- Election Commission of India is a permanent and an independent body
- Article 324
- Superintendence, direction and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, office of president of India and the office ofvice-president of India
- Not concerned with elections to panchayats and municipalities (SEC)
Structure of the Election Commission of India
- Initially, the commission had only one election commissioner but after the Election Commissioner Amendment Act 1989, it has been made a multi-member body.
- The commission consists of one Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
- The secretariat of the commission is located in New Delhi.
Appointment / Tenure / Removal of Election Commissioner of India
- The President appoints Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.
- They enjoy the same powers emoluments including salaries, which are the same as a Supreme Court judge of India.
- Tenure -They have a fixed tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- Removal -The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through a process of removal similar to that of a Supreme Court judge by Parliament. Other EC or Regional Commissioner cannot be removed from office except on the recommendation of CEC.
Independence and Impartiality
- Constitution has not prescribed the qualifications / term / not debarred the retiring election commissioners from any further appointment by Govt.
Functions of Election Commission of India
- Election Commission of India superintendents, direct and control the entire process of conducting elections to Parliament and Legislature of every State and to the offices of President and Vice-President of India.
- Election schedules for the conduct of periodic and timely elections.
- Electoral roll and issues Electronic Photo Identity Card (EPIC).
- Location polling stations, assignment of voters to the polling stations, location of counting centres.
- Recognition to political parties & allots election symbols to them.
- Model Code of Conduct in the election for political parties and candidates.
- Court for settling disputes (granting of recognition to political parties and allotment of election symbols)
- advise the president on matters relating to the disqualifications of MPs / governor in case of state legislature
- cancel polls in the event of rigging, booth capturing
- request president or the governor for requisitioning
the staff necessary
- advise the president whether elections can be held in a
state under president’s rule
Other relevant functions
- Assisted by deputy election commissioners (appointed by the commission with tenure system from Civil Service
- At state level: assisted by the chief electoral officer in consultation with the state government
- At district level, collector acts as district returning officer
- It plays an important role in stopping the dissemination of misinformation with the help of technological tools.
- It conducts elections with the highest standard of credibility, freeness, fairness, transparency, integrity, accountability, autonomy and professionalism.
- It creates awareness about the electoral process and electoral governance amongst stakeholders namely, voters, political parties, election functionaries, candidates and people at large.
Articles Associated with Election Commission of India
- Article 324 -Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission.
- Article 325 –No person to be ineligible for inclusion in, or to claim to be included in a special, electoral roll-on grounds of religion, race, caste or sex.
- Article 326 –Elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assemblies of States to be on the basis of adult suffrage.
- Article 327 –Power of Parliament to make provision with respect to elections to Legislatures.
- Article 328 –Power of Legislature of a State to make provision with respect to elections to such Legislature.
- Article 329 –Bar to interference by courts in electoral matters.
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