Following points are important for filing nominations u/s. 33 of The Representation of the People Act, 1951.
As per Constitution and The Representation of the People Act, 1951, any person can contest from any constituency, provided that he possesses qualification for contesting from that constituency i.e. he has not been disqualified under Constitution or other laws for contesting the elections.
The candidate or any of his / her proposer should deliver the nomination paper to the Returning Officer or to the Assistant Returning Officer specified in public notice of election.
Candidate is required to deliver his nomination paper on or before last date for filing of nomination fixed by the Election Commission of India u/s. 30 A of The Representation of the People Act, 1951. It is clarified that if the last date for filing nomination shall be the seventh day after the date of notifications or if that day is public holiday under the Negotiable Instrument Act, then the nomination paper is required to be presented on immediate next day to the public holiday, which is not a public holiday.
No nomination paper can be filed on a day which is a public holiday. Candidate can not file his nomination paper before any person other than the Returning Officer or the Assistant Returning Officer specified to receive nomination papers. Nomination paper should be presented either by candidate or by any of his proposers.
Only the person, who is an elector in the constituency in which the candidate contests the election, can propose the name of the candidate and can sign the nomination paper, that means, the elector who has been enrolled in the electoral roll for the constituency other than the constituency from which the candidate contests the election can not propose the name of the candidate.
If the candidate is contesting the election as a candidate set up by a recognised political party, only one elector of the constituency is required to propose the name of the candidate but if the candidate contests the election as a candidate set up by registered unrecognised political party or as an independent candidate, in that case ten electors of the constituency are required to sign the nomination paper as proposers.
Nomination paper can be filed only between 11 o'clock in the forenoon and 3 o'clock in the afternoon on any of the day specified for filing nomination. Nomination paper can be presented at the place fixed by the Returning Officer for filing nomination paper u/s. 31. If the nomination paper is presented at the place other than the place fixed for presenting nomination paper, then it is considered that the nomination paper is not presented in proper manner.
Nomination paper should be in prescribed from. The form of nomination paper is prescribed under Rule 4 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961. Accordingly, Form 2A is prescribed as nomination paper for Loksabha Election and Form 2B is prescribed as nomination paper for Vidhan Sabha Election.
If the candidate is set up by a recognised political party, then one elector of the constituency should sign part-I of the nomination paper as a proposer. In addition to this, the candidate must sign Part-III, the necessary declaration in the nomination paper. If the candidate or any of his proposers is not able to sign, in that case under rule 2(2) of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, thumb impression or any other mark as directed by Returning Officer or specified Assistant Returning Officer, in his presence are required to be placed.
To contest the election in the constituency reserved for scheduled cast or scheduled tribe, the candidate is required to make declaration with the nomination paper that he or she belongs to the scheduled cast or scheduled tribe. A person, who having held an office under the Government of India or under the Government of any State has been dismissed, wants to contest election, he is required to produce alongwith his nomination paper, the certificate issued by the Election Commission as per Section 9(2) of the R. P. Act, 1951.
Such certificate is issued by the Election Commission of India to decide whether the person is dismissed for corruption or for disloyalty to the State. Such certificate should be issued under the signature of the Secretary, Election Commission of India and with authorised stamp and as per Rule 6 of Conduct of Election Rules, 1961. Such certificate is required in the case of a person in whose case, five years of his dismissal have not been completed. The certificate of the Election Commission of India to this effect qualifies the person to contest the election. The certificate issued by the Commission is considered to be final and it can not be challenged in the court of law.
Maximum four nomination papers can be filed by a candidate or on his behalf for a constituency. If a candidate desires to contest from the constituency other than the constituency in which he has been enrolled as an elector, he is required to produce copy of the electoral roll or relevant part of the electoral roll in which he has been registered as an elector.
To decide u/s. 8 of the Representation of the People, 1951 whether a candidate is convicted or not, the candidate is required to produce affidavit alongwith his nomination paper.
As per Articles 84 & 173, a candidate is required to make and subscribe oath in the Form prescribed under third schedule of the Constitution to the effect that, he has true faith and integrity in the Constitution and he supports soverneity and unity of India. Such oath is required to be made after filing nomination and in any case before the date of scrutiny. That means, such oath must be subscribed after filing nomination and on the day before the date of scrutiny.
Candidate should carefully make declaration on following points in his nomination paper:
Candidate should make declaration in his nomination paper, as to his correct age. If the candidate is set up by a political party, he should make declaration, as to by which political party he has been set up and he should clearly mention it in his nomination paper. If the candidate wants to contest as an independent candidate, he is not required to make such declaration. To contest the election, the candidate should make declaration, as to, choice of three symbols in order of preference from the list of free symbols notified by the Election Commission of India.
Make declaration, as to, the correct spelling of his name in his nomination paper. As to the fact, that the candidate is qualified and also not disqualified for contesting the election from the constituency. When election is held for Loksabha and Vidhan Sabha, make declaration, as to, the fact that he is not contesting from more than two Parliamentary / Assembly Constituencies.
As per Section 34 of the R. P. Act, 1951, a candidate is required to make security deposit prescribed by law. At present, for contesting election for Lok Sabha, the sum required to be deposited by a candidate is Rs. 25,000/-. For contesting Assembly Election, the sum required to be deposited by a candidate is Rs. 10,000/-. But for the candidate belonging to schedule cast and schedule tribe, the sum required to be deposited is half of the sum required to be deposited by general catagory candidate. That means, for the candidate belonging to schedule caste and schedule tribe, the sum required to be deposited to contest Loksabha election is Rs. 12,500/- and Rs. 5,000/- to contest the Vidhan Sabha election. Here we should note that, whether the constituency is reserved for SC/ST or not, the candidate belonging to schedule tribe or scheduled caste is required to deposite Rs. 12,500/- and Rs. 5,000/- for contesting Loksabha election and Vidhan Sabha election respectively. In addition to this, even if a candidate has filed four nomination papers from same constituency, he is required to make deposit only once. The security deposite can be deposited in cash, with Returning Officer and by chalan in Reserve Bank of India or treasury.
We have seen that the candidate is required to sign his nomination paper after making several declarations. Out of these declarations, candidate is required to make declaration as to on which symbol he wants to contest election. Before filing nomination, the candidate is required to mention his choice of symbols. The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 is in force. Under this order, the Election of Commission has issued notification specifying symbols reserved for recognised political parties and free symbols for use of candidates set up by unrecognised political parties and independent candidates. If a candidate is set up by a recognised political party, he should choose the symbol reserved for that party. In other cases i.e. independent candidates and candidates set up by registered unrecognised political parties should choose three symbols in order of preference from the list of free symbols specified in the notification issued by the Election Commission.
Thus nomination papers presented by the candidates are very important in election. Candidate should take utmost care while filing nomination paper and also the Returning Officer should check preliminarily the nomination at the same time when it is presented to him and if any prima facie mistake is noticed by him, he should bring it to the notice of the candidate. The clerical or printing mistakes in nomination papers are to be ignored. But this does not mean that the candidate should not be careful while filing up nomination paper and the Returning Officer should not bring such mistakes to the notice of the candidate.
The Returning Officer is required to acknowledge receipt of the nomination paper as soon as it is received by him. With the receipt of nomination paper the Returning Officer is required to give notice to the candidate informing him on which date, time and place the scrutiny of nomination paper will take place and it is advisable that the candidate obtain such receipt and notice from the Returning Officer.