The term of office of the present President of India is upto 24th July, 2012. Thus a election is due to held for electing a new President before the 24th July, 2012.
Under the provisions of sub-section (3) of section 4 of the President and Vice-President Elections Act, 1952, the notification under sub-section (1) of section 4 of the said Act calling the election can be issued by the Election Commission on or after the sixtieth day before the expiry of the term of office of outgoing President.
That is, the notification containing the programme of election to the office of the President, can be issued by the Election Commission on any day after 25th May, 2012.
The election to the Office of the President, to be held in the next, will be the fourteenth of its kind. The earlier elections to this office were held in 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1969, 1974, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007.
The President of India is elected by the Members of an Electoral College consisting of (a) the elected members of both Houses of Parliament and (b) the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States [including National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry vide the Constitution (Seventieth Amendment) Act, 1992 (Article 54). The nominated members of either House of Parliament or the Legislative Assemblies of State are not eligible to be included in the Electoral College.
Detailed provisions regarding the election are contained in the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952 (No.31 of 1952) and the rules made thereunder, viz., “The Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974”.
The manner of voting in the Presidential Election is contained in Rule 17 of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974.
The Constitution (Eighty-fourth Amendment) Act, 2001 provides that until the relevant population figures for the first census to be taken after the year 2026 have been published, the population of the States for the purposes of calculation of value of votes for the Presidential Election shall mean the population as ascertained at the 1971-census.
Total Value of votes of all members of each State Assembly is worked out by multiplying the number of elective seats in the Assembly by the number of votes for each member, for example 294x148=43,512 for Andhra Pradesh. The total value of votes of all the States added together is divided by the total number of elected members of Parliament (Lok Sabha 543 + Rajya Sabha 233) to get the value of votes per each Member of Parliament.
SYSTEM OF PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION BY MEANS OF SINGLE TRANSFERABLE VOTE.
The election shall be held in accordance with the system of Proportional Representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting at such election shall be by secret ballot.
The ballot paper does not contain any election symbol. There will be two columns in the ballot paper. Column 1 of the ballot paper contains the heading “Name of Candidate” and column 2 contains the heading “Mark order of preference”.
VALUE OF VOTES:-
Each Elector shall have as many preferences as there are candidates, but no ballot paper shall be considered invalid solely on the ground that all such preferences are not marked.
The value of vote of each elector is pre-determined. For example, the value of vote of each Member of Parliament is 708. The value of vote of each Member of the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh is 208 and that of Sikkim is 7. Thus the value of votes for the Members of each Legislative Assembly varies.
QUOTA FOR ELECTION:-
After calculating the total value of votes polled by each candidate, the Returning Officer totals up the value of all valid votes polled. The quota for declaring a candidate as elected is determined by dividing the total value of valid votes by 2 and adding one to the quotient, ignoring the remainder, if any. For example, assuming the total value of valid votes polled by all candidates is 1,00,001. The quota required for getting elected is: -
1,00,001 + 1 = 50,000.50 + 1 (Ignore.50)
Quota = 50,000+1 = 50,001
After ascertaining the quota, the Returning Officer has to see whether any candidate secured the quota for being declared as elected on the basis of the total value of first preference votes polled by him/her.
If no candidate gets the quota on the basis of first preference votes, then the Returning Officer proceeds further to second round of counting during which the candidate having lowest value of votes of first preference is excluded and his votes are distributed among the remaining candidates according to the second preference marked on these ballot papers. The other continuing candidates received the votes of excluded candidate at the same value at which he/she received them in the first round of counting.
The Returning Officer will go on excluding the candidates with lowest number of votes in subsequent rounds of counting till either one of the continuing candidates gets the required quota or till only one candidate remains in the field as the continuing candidate and shall declare him/her as elected.
ELIGIBILITY FOR ELECTION
No person shall be eligible for election as President unless he -
(1) is a citizen of India;
(2) has completed the age of 35 years; and
(3) is qualified for election as a member of the House of the People (Article 58).
