Election Commission cuts short disqualification term for Sikkim Chief Minister

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News:The Election commission has reduced the Sikkim chief minister disqualification period by almost five years under a provision of electoral law.

Facts:

Background:

  • Prem Singh Tamang was appointed as Sikkim Chief minister in May, 2019.But he needs to be elected to the Assembly within six months of his appointment.
  • However,he was barred from contesting polls as he has been convicted in a corruption case.
  • Under the Representation of the People Act,1951,those convicted and imprisoned under the Prevention of Corruption Act are disqualified from contesting elections during the period of incarceration and until six years after release.

Section 11 of the RP Act,1951

  • Section 11 of the Representation of the People Act,1951 empowers the Election Commission(EC) to remove or reduce the period of disqualification.
  • Earlier,the EC had exercised its powers under Section 11 to remove or reduce disqualification of a convicted person.
  • In 1977,EC had reduced the period of disqualification of two Uttar Pradesh MLAs who were convicted of criminal offence.