, who had declared the votes valid, thus maintaining the commission’s impartiality.

The commission turned to Article 324 of the constitution, which gives the commission unprecedented powers to conduct free and fair elections in situations not covered by the Representation of the People Act, the law governing the electoral process in India.

How can a vote be refused in an open voting system?

Open voting applies in elections to the Council of States only. Every political party with a Legal Aid Act (MLAs) can appoint an authorized agent to verify the voice of its members.

In 2016, Randeep Surjwala’s vote was rejected after he showed him to another MLA in place of his own authorized party agent. Surjewala was from MLA in the 2016 Rajya Sabha elections in Haryana.

Can an authorized agent represent two parties at the same time?

No, the spirit behind Rule 39AA of the 1961 Electoral Code of Conduct is for a MLA of a political party to display its ballot papers (after marking their vote) to the authorized agent of that party only and not to the agent authorized by another. Parties. As such, the same person cannot be appointed as an authorized agent for more than one party.

Can the Legal Aid Act or the Minister be appointed as an authorized agent?

There is no such restriction imposed by the European Commission on elections to the Council of States and the State Legislature by MLAs.

Can an independent MLA show its ballot paper to an authorized agent of either party?

No, independent MLAs are required to enter the marked ballot paper into the ballot box without showing the marked card to any agent.

What action does the presiding officer/returning officer take if a voter belonging to a political party refuses to show his/her ballot paper to the authorized agent?

In such a case, the ballot paper issued to the voter will be returned by the presiding officer, or the polling officer under the supervision of the presiding officer, and the ballot paper will be kept in a separate envelope after recording on the back side of the ballot paper “The nullified voting procedure is infringed.” A provision in Sub-Rules (6) to (8) of Rule 39A of the Rules for the Conduct of Elections, 1961, shall be applied in such cases.

According to the European Commission, if a voter drops the ballot paper into the box without showing it to the authorized agent, then at the time of counting, the waiver office must first separate that ballot in question and it will not be counted.

Can a vote be refused if the ballot paper is marked with another pen?

Yes, on the ballot, the Legal Aid Act must specify his or her choice of candidates by their rating, and they also have to use a special pen provided by the European Commission. If they use any other pen, or if their ballot papers remain incomplete, the vote will be considered void.

In 2016, the European Commission directed Haryana Police to register an FIR on Senior Advocate RK Anand’s complaint against the returning officer for allowing the use of an unauthorized pen to vote in the Rajya Sabha elections. The Congress claimed that this was a deliberate fraud to invalidate the party’s votes.

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