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May 14, 2024

Daily Legal Current Affairs for PCS (J) Judiciary-14 May 24 : Section 132 in the Representation of the People Act, 19511

Why in News ? The BJP candidate in Hyderabad, Madhavi Latha, was recently seen in asking niqab-wearing women voters to remove their face coverings so she could verify their identities.

Hyderabad Police registered an FIR against Latha under IPC sections pertaining to undue influence at an election (171C), obstructing a public servant (186), and intent to incite (505(1)(c)), and Section 132 of The Representation of the People Act, 1951 (misconduct at the polling station).

Section 132 of The Representation of the People Act, 1951 ( Penalty for misconduct at the polling station)

(1)Any person who during the hours fixed for the poll at any polling station misconducts himself or fails to obey the lawful directions of the presiding officer may be removed from the polling station by the presiding officer or by any police officer on duty.

(2)The powers conferred by sub-section (1) shall not be exercised so as to prevent any elector who is otherwise entitled to vote at a polling station from having an opportunity of voting at that station.

(3)If any person who has been so removed from a polling station re-enters the polling station without the permission of the presiding officer, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both.

(4)An offence punishable under sub-section (3) shall be cognizable.

About IPC Section 171C:

IPC section 171C deals with undue influence at elections in India. It basically prohibits actions that could pressure voters or candidates into voting a certain way.

Main provision (Subsection 1): It says that whoever intentionally interferes with someone’s ability to freely exercise their electoral rights commits this offense. Electoral rights include voting and contesting elections.

Examples of undue influence (Subsection 2): The law gives specific examples of what counts as undue influence. These include:

Threats: Threatening a voter or candidate (or someone they care about) with harm.

Exploiting religious beliefs: Trying to convince a voter or candidate that voting a certain way will anger God or hurt their spiritual standing.

Important exceptions: It’s not undue influence if someone:

·         Makes a public statement about their political views.

·         Promises to take specific actions if elected (as long as it’s a legal promise).

·         Exercises their own legal rights without intending to affect someone’s vote.

 About IPC Section 186:

It deals with obstructing a public servant in their official duties. Here’s a breakdown of the section:

Offence: Whoever voluntarily obstructs any public servant in the discharge of their public functions.

Public Servant: This refers to anyone working in a government role with powers given by the state for public welfare. This can include police officers, firefighters, bureaucrats, etc.

Public Functions: These are lawful actions carried out by the public servant using their official authority.

Voluntarily Obstructs: This means intentionally interrupting or hindering the public servant from performing their duties. It’s important to note that unintentional obstruction wouldn’t be covered under this section.

The punishment for this offense can be imprisonment for up to 3 months, a fine of Rs500, or both.

About IPC Section 505(1):

It deals with statements conducing to public mischief. It states that whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report that:

(a) Intends to cause or is likely to cause any officer, soldier, sailor or airman in the Indian Armed Forces to mutiny or disregard their duties, or

(b) Intends to cause or is likely to cause fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public, inducing them to commit an offence against the State or public tranquility, or

(c) Intends to incite, or is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community,shall be punished with imprisonment for a term that may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.




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