Right to Recall is a process by which the electorate has the power to remove the elected officials before the expiry of their term. Usually recall process is initiated to remove an elected representative when a minimum number of members registered in the electoral roll sign a petition to recall.
A person is elected to the legislature or Parliament on the basis of the promises he makes to the electorate. A person convinces the electorate on what he intends to do for his constituency. If he fights on a party’s ticket, he also appeals to the electorate on the basis of his party’s manifesto. When a person after being elected, is unable to fulfill his promises or come up to the expectations of his voters, should not the voters have the right to recall such an elected representative?
Lok Sabha MP Varun Gandhi recently proposed an amendment in the Representation of the People Act 1951 through his Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2016. As per the proposal, the process of recalling may be initiated by any voter of the constituency concerned by filing a petition before the Speaker, signed by at least one-fourth of the total number of electors in that constituency.
The Speaker, after confirming its authenticity, is expected to move the application to the Election Commission for its verification and authentication of the voters’ signatures on it. The EC is to verify the signatures on it and organise the voting in 10 places in the respective constituency of the MP or MLA, according to the proposal. If three-fourths of the votes polled by the member in his election are in favour of the recall process, the member will be recalled, the bill proposes. The Speaker will notify the result to the general public within 24 hours of the result being declared. Once the seat gets duly vacated the EC can organise a by-poll in that constituency.
“Logic and justice necessitate that if the people have the power to elect their representatives, they should also have the power to remove these representatives when they engage in misdeeds or fail to fulfil the duties,” says Varun Gandhi.
In Favour of Right to Recall
In recent times the role of the elected representative has increased multi-fold. Today he/she is responsible for all-round development of his or her constituency, communicate the problems of the constituency to the government, and listen to grievances of the people.