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Election Commission of India, Articles, Functions, Powers, Provisions

Election Commissioner of India Latest Update

Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu were recently appointed as Election Commissioners in India on 14th March 2024. Both were chosen by a high-powered Selection Panel which is chaired by Prime Minister Modi, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury submitted a dissent note, saying shortlisted names were shared with him just 10 minutes before the meeting.

Previous Roles of Newly Appointed Election Commissioner of India: Both are retired IAS officers

  • Gyanesh Kumar: Former Union Secretