The symbolic value of the election security deposit

In the assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, a political party with headquarters in New Delhi forfeited the election deposits for the majority of its candidates.

Election Security Deposit

  • When a candidate files their nomination, they must deposit a certain sum with the returning officer as an election security deposit.
  • Either cash or a receipt must be included with the nomination form when submitting this.
  • It states that the aforementioned quantity has been placed in a government treasury or the Reserve Bank of India on the candidate’s behalf.
  • The major goal of this procedure is to make sure that only candidates who are really interested in running for office actually submit their candidacy.

Is the amount same for all elections?

  • The Representation of the People Act of 1951 stipulates various sums depending on the level of election, thus the answer is no—it depends on the specific election that is being held.
  • The sum is Rs 25,000 and Rs 12,500 for a candidate from a Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribe (ST) in elections for Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha seats, respectively.
  • It costs Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 for a SC/ST candidate to run in an election from an Assembly or Council constituency, or at the level of state legislative bodies.
  • A deposit of Rs 15,000 must be made, even for elections for the office of president and vice president.

Losing the deposits

  • According to the same Act, the deposit must be returned after the election if the candidate receives fewer than 1/6th of the total legitimate votes cast.
  • Or, if more than one member was up for election, it would be 1/6th of the total valid votes cast, divided by the number of members up for election.
  • This is a reference to elections using the Rajya Sabha’s system of proportional representation.
  • The deposit “must be repaid as soon as practical after the outcome of the election is declared” if the candidate meets the requirement.
  • The sum is repaid if a candidate withdraws their candidacy or passes away prior to the election.
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