Election Commission of India (ECI)

Election Commission of India (ECI)

Election Commission of India (ECI)

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is an autonomous constitutional authority.  It is responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India. ECI is also responsible to administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies in India. The ECI of India also administers the election in the offices of the President and Vice President in the country. 

Present Chief Election Commissioner: Sushil Chandra

Election Commissioners: Rajiv Kumar & Anup Chandra Pandey  

ECI & Indian Constitution

The ECI was established on 25th January 1950. It is Part XV of the Indian constitution, that deals with elections and election commission. Article 324 to 329 of the Indian Constitution describes the powers, function, tenure, eligibility, etc of the commission and the member.The important article related to ECI are: 

  • 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.

Structure of ECI

  • The Election Commission of India Consist of three members, one Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
  • The Election Commissioner Amendment Act 1989 has made ECI a multi-member body, originally the commission is a single-member body. 
  • The secretariat of the Election Commission of India is located in New Delhi.
  • There is an IAS rank Officer in the state level election commission as Chief Electoral Officer.
  • The Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners were appointed by the President of India.  
  • They have a fixed tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • The Commissioners enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court of India.
  • The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through a process of removal similar to that of a Supreme Court judge for by Parliament.

Functions of ECI

  • 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.
  • Decide the election schedules for the conduct of periodic and timely elections.
  • Preparation of the electoral roll.
  • Issuing Electronic Photo Identity Card (EPIC).
  • Decides the location of polling stations, assignment of voters to the polling stations, location of counting centres, arrangements to be made in and around polling stations and counting centres and all allied matters.
  • Recognising political parties & allot of election symbols.
  • Advisory jurisdiction in the matter of post-election disqualification of sitting members..
  • Issuing Model Code of Conduct in election for political parties.
  • Sets limits of campaign expenditure per candidate.

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