Powers And Functions Of Election Commission Of India Pdf

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Election Commission: Powers & Functions

Election Commission of India- Functions and Working. The Constitution of India ushered in a democratic republic for the free people of the country. The founding fathers of the Constitution took solemn care to devote a special chapter to elections niched safely in Part XV of the Constitution. Superintendence , direction, and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission.

It is inherent in a democratic set up that the agency which is entrusted the task of holding elections to the legislatures should be fully insulated so that it can function as an independent agency free from external pressures from the party in power or executive of the day. This objective is achieved by the setting up of an Election Commission, a permanent body, under Art 1 of the constitution. The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir also reposed faith in the Election Commission, created as aforesaid under Art of the Constitution of India, and entrusted the task of holding elections to the State Legislature of Jammu and Kashmir to the same Commission, instead of creating a separate State commission which it could do under its own constitution s of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution.

Until October , there was just one Chief Election Commissioner. In , two Election Commissioners were appointed, but were removed again in January In , however, the Parliament of India passed a law providing for the appointment of two Election Commissioners. The two Election Commissioners are S. Quraishi and former Power Secretary V. The Constitution does not prescribe any qualifications, academic or otherwise, for appointment to these offices.

However, by convention, only senior civil servants, either serving or retired, of the rank of the cabinet secretary or secretary to the Government of India or of an equivalent rank have been appointed as the Chief Election Commissioner and election commissioners so far.

In Bhagwati Prashad Dixit Ghorewala v. Rajiv Gandhi[6], it was contended that as the Chief Election Commissioner is placed at par with a judge of the Supreme Court in the matter of his removability from office under the Constitution, for his appointment also he should possess qualifications similar to that of a judge of the Supreme Court.

However, the Supreme Court rejected. The Chief Election Commissioner may be removed from his office in like manner and on the like grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court. It means the Chief Election Commissioner may be removed from office by Parliament by passing a resolution to that effect, passed by special majority on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity.

The Election Commission shall consist of a chief Election Commissioner and such other Commissioners as the President may, from time to time, fix. Salary of chief election commissioner is same as justice of Supreme Court of India. All three commissioners have same right of taking a decision. Tenure of commissioners is 6 years or up to age of 65, whichever is earlier. The Election Commission of India has completed more than elections.

The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only on the like manner and on like grounds as a judge of Supreme Court.

Election Machinery The Commission has a separate Secretariat at New Delhi, consisting of about officials, in a hierarchical set up. Two Deputy Election Commissioners who are the senior most officers in the Secretariat assist the Commission.

They are generally appointed from the national civil service of the country and are selected and appointed by the Commission with tenure. There is functional and territorial distribution of work in the Commission. The work is organised in Divisions, Branches and sections; each of the last mentioned units is in charge of a Section Officer.

The territorial work is distributed among separate units responsible for different Zones into which the 35 constituent States and Union Territories of the country are grouped for convenience of management. At the State level, the election work is supervised, subject to overall superintendence, direction and control of the Commission, by the Chief Electoral Officer of the State, who is appointed by the Commission from amongst senior civil servants proposed by the concerned State government.

He is, in most of the States, a full time officer and has a team of supporting staff. At the district and constituency levels, the District Election Officers, Electoral Registration Officers and Returning Officers, who are assisted by a large number of junior functionaries, perform election work.

They all perform their functions relating to elections in addition to their other responsibilities. During election time, however, they are available to the Commission, more or less, on a full time basis. The gigantic task force for conducting a countrywide general election consists of nearly five million polling personnel and civil police forces. This huge election machinery is deemed to be on deputation to the Election Commission and is subject to its control, superintendence and discipline during the election period, extending over a period of one and half to two months.

This proposal did not find favour with the Goswami Committee on Electoral Reforms in Thus, the expenditure of the Commission continues to be voted by Parliament, despite the reiteration of its proposal by the Election Commission from time to time and in its latest proposals in July The Commission shall also have the power to require any person including Government Officials subject to any privilege which may be claimed that person under lawbj for the time being in force, to furnish information on such points or matters as in the opinion of the Commission may be useful for, or relevant to, the subject matter of enquiry.

