Election Commission of India
Election commission is a constitutional body which is being set up under Article 324. It was designed to ensure free and fair elections, which is the hallmark of a democracy.
The Mandate of the election commission is of Superintendent, direction and control of elections to the Parliament, state legislature, office of President and Vice President.
Election commission strives to be an institution of excellence by enhancing active engagement, participation, and deepening and strengthening electoral democracy in India.
To maintain independence, integrity and autonomy of the commission.
To ensure accessibility, inclusiveness, ethical participation adopts highest standards of professionalism for delivering free, fair, and transparent elections.
It is composed of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and the members, whose number is being decided by the President and when the members are appointed, CEC acts as the Chairman of the commission. The decisions in the commission are taken by the majority.
Presently it is a three member commission with Chief election commissioner and two election commission.
Assisted by :
Deputy election commissioners are drawn from civil services and appointed by commission with a tenure system.
Deputy election commissioners are assisted by secretaries, joint secretaries and deputy secretaries & under secretaries.
At the state level Election commission is assisted by the Chief election officer appointed by the Chief election commissioner in consultation with the state government.
At district level, the collector acts as district returning officer.
Collector appoints a returning officer for every constituency in district & presiding officer for every polling booth in the constituency.
They are appointed by the President of India. President can provide for the regional commissioner as he may think necessary.
Condition of Service and tenure:
Conditions and tenure of service are decided by the President of india. The tenure of the commission is 6 years and a member of the commission should not be more than 65 years of age.
Salary of the members of the election commission should be equal to the salary of judges of the Supreme court.
Independence of the commission:
The constitution has ensured the independence of the commission by providing for :
Security of tenure:
Removal of the members of commission:
Chief election commissioners cannot be removed except on the ground and manner as of the Supreme Court Judge.
Election commissioner/ regional election commissioner cannot be removed without the Chief election Commissioner recommendation.
Service conditions cannot be varied to its disadvantage during the tenure of the commission.
The Constitution has not described the qualification of the members of the Election commission.
The Constitution has not specified terms of the members of the Election commission.
The Constitution has not barred the retiring Election Commissioner from any further appointment by the government.
POWER OF ELECTION COMMISION:
Election commission supervises the election, officers and thus ensures free and fair elections.
Election Commission determines the territorial area of electoral constituencies on basis of delimitation commission act.
It prepares and periodically revise the electoral roll.
Election commission registers the voters.
It notified dates and schedules of elections and to scrutinize nomination papers.
It further registers, grants recognition to the political parties and allot election symbols to the parties.
It appoints officers to enquire into any election dispute.
It determines the code of conduct for the political parties.
It prepares roasters for publicity of the policies of political parties and candidates.
It has the power to cancel polls in the event of rigging and others.
It can request the president/governor for extra staff if needed.
It advises the President on the matters related to disqualification of a Member of Parliament.
To advise the President, if the election can be held or not during president's rule
It acts as a court for settling disputes related to grant of recognition to political parties and symbols.
Article 325: It provides for UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE, It is an anti discriminatory article. It prohibits any sort of discrimination on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex and allows only for one general roll for one constituency.
Article 326: It provides for Adult Suffrage i.e. citizens of age more than 18 years have the right to vote. They can be disqualified only on the basis of non residence, unsound mind, crime, corruption/ illegal practice.
Article 327: This article empowers parliament w.r.t. Election and allow parliament to make laws regarding all matters including electoral roll and delimitation.
Article 328: This article empowers the state legislature to fram law on the election provided if parliament has not made any law on the issue and is subject to the constitution.
Article 329: It prohibits courts to interfere in the matter of laws related to delimitation under 329 and 328. Elections can not be questioned except on a lawful petition.
It also empowers the parliament to provide by law, the manner in which election dispute petitions are disposed and accordingly under Representation of Poeple’s Act parliament provided that elections can be disputed only after declaration of result.