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Kerala PSC India Year Book Study Materials Page 349Book's First Page
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 Karaj. 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.