ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Recall the Lawmakers Who Are Lawbreakers

Over the few months we have had numerous incidents of unethical and unacceptable conduct by democratically elected representatives. We have witnessed the likes of A Raja who allegedly indulged in large-scale corruption, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh (currently a minister at the centre) who has been castigated by the Supreme Court for using his infl uence to stop the police from registering a case against a private moneylender and the most shameful event of a legislator from Uttar Pradesh who has been accused of the rape of a dalit minor.

Justice demands that such errant legislators be removed from their offi ce. Therefore, there should be a mechanism in our electoral system through which such delinquent legislators against whom serious charges have been framed or those who have misused public offices can be “recalled” as soon as possible. A “recall election” is a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote initiated when a suffi cient number of voters sign a petition. The right to recall is thus a democratic tool for removing an elected representative from office for his non-performance or misuse of office. In India, provisions for the recall of elected representatives do not exist anywhere except in a few states like Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, which provide the right to recall non-performing representatives in panchayats.

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