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Offences related to Election section

  1. Bribery -As per Section 171B a person is said to commit bribery when he/she gives gratification to someone with the object of inducing such person with regards to practicing his/her electoral right, or as a reward, after such person has exercised his/ her electoral right after being induced. The person taking such bribe and being induced into practicing his/her electoral right differently is also guilty of the offence of bribery.

For this section, a person is said to give gratification when they offer/attempt to give/ offer or attempt to procure gratification. The person accepting or attempting to get gratification for changing his/her pre-decided course and acting according to the wish of the one giving such gratification shall be said to have received gratification.

  1. Undue influence at an election –Section 171C deals with undue influence at an election. It refers to the voluntary interruption or an attempt to interrupt the free exercise of an electoral right. Interference with the free exercise of an electoral right as per this provision includes-

-Threatening (with injury of any kind) a candidate or a voter or a person in whom a candidate/voter is interested in, or;

-Misleading or attempting to induce a candidate/voter to believe that they, or any person that they are interested in, shall be subjected to Divine displeasure or spiritual censure.

Exercise of a legal right without any mala fide intent to interfere with someone’s voting right, declaration of public policy or a promise of public action does not count as interference as per the meaning of this section.

As per Section 171F, undue influence at an election is punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year, or a fine, or both.

  1. Personating at an election-

Section 171D says that a person attempting to vote twice or vote by using unfair means is guilty of the offense of personating. Each one is to cast their own vote. For example, a person applying for a voting paper by using someone else’s name, whether living or dead, or under a fictitious name, or has voted in such an election and wants to vote again is guilty of personation. A person abetting or attempting to procure a voting paper by using any other person for their cause shall also be guilty of the offense of personation.

It is important to note that a person authorized to vote as proxy for an elector under any law which is at force at that time shall not be guilty of this offence.

  1. False statement in connection with an election-

Section 171G states that whoever makes/publishes a statement in public, knowing/believing it to be false or not believing it to be true, and disguising it to be a statement of fact, with an attempt to malign the character or conduct of a candidate to disrupt the result of elections shall be punishable with fine.

  1. Illegal payments in connection with elections –

As per  Section 171H, a person responsible for incurring/authorizing expenses to promote their election campaign, which may include holding public meetings, press conferences, advertising, circulars or publications, without any general or special authority in writing of a candidate shall be punishable with a fine which may extend to Rs. 500.

However, if such a person, who has borne expenses not exceeding Rs. 10 without authority manages to obtain authority in writing of the candidate within days from the date on which such expenses were incurred, this provision would not be applicable as such person would be deemed to have acted with the permission of the candidate.

  1. Failure to keep election accounts-

As per Section 171 of the Code, a person who is responsible for keeping an account for the expenses incurred in connection with an election, as per the law which is in force at that time or as per a rule which has the force of law, when fails to do so, shall be punishable with a fine which may extend up to Rs. 500.

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