The Commission shall be deemed to be a civil court and when any such offence, as is described in Section , Section , Section , Section or Section of the Indian Penal Code Central Act 45of , is committed in the view or presence of the Commission, the Commission may, after recording the facts constituting the offence and the Statement of the accused as provided for in the code of Criminal Procedure, Central Act 2 of , forward the case to a Magistrate having jurisdiction to try the same and the Magistrate to whom any such case is forwarded shall proceed to hear the complaint against the accused as if the case had been forwarded to him under Section of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Any proceeding before the Commission shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of Section and Section of the Indian penal Code, Central Act 45 of Similar provisions are made in the Kerala Municipality Act also under Section Changes In The Composition From Time To Time The Constitution makers left it to the President to decide whether the Election Commission should be a single member body or a multi—member body, depending upon the exigencies of work in the Commission.

Since, under the Constitution, the President functions on the aid and advice of the council of ministers, thus, in effect, it is the council of ministers headed by the Prime Minister which ultimately decides about the composition of the Election Commission. Since the time of inception the Election Commission worked as a single member body consisting of only the Chief Election Commissioner. However, on 7 October , the President, in exercise of the powers under art 2 , decided to make the Election Commission a multi—member body and, by a notification issued on that day, fixed, until further orders, the number of election commissioners at two besides the Chief Election Commissioner.

On the same day, by another notification issued in exercise of the powers conferred by aft 5 , the President made rules to regulate the uomliiions of service and tenure of office of the election commissioners.

These conditions laid down, among other things, that an election commissioner shall hold office for a term of five years or until he retains the age of 65 years, whichever happens earlier. However, on 1 ]anuary , the President was pleased to convert the Election Commission again into a single member body and rescinded both the notifications dated 7 and 16 October , whereby he had fixed the number of election commissioners at two, and appointed Shri SS Dhanoa and Sh VS Seigell as the election commissioners.

Shri Dhanoa challenged this decision of the President before the Supreme Court, contending, inter alia, that, once appointed, an election commissioner continued in office for his full tenure as determined by rules under art 5 and that the President had no power to cut short the tenure so fixed. It was also urged that the Election Commission being an independent body, its independent functioning could not be eroded in any manner by removing the two election commissioners.

The Supreme Court further observed that the creation and abolition of posts is the prerogative of the executive, and art 2 leaves it to the President to fix and appoint such number of election commissioners as he may from time to time determine. The power of the President to create the posts is unfettered, so is his power to reduce or abolish them.

With the abolition of the posts, the service rules pertaining to those posts also ceased to have effect and, therefore, the petitioner could not validly claim to continue for the full tenure as fixed by those service rules. The Division Bench of the Supreme Court also observed that the framers of the Constitution did not appear to give the same status to the election commissioners as that of the Chief Election Commissioner and that the latter did not appear to be primus inter partes, i. By this Act, as aforesaid, the tenure of the Chief Election Commissioner and election commissioners, if appointed, was fixed as six years, but the Chief Election Commissioner was to retire at the age of 65 years and was given the salary and other perquisites equal to that of a judge of the Supreme Court, and the election commissioners were to retire at the age of 62 years and were to be given the salary and other benefits as are available to a judge of a high court.

Shri TN Seshan, the then Chief Election Commissioner, challenged before the Supreme Court, the above decision of the President to make the Election Commission a multi—member body and the appointment of the two election commissioners as mala fide, alleging that the intention behind the move was to sideline him and to erode his authority so that the ruling party at the Centre could extract favourable orders by using the services of newly appointed election commissioners. He also questioned the constitutional validity of the above-mentioned amendments as made by the aforesaid Ordinance, on the ground that the same were inconsistent with the scheme underlying art and that Parliament had no power to frame rules for transaction of business of the Election Commission.

By further order dated 15 December , the matter was referred to a Constitution Bench, as it involved interpretation of art The Supreme Court, dismissing the above petitions, held that the scheme of art is that the Election Commission can either be a single member body or a multi—member body, if the President considers it necessary to appoint one or more election commissioners.

