Introduction: Central Election Commission
Articles 324 to 329 (Chapter 15) of the Indian Constitution deal with the Election Commission and its functions. The first Election Commission of Independent India was formed in 1950 to strengthen the foundations of democratic governance and to control free and fair elections. The Election Commission is a permanent and independent body. The Election Commission is known as a constitutionally neutral body across the country. Its headquarter is situated in New Delhi. According to Article 324 of the Constitution, the Commission is entrusted with the responsibility and powers to oversee and manage the activities related to elections. The responsibilities of the Election Commission are to conduct and oversee the elections of the President, the Vice-President, Parliament and the State Legislative Assemblies.
|Appointer||President of India|
|Formed||25 Jan 1950|
|Mission||Free and fair election|
|First executive||Sukumar Sen|
Previously, the Election Commission consisted of a Chief Election Commissioner from 1950-1999. Subsequently, an election commission was formed with other members.
However, the number of other election commissioners is not specified in the constitution. The President determines the required number of members.
Important facts of Central Election Commission
01. At present, Election Commission consists of a Chief Election Commissioner with two other Election Commissioners, i.e. the process of formation of a three-member of Central Election Commission began in 1990 when T.N. Seshan was the Chief Election Commissioner (1990-1996) of India. According to the Amendment Act of 1989, the election commission had three members, although the first two additional Election Commissioners were appointed in 1989 (temporarily) which expired in January 1990.
02. According to the Ordinance of President (that time Shankar Dayal Sharma), the three members of this Election Commission were: (1) T. N. Seshan (2) MS, Gill (3) T.S. Krishnamurti. The Chief Election Commissioner acts as the head and chairman of the Election Commission. The President appoints the Chief Election Commissioner and other members.
03. The President completed the appointment process on the advice of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the leaders of the opposition party. In addition to the three members of the Election Commission, the Deputy Election Commissioners also participate in the function of the Election Commission. They were appointed to the Election Commission from the public service.
04. Secretaries, Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries and Retirement Secretaries may also work at the Commission Secretariat. All Election Commissioners enjoy equal opportunities in terms of power, rank, salary and allowances. Other election commissioners, including the Chief Election Commissioner, share the same salary and allowances and other privileges, just like the judge of the Supreme Court.
05. The Chief Election Commissioner and other commissioners are elected by the law enacted in Parliament. At present, the Chief Election Commissioner is appointed for 6 years.
06. If the motion against the Chief Election Commissioner is passed with the support of a majority of both houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) and the voting of members present (with 2/3 majority), the President may remove him. He or she can only be removed on the basis of incompetence and misconduct.
08. Elections are conducted by the Election Commission on the basis of universal adult suffrage. In 1984, the president could appoint six regional election commissioners for six regions. The President may appoint them for 6 months on the recommendation of the Election Commission. The powers and functions of the Election Commission can be divided into three parts, namely: (1) Administrative, (2) Consultative and (3) Semi-Judicial.
Powers and Functions of the Central Election Commission
The main responsibilities/powers and functions of the Election Commission are as follows:
- Electoral field or area identification.
- Preparation and control of ELECTORAL ROLL (VOTER LIST) and issuance of EPIC card.
- Submission and withdrawal of nomination papers, the publication of election date, and schedule.
- To advise the President and the Governor on matters relating to eligibility and disqualification of members.
- Postponement or cancellation and re-election.
- Provide distinct electoral symbols to political parties.
- Registering political parties and granting them the status of a separate state or national party (Registration started in 1989).
- To control Election campaign schedule, radio and television broadcasting, rally.
- To form a commission of inquiry to investigate the controversy (election-related).
- Establish a code of conduct for political parties, candidates, government, government employees and voters.
- Appoint an Inspector to ensure that the rules laid down by the Commission are being complied with.
- Calculation of the number of votes and publications of result etc.
Since the Election Commission does not have its own staff, the President and Governors appoint the required number of government employees (for a period from start to end of election).
The salaries and allowances of the members of the Election Commission are carried out from the Reserve Expenditure Fund of India. The qualifications and tenure of the members of the Election Commission are not specified in the Constitution, so they are governed by laws enacted by Parliament or by the President.
Sukumar Sen was the first Chief Election Commissioner of India (1950 to 1958).
The Election Commission conducts elections by secret ballot or electronic voting machine (EVM). The secret ballot was used in the first general elections of 1951-1952. In 1998, EVMs were first used in assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Delhi (Union Territory), and Rajasthan.
Voters also cast their votes by postal ballot. Experimentally, EVM was first used in the 1982 Kerala Assembly elections. VVPAT was introduced in 2013 (Nagaland) and its use in general elections has been fully introduced since 2014. NOTA was added to EVM in 2014.
Composition: Central Election Commission
List of Chief Election Commissioners of India
|No||Name||Duration of Office|
|1||Sukumar Sen||21/3/1950 – 19/12/1958|
|2||Kalyan Sundaram||20/12/1958 – 30/9/1967|
|3||S.P Sen Verma||1/10/1967 – 30/9/1972|
|4||Nagendra Singh||1/9/1972 – 6/2/1973|
|5||T. Swaminathan||7/2/1973 – 17/6/1977|
|6||S. L. Shakdhar||18/6/1977 – 17/6/1982|
|7||R. K. Trivedi||18/6/1982 – 31/12/1985|
|8||R. V. S. Peri Sastri||1/1/1986 – 25/11/1990|
|9||V. S. Ramadevi||26/11/1990 – 11/12/1990|
|10||T. N. Seshan||12/12/1990 – 11/12/1996|
|11||M. S. Gill||12/12/1996 – 13/6/2001|
|12||James Michael Lyngdoh||14/6/2001 – 7/2/2004|
|13||T. S. Krishnamurthy||8/2/2004 – 15/5/2005|
|14||B. B. Tandon||16/5/2005 – 29/6/2006|
|15||N. Gopalaswami||30/6/2006 – 20/4/2009|
|16||Navin Chawla||21/4/2009 – 29/7/2010|
|17||S. Y. Quraishi||30/7/2010 – 10/6/2012|
|18||V. S. Sampath||11/6/2012 – 15/1/2015|
|19||Harishankar Brahma||16/1/2015 – 18/4/2015|
|20||Nasim Zaidi||19/4/2015 – 5/7/2017|
|21||Achal Kumar Jyoti||6/7/2017 – 22/1/2018|
|22||Om Prakash Rawat||23/1/2018 – 1/12/2018|
|23||Sunil Arora||2/12/2018 – Present|
Important GK of Central Election Commission
Central Election commission GK: An important general knowledge note of the topic Central Election commission of India for IAS, UPSC and other competitive examinations.