Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act 1951 mandates ECI to fill casual vacancies:
Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 mandates the Election Commission to fill the casual vacancies in the Houses of Parliament and State Legislatures through bye elections within six months from the date of occurrence of the vacancy, provided that the remainder of the term of a member in relation to a vacancy is one year or more.
Why in News:
The term of sixteenth Lok Sabha is upto 3rdJune, 2019. As the vacancies from Karnataka have occurred more than one year before the expiration of the term of House, bye elections are required to be held under Section 151A of R. P. Act 1951 to fill these vacancies within six months from the date of occurrence of vacancies that is 18th& 21stMay, 2018.
Whereas, in case of vacancies from Andhra Pradesh, there is no need to hold bye elections as the remaining term of the Lok Sabha is less than one year from the date of occurrence of vacancies that is 20thJune, 2018.
Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 states: 151A. Time limit for filling vacancies referred to in sections 147, 149, 150 and 151.—Notwithstanding anything contained in section 147, section 149, section 150 and section 151, a bye-election for filling any vacancy referred to in any of the said sections shall be held within a period of six months from the date of the occurrence of the vacancy: Provided that nothing contained in this section shall apply if— (a) the remainder of the term of a member in relation to a vacancy is less than one year; or (b) the Election Commission in consultation with the Central Government certifies that it is difficult to hold the bye-election within the said period.