The argument that a multi- member Election Commission would be unworkable and should not, therefore, be appointed could not be accepted as that would tantamount to destroying or nullifying ell 2 and 3 of art By aft 1 , the Constitution makers entrusted the task of conducting elections in the country to the Election Commission and not to an individual.

The Commission discharges a public function. The election commissioners form part of the Commission and, therefore, they must have a say in decision making. If the Chief Election Commissioner is considered to be superior in the sense that his word is final, he would render the election commissioners non—functional or ornamental.

Such an intention is difficult to cull out from art and it is not possible to accept the argument that the function of the election commissioners is only to tender advice to the Chief Election Commissioner.

The Chief Election Commissioner does not enjoy a status superior to election commissioners, only because the first proviso to cl 5 of Art lays down that conditions of service of the Chief Election Commissioner cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment and because such protection is not extended to the election commissioners. Similarly, the protection given to the Chief Election Commissioner in the matter of his removal from office in like manner and on the like grounds as of a Judge of the Supreme Court and the absence of such protection to election commissioners, who can be removed on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner, is not an indicia for conferring a higher status on the Chief Election Commissioner.

The provision that the election commissioners can be removed only on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner does not make them subordinate to the latter, but is intended to ensure their independence and that they are not at the mercy of the political and executive bosses of the day. This check on the executives power to remove, is built to safeguard the independence of not only these functionaries, but the Election Commission as a body.

The Chief Election Commissioner cannot exercise his power to recommend the removal of the election commissioners as per his whim and caprice, and has to exercise this power only when there exist valid reasons, which are conducive to efficient functioning of the Commission, as otherwise he would become an instrument of oppression and destroy the independence of the election commissioners. As art envisages the Election Commission to be a permanent body to be headed by a permanent incumbent, namely, the Chief Election Commissioner, in order to preserve and safeguard his independence, he has to be treated differently, as there cannot be an Election Commission without a Chief Election Commissioner.

But that is not the case with the other election commissioners who are not intended to be permanent incumbents. And if it is a multi—member body, he is obliged to act as its Chairman. Further, the Supreme Court proceeded to observe that the function of the Chairman would be to preside over meetings, preserve order, conduct the business of the day, ensure that precise decisions are taken and correctly recorded and do all that is necessary for smooth transaction of business.

The Supreme Court also upheld the power of Parliament to make provisions for the transaction of business of the Election Commission under cl. The Supreme Court also observed that even if it is assumed that the Commission alone was competent to lay down how it would transact its business, it would be required to follow the same pattern of decision-making by the rule of majority as has been set out in the impugned law.

The Supreme Court saw no merit in the allegations of mala fide against the government and rejected them. Thus, the Election Commission is now functioning, since 1 October , as a three-member body comprising the Chief Election Commissioner and two election commissioners. The Election Commission, in its views on electoral reforms as communicated to the Government of India in July and reiterated in July , has expressed satisfaction with the present set up and recommended that its strength may be permanently fixed at three.

The Commission has further recommended that the election commissioners should also be extended the same protection under the Constitution in the matter of their conditions of service and removability from office as is available to the Chief Election Commissioner.

Originally, the Constitution also vested in the Election Commission the responsibility of appointment of election tribunals for the decision of doubts and disputes arising out of or in connection with elections to Parliament and to the legislatures of the States [Art 1 , as originally enacted]. Accordingly, Art 1 was amended by the Constitution Nineteenth Amendment Act , to relieve the Commission of the Function of appointing election tribunals.

Chief Election Commissioner and Ors[12]. In this case, the Election Commission had declared the poll taken in Firozepur parliamentary constituency in the State of Punjab at the time of the general election to the House of the People as void, on the basis of certain complaints.

The petitioners contended that the Election Commission under the enacted law could only direct fresh poll at the polling stations where the poll was allegedly vitiated, and not in the entire parliamentary constituency. The Supreme Court rejected the contention of the petitioners. The responsibility of superintendence, direction and control of the conduct of elections may cover powers, duties and functions of many sorts, administrative or other depending upon the circumstances.

