Compulsory Voting in India – Pros, Cons, Way Forward

Reading Time: 7 mins Electing a government to govern the nation/states for the next five years by casting vote in a polling booth is an onerous responsibility on the shoulders of every voter in a democratic country. Unfortunately, even after seven decades of independence and numerous elections held in the country so far, despite extensive appeals by the Election Commission, government and other celebrities, large number of voters still perceive, voting is an optional luxury enjoying low priority. According to the 255th Law Commission Report, “Electoral right” of the voter includes the right to “vote or refrain from voting at an election.”  The Representation of People Act, 1951 – the law that governs elections also talks of “right to vote rather than a duty to vote”. Last year, in the monsoon session of parliament, Lok Sabha members expressed diverse views on a private member’s bill seeking compulsory voting.

Right to recall – Meaning, Arguments in Favour, Against, Way Forward

Reading Time: 5 mins Of the many issues that plague the Indian democratic elections, one of them is the non-fulfilment of the election promises. Unfortunately, Indian voters have cast their votes based on these promises and they are left with no recourse. The world is watching the largest democracy, and maybe it is time to empower our electoral with “Right to Recall”. Recently, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister muted the scope of introducing a bill in the state assembly, empowering the people to recall the elected representatives of Panchayat bodies if they lose their confidence.

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020

Reading Time: 4 mins Recently, Parliament has passed the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill 2020 (FCRA) in its monsoon session which would greatly tighten and restrict the existing Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). Though The bill is receiving backslash from the NGOs and the Opposition with regards to the encroachment of NGOs financial administration, it has been passed with a view of increasing transparency in the working of an organization receiving foreign funds.

Role of the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha and Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha

Reading Time: 7 mins The Monsoon session of Parliament, which got delayed by several months due to the Covid-19 pandemic has begun recently. Similar to the last many sessions, Parliamentary disruptions once again became the common feature of Indian Parliamentary proceedings. A no-confidence motion against the Deputy Chairman is a first in Parliament and it is also an event which stood out in this Monsoon session of the Parliament. Though the Monsoon Session of Parliament began with the election for the post of deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the Lok Sabha still lacks a deputy speaker. The post has been vacant for the last 456 days and is a record.

Question Hour and Other Instruments for Executive Accountability

Reading Time: 6 mins The recent decision to abandon “Question Hour” during the Monsoon Session of Parliament,  has evoked serious concerns about the democratic without the functioning of the institution. Question Hour isn’t just an open door for the members to bring up issues and raise questions, yet it is a parliamentary gadget principally implied for exercising legislative control over executive actions. The decision has been made because of the pandemic and a truncated Monsoon Session. Parliament has also curtailed the Zero Hour.

The Anti-Defection Law / Tenth Schedule of Constitution – Explained

Reading Time: 6 mins With the end of 16th Lok Sabha, it is time to reflect on how to make this institution more effective. A crucial step would be to review the Anti-Defection Law that made the institution less effective by affecting the independence of MPs/MLAs and removing any incentive for them to research and understand on policies which have the bearing on nation-building and development process.