A person shall not be eligible for election as President if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State or under any Local or other Authority subject to the control of any of the State Governments.
However, a person shall not be deemed to hold any office of profit by reason only that he is the President or Vice-President of the Union or the Governor of any State or is a Minister either for the Union or for any State.
NOMINATION AND SECURITY DEPOSIT
For a valid nomination, the following qualifications and requirements are to be satisfied:
(i) The candidate should be a citizen of India;
(ii) He should have completed the age of 35 years; and
(iii) He should be qualified for election as a member of Lok Sabha.
a) The candidate shall not hold any office of profit under the Government of India or the Govt. of any State or under any local or other authority subject to the control of any of the said Governments.
b) A nomination paper of a candidate for the election in the prescribed form (Form 2 appended to 1974 rules) has to be subscribed by at least fifty electors as proposers and at least fifty electors as seconders. The nomination paper must be presented in person to the Returning Officer, either by the candidate himself or by any of his proposers or seconders.
c) The security deposit for the election is Rs.15,000/- which will be required to be made along with the nomination paper. This amount can either be deposited in cash with the Returning Officer at the time of presentation of the nomination paper or receipt showing that such amount has been deposited by the candidate or on his behalf in the Reserve Bank of India or in a Government Treasury can be furnished along with the nomination paper.
d) Each nomination paper shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the entry relating to the candidate in the electoral roll for the Parliamentary constituency where he is registered as an elector.
e) No elector shall subscribe, whether as proposer or as seconder, more than one nomination paper at the same election and if he does so, his signature shall be inoperative on any paper other than the one first delivered to the Returning Officer.
f) The Returning Officer shall not accept any nomination paper, which is presented on any day, appointed for that purpose, before 11.00 a.m. and after 3.00 p.m.
The total number of members in the Electoral College for the Presidential election in 2012 is 4896, as detailed below
RETURNING OF OFFICER/ASSISTANT RETURNING OFFICERS
By convention, the Secretary General, Lok Sabha and the Secretary General, Rajya Sabha are appointed as the Returning Officers on rotation basis. For the 2007 Presidential Election, the Secretary General, Lok Sabha was appointed as Returning Officer. Therefore, for the 2012 Presidential Election, the Secretary General, Rajya Sabha has been appointed as the Returning Officer. Two other senior officers of Rajya Sabha Secretariat and the Secretaries and one more senior officer of Legislative Assemblies of all States including NCT of Delhi and Union Territory of Puducherry have also been appointed as the Assistant Returning Officers.
PLACES OF POLL
A Room in the Parliament House in New Delhi and a room in all State Legislative Assembly Secretariats are generally designated as places of poll. The Members of Parliament normally vote in New Delhi and the members of the State Legislative Assemblies, including the members of the Legislative Assemblies of NCT of Delhi and Union Territory of Puducherry, normally vote at the place fixed in each State Capital. However, facilities are provided by the Commission for any Member of Parliament to vote in the capital of his State and similarly if any Member of any State Legislative Assembly unavoidably stays in Delhi on the date of poll, he is given the facility to vote at the polling booth set up in the Parliament House. However, due intimation of such intention to vote at a place other than the place where a member is designated to vote must be received in the Commission well in advance to make necessary arrangements.
RETURN OF FORFEITURE OF CANDIDATE’s DEPOSIT
The deposit shall be forfeited if the candidate is not elected and the number of valid votes polled by him does not exceed one-sixth of the number of votes necessary to secure return of a candidate at such election. In other cases, the deposit will be returned to the candidate.
DISPUTE OVER ELECTION
(i) An election petition calling in question an election to the office of the President may be presented by any candidate at such election or by any twenty or more electors joined together as petitioners.
(ii) The authority having jurisdiction to try an election petition is the Supreme Court of India.
(iii) An election petition shall be presented within 30 days from the date of publication of the
declaration containing the name of the returned candidate.