Article , on the Face of it, vests vast functions in the Commission which may be powers or duties, essentially administrative, and marginally, even judicative or legislative. Two limitations are atleast are, however, laid on its plenary character in the exercise of its powers. First, when parliament or any State legislature has made valid law relating to or in connection with relations , the commission shall act in conformity with, not in violation of, such law.

But where such law is silent, Art is a reservoir of power for the Commission to act for the avowed purpose of pushing forward, but not divorced from, a free and fair election with expedition. Secondly, the Commission shall be responsible to the rule of law, act bona fide and be amenable to the norms of natural justice in so far as conformance to such canons can reasonably and realistically be required of it as fair play-in- action in a most important area of the constitutional order, namely; Elections.

The Court observed that: The framers of the Constitution took care to leaving scope for exercise of residuary power by the Election Commission in its own right, as a creature of the Constitution, in the infinite variety of situations that may emerge from time to time in such a large democracy as ours.

Every contingency could not be foreseen or anticipated with precision. That is why there is no hedging in Art The Commission may be required to cope with some situation which may not be provided for in the enacted laws and the rules.

Election Commission of India: Powers, Functions and Responsibilities

Election Commission of India- Functions and Working. The Constitution of India ushered in a democratic republic for the free people of the country. The founding fathers of the Constitution took solemn care to devote a special chapter to elections niched safely in Part XV of the Constitution. Superintendence , direction, and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission. It is inherent in a democratic set up that the agency which is entrusted the task of holding elections to the legislatures should be fully insulated so that it can function as an independent agency free from external pressures from the party in power or executive of the day. This objective is achieved by the setting up of an Election Commission, a permanent body, under Art 1 of the constitution. The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir also reposed faith in the Election Commission, created as aforesaid under Art of the Constitution of India, and entrusted the task of holding elections to the State Legislature of Jammu and Kashmir to the same Commission, instead of creating a separate State commission which it could do under its own constitution s of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution.

The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India at national and state level. The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha , Rajya Sabha , state Legislative Assemblies , state legislative Councils and the offices of the President and Vice President of the country. It's a permanent constitutional body. Two additional Commissioners were appointed to the commission for the first time on 16 October on the eve of the General Election , but they had a very short tenure, ending on 1 January The commission is served by its secretariat located in New Delhi. At the district and constituency levels, the District Magistrates in their capacity as District Election Officers , Electoral Registration Officers and Returning Officers perform election work. The Chief Election Commissioner of India can be removed from their office in a manner similar to the removal of a judge of the Supreme Court of India which requires a resolution passed by the Parliament of India a two-thirds majority in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on the grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.


Election Commission Of India – Power And Functions Of Election Commission of India. • Election Commission of India is a permanent Constitutional body.


Election Commission of India

T he Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India. By ECI edited. India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic. The concept of democracy as visualised by the Constitution pre-supposes the representation of the people in Parliament and State legislatures by the method of election. The Supreme Court has held that democracy is one of the inalienable basic features of the Constitution of India and forms part of its basic structure.

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Updated on Jan 04, - PM. The ECI was set up on January 25 , with the aim of defining and controlling the multi-tiered election process in our country. The multi-member ECI works on the power of majority vote. ECI plays a crucial role in organising elections. The most significant role of the Election Commission of India is to ensure free and fair elections as per the norms and the Model Code of Conduct.

WHAT IS ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA (ECI)?

Election Commission is the constitutional authority responsible for controlling and regulating elections at various levels i. It is an independent regulatory authority in India. There shall be Chief Election Commissioner and the other Election Commissioners which are appointed by President will be according to the need of time.

CONSTITUENCIES & RESERVATION OF SEATS

Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies. Also, discuss the issues regarding the independence and impartiality of the ECI. The question is straightforward and is based on the topic of ECI and related issues. Explain the powers and functions of the Election Commission of India ECI and discuss the issues regarding the independence and impartiality of it. Discuss — This is an all-encompassing directive — you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments. The Election Commission is a permanent and an independent body established by the Constitution of India directly to ensure free and fair elections.

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Election commission of India ( EIC )

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1 Response
  1. Teodomiro S.

    The powers and functions of the Election Commission of India are derived from. Article of the Indian Constitution, the legislation relating to the elections and.

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