and as Sikhs were included in the definition of Hindu, under Section 2 of the Hindu Marriage
Act, 1955, a Sikh marriage performed according to the Sikh marriage ceremony called “Anand”
or other customary ceremonies could be registered here under the provisions of Section 8 of the
Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
However, vide The Anand Marriage (Amendment), Act, 2012, The Anand Marriage Act,
1909 was amended to provide for registration of Anand marriages commonly known as Anand
Election Laws and Electoral Reforms
The Acts in connection with the conduct of elections to Parliament, state legislatures and to
the offices of the President and the Vice-President are: (i) The Representation of the People Act,
1950; (ii) The Representation of the People Act, 1951; (iii) The Presidential and Vice-
Presidential Elections Act, 1952; (iv) The Delimitation Act, 2002; (v) The Andhra Pradesh
Legislative Council Act, 2005; and (vi) The Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Act, 2010. These
are administrated by the Legislative Department, Ministry of Law and Justice.
The electoral system of the country, which is also called the first-past-the-post system of
elections, has completed sixty six years.
The continuously changing electoral scenario has necessitated reforms of electoral laws on
several occasions. In the light of the experience gained during elections, recommendations of the
Election Commission, the proposals from different sources including political parties, eminent
men in public life and the deliberations in the Legislatures and various public bodies, the
successive Governments have taken a number of measures, from time to time, to bring about
electoral reforms; though need to effect a comprehensive package of electoral reforms cannot be
gainsaid. At present the issue of electoral reforms in its entirety has been referred to the Law
Commission of India for its examination and Report. On receipt of the Report of the Law
Commission, the matter will be examined in consultation with the stakeholders.
Delimitation of Constituencies
The periodic readjustment of the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies is mandatory in a
representative system where single-member constituencies are used for electing political
representatives. The electoral boundaries are drawn on the basis of the last published census
figures and are relatively equal in population. Equally populous constituencies allow voters to
have an equally weighted vote in the Legislature. Electoral constituencies that vary greatly in
population—a condition called “malapportionment”—violate a central tenet of democracy,
namely, that all voters should be able to cast a vote of equal weight. Delimitation and Elections
are the two basic pillars of a parliamentary democracy.
The first Delimitation Commission in India was constituted in 1952, the second in 1962 and
the third in the year 1973. The third delimitation exercise— based on 1971 census—was
completed in the year 1975. The present delimitation, based on 2001 census, has been
undertaken after 30 years. The population has increased by almost 87 per cent and the nature of
constituencies in the country, by and large, had become malapportioned.
The Government, as part of the National Population Policy strategy, decided to extend the
current constitutional freeze on undertaking fresh delimitation up to 2026 as a motivational
measure to enable state governments to fearlessly pursue the agenda for population stabilization.