Right to Recall in India: Meaning and Implications

March 10th, 20126:14 pm @    

(Hello folks! Here is the long awaited article on Right to recall. I hope I will be forgiven for such inexplicable delay! For those who are new, let me tell you that there is another article written by me which deals with pros and cons of Right to Reject. You would be able to appreciate the conclusion of this article if you could please read the post on Right to Reject by following this link. Its not compulsory to read at all..This post will make sense either way. Don’t forget to comment! Nothing stimulates the mind better than a discussion. )

Meaning of Right to Recall

“The right or procedure by which a public official, commonly a legislative or executive official, may be removed from office, before the end of his term of office, by a vote of the people to be taken on the filing of a petition signed by a required number or percentage of qualified voters.” (Taken from Brainyquote.com)

Right to RecallIn simple terms, we will be granted a right to recall an under-performing/non performing representative before his 5 year term ends. This could be done if voters in the area are of the opinion that the person must be recalled and elections must take place again with new candidates.

Right to Recall has not been introduced in India yet. The demand for it caught momentum when Anna Hazare called for it. There are many people who feel that introduction of this right would curb corruption.

The reasons why Right to Recall should be introduced:

  1. Right to recall would make India a democracy in the true sense. No need to tolerate a corrupt or incompetent person for a full 5 year term.
  2. Good performance of the chosen representative would be ensured by Right to Recall because they can be removed from position due to non-performance.
  3. Promises made during elections would be fulfilled by the Representative due the apprehension that he may be kicked out if he does not keep promises.

Reasons why Right to Recall should not be introduced:

  1. Undue Fear: The representative would be in constant pressure to work the way people want him. He is supposed to be a sensible person with a strong decision making capacity keeping in view the interest of all the members of the society. Constant fear will deter him from taking tough (but good) decisions (e.g. permission to demolish/displace a temple or a Mosque for expansion of road to facilitate the free movement of traffic.)
  2. No certainty: There is uncertainty of the time period he would be serving the public. This uncertainty would make it hard to make plans/policies which yield substantial results in long term. To fulfill public expectations, he will be forced to implement plans and decisions yielding instant results!
  3. Increased Politics: Political rivals would make issue out of smallest of the mistake of the representative and demand a recall election! This gives rise to unnecessary political games!!
  4. Internal Politics:Not only party rivals but also party members intending to grab the seat would keep plotting to throw the present candidate out of the game.
  5. Pleasing People: Representatives would keep spending lots of money just to please people (E.g. Making road where it was already there!)
  6. Scope for terrify and rule: Those representatives who exercise power in smaller constituencies would use force to threaten people who dare to demand re-election under right to recall. (We are all aware that politicians in villages and small districts reign with help of Goondas)
  7. Instability: There will be a state constant political turmoil and politicians would be busy saving seat instead of working for development
  8. Corruption: Political opponents might bribe a group of people and prompt them to demand the elections under Right to recall against present candidate. Other way round, the present candidate would bribe the people demanding recall to shut them up! (‘Daaru’ and ‘Paisa’ works wonders!)
  9. More govt. expenditure: Recall election would imply more expenditure of Tax payer’s money to organize re-elections time and again.


We have analyzed the pros and cons of both, the Right to Reject and the Right to Recall. What do you think now? Should both of them be given to the people or any one of them would suffice?

Here is what I feel- Granting of Right to Reject is a balanced option.  It is evident that it has more arguments in its favour. It is safer and would not lead to constant political upheaval. Parties would be forced to give ticket to a candidate with clean and good past record. Good representatives can actually be expected to keep up their performance for next five years.

What do you say? Comment please

Article by-

Nikita Anand

Co-Founder and Editor, MightyLaws

Student, National Law Institute University, Bhopal.

Picture courtesy: firstpage.blogspot.com

Article by

Nikita is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of MightyLaws.in. She is a lawyer/author residing in Delhi. She believes that increasing legal awareness is the key to ensure social justice and simplification of law is the means to achieve it. She writes articles on social and political issues for various platforms in English and Hindi.

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