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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
 
  May 2016
 
  April 2016
 
 
 
 
CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
The Constitution of India is the fountainhead from which all our laws derive their authority and force. This is next article in the series on constitutional provisions in order to aid our readers in understanding them.

84. "Qualification for Membership of Parliament "

84. “Qualification for membership of Parliament.–A person shall not be qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in Parliament unless he–

(a) is a citizen of India, and makes and subscribes before some person authorized in that behalf by the Election Commission an oath or affirmation according to the form set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule;

(b) is, in the case of a seat in the Council of States, not less than thirty years of age and, in the case of a seat in the House of the People, not less than twenty-five years of age; and

(c) possesses such other qualifications as may be prescribed in that behalf by or under any law made by Parliament.”

Clause (a) states that a person to be member of either House of Parliament, must be a citizen of India and must take oath from a person authorized by Election Commission and such oath should be taken in a prescribed form as specified in the Third Schedule of the Constitution of India. Relevant forms as per this Schedule are as follows:

Forms of Oaths or Affirmations

A

Form of oath or affirmation to be made by a candidate for election to Parliament:

“I, A.B., having been nominated as a candidate to fill a seat in the Council of States (or the House of the People) do that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constituition of India as by law established and that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India.”

B

Form of oath or affirmation to be made by a member of Parliament:

“I, A.B., having been elected (or nominated) a member of the Council of States (or the House of the People) do that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India and that I will faithfully discharge the duty upon which I am about to enter.”

Such oath or affirmation prescribed under clause (a) of this Article as it stands after the Constitution 16th Amendment 1963 in case of election to Parliament is not necessary for election as President of India by virtue of Article 58(1)(c) which excludes operation of Article 84. The oath or affirmation should be made and subscribed to before the date of the scrutiny of the nomination paper and the date of taking oath in the premises of the Parliament. Further it is complete only when nomination paper is delivered to the Returning Officer engaged in election. Again the failure of making or subscribing of oath as required by Article 84(a) is of much material importance and the nomination paper for election may be rejected due to such failure.

Clause (b) of the Article states about the age of candidate to be member of either House of Parliament viz. the candidate must be 30 years of age in case of membership in the Council of States i.e. Rajya Sabha and 25 years of age in case of candidature in the House of the People i.e. Lok Sabha.

The last clause (c) states that the proposed member should possess such other qualifications as may be prescribed in that behalf by or under any law made by Parliament. It is a very simple clause but attracts the law making power of the Parliament in respect of contemporary need approach on the one hand and the power of the President of India in respect of nomination of members to both Houses of Parliament on the other hand.

As this Article relates to some provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, it does not give an unfettered right to a person who is a citizen of India to contest election without complying with the obligations entailed by the statute made in that behalf by the Parliament. Therefore, the provisions contained in sections 33(1), 34 or 158 of the Representation of Peoples Act of 1951 or other consequential provisions made relating to scrutiny and acceptance and rejection of nomination papers under sections 35, 36(1) and 36(2), 36(2)(c) and 39(2) of 1951 Act are not ultra vires the Constitution of India.

 
 
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