Nine Presidential Election of India, 1987: Winner R. Venkataraman

NINTH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, 1987

The term of the Seventh President Gyani Zail Singh was to expire on 24-07-1987. Ninth Presidential Election was to be held before that date.

RETURNING OFFICER

Dr. Subhash Kashyap, Secretary General, Lok Sabha.

ASSTT. RETURNING OFFICERS

Shri N. N. Mehra, Joint Secretary, Lok Sabha and the Secretaries of the Legislative Assemblies of the States except the State of Kerala where the post of Secretary to the State Assembly was vacant, the Additional Secretaries were appointed as AROs.

ELECTION PROGRAMME

1. Notified on 10.06.1987
2. Last date for making nomination 24.06.1987
3. Scrutiny of Nominations on 25.06.1987
4. Last date for withdrawal 27.06.1987
5. Date of Poll 13.07.1987 (10 A.M. to 5 P.M.)
6. Counting of votes on 16-07-1987

ELECTORAL COLLEGE

The Electoral College consisted of elected members of Lok Sabha [543]. Rajya Sabha [233] and 25 State Legislative Assemblies [3919]. Thus the total electors were 4695.

NO. OF VOTES FOR EACH MEMBER

Each Member of Parliament had 702 votes and the number of votes for each Member of the State Legislative Assemblies differed from State to State on the basis of the population. The lowest value of votes was for the MLAs of Sikkim State (07) and the highest value of votes was for the MLAs of Uttar Pradesh (208). The value of votes was calculated on the basis of 1971 census.

CANDIDATES
Sl. NoCANDIDATEVOTES POLLED
1.Shri R. Venkataraman7,40,148
2.Shri V. Krishna Iyer2,81,550
Shri Mithilesh Kumar2,223
TOTAL10,23,921

Shri R. Venkataraman was declared elected by the Returning Officer on 16-07-1987. He assumed office on 25-07-1987.

SOME IMPORTANT FEATURES OF THIS ELECTION

ELIGIBILITY TO VOTE BY DISQUALIFIED MEMBERS

The Speaker, on the ground of defection, disqualified 22 members of the Punjab Legislative Assembly. During the trial of their Special Leave Petition, the Supreme Court in its interim Order dated 07-05-1987 had held that if any Presidential Election was to be held before the hearing of the matter, the disqualified members would be entitled to participate in the poll and cast their votes as if they had not been disqualified. On a clarification sought by the Commission, the Supreme Court, by an Order dated 22-06-1987, held that participation includes proposing and seconding of nominations of candidates. The votes cast by these members might be separately marked and after counting kept separately until final disposal of the case. The Court also indicated that such further directions as might be needed might be taken at the time of hearing of the matter.
Pursuant to the above directions, the names of the 22 Members of Legislative Assembly concerned were included in the list of members of the Electoral College.
In order to give effect to the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the Commission laid down the following procedure for observance by the Assistant Returning Officer i.e. Secretary to the Punjab Legislative Assembly:-

i) Every ballot paper, issued to the above mentioned 22 Members or the postal ballot paper, if issued to any of them on the ground of his being under preventive detention, and the counterfoil thereof shall be prominently marked on their back with a rubber stamp to be supplied by the Election Commission containing the words “Permitted to vote under direction of the Supreme Court.”
ii) For the purpose of issue of ballot papers to the above mentioned 22 Members, a separate packet consisting of the last 25 ballot papers supplied for use of electors at Chandigarh shall be set apart.
iii) An additional polling officer shall be posted for issue of ballot papers to the 22 members concerned. He shall be supplied with the list of members of the Punjab Legislative Assembly.
iv) The additional polling officer shall be seated near the other polling officers and polling agents so that it does not become necessary for candidates to appoint additional polling agents.
v) The procedure for issue and marking of ballot papers by the said 22 members and their insertion into the ballot box shall be the same as is applicable for the other members.
vi) After the close of poll, the marked copy of the list of electors supplied to the additional polling officer mentioned above, the counterfoils of ballot papers issued to the members referred to above, and the unused ballot papers with said additional polling officer shall be placed in separate packets by the Assistant Returning Officer and shall be sealed and secured in the manner prescribed under rule 21 (1) of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974 and forwarded to the Returning Officer alongwith other election records pertaining to that polling station.
Pending the decision of the Supreme Court on the above mentioned application of the Election Commission seeking clarification whether the votes so cast by the members of the Punjab Legislative Assembly could be taken into account by the Returning Officer for the purpose of determination and declaration of the results of the election, the Commission laid down the following procedure for counting of votes in case the Court issued a direction that the votes cast by the 22 disqualified members should be counted–

i) When the ballot box containing the ballot papers cast by members of Punjab Legislative Assembly is taken up, the number of votes found in the ballot box be tallied with the number of votes cast.
ii) Thereafter, the folded ballot papers shall be unfolded in such a manner as preferences marked thereon are not seen. For this purpose, the face of the unfolded ballot papers shall be kept downwards.
iii) Thereafter, detailed scrutiny of the unfolded ballot papers shall be made. Scrutiny shall consist of two stages. In the first stage, genuineness of the ballot papers shall be ascertained with reference to the matter on their back but marking thereon shall not be seen or scrutinized. In the second stage, all the ballot papers shall be kept together in the form of bundles and reversed upside down and then taken up for detailed scrutiny. It shall be ensured that reverse side is not shown to or seen by any body. Thereafter the counting of votes shall proceed in the prescribed manner. However, if the Supreme Court ordered that these ballot papers of 22 Members shall not be counted, these papers shall be taken out by seeing the rubber stamp marks on their back. These shall, however, neither be unfolded nor the preferences marked thereon shall be seen or scrutinized. The Supreme Court, however, ordered on 14th July 1987 that the votes cast by the members shall be counted but shall be kept separately after counting. A copy of the order of the Supreme Court was sent to the Returning Officer on 15th July, 1987.

ELECTIONS DECLARED VOID BY HIGH COURT, BUT STAY ORDERS

ISSUED BY THE SUPREME COURT

Five members of electoral college – two of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and one each of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab Legislative Assembly, were not entitled to cast their votes as their elections had been declared void by respective High Courts but orders of the High Courts were stayed by Supreme Court.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Broad Cast/Telecast Facilities

Shri Mithelesh Kumar Sinha, one of the contesting candidates requested the Commission for facility to put forth his views over AIR/Doordarshan.

Under a scheme evolved by the Ministry of I & B, in consultation with the Commission in 1977, such broadcasting/telecasting facilities are afforded to recognized political parties during general elections to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. However, these facilities are not extended to other elections. Another candidate Shri V.R. Krishna Iyer was reported to have requested the Minister of State in M/o Information & Broadcasting (Shri Ajit Kumar Panja) that the three contesting candidates should be given opportunity to express their views over AIR/Doordarshan and it was reported that the Govt. did not accept the request and accordingly no candidate was allowed facility of broadcasting/telecasting their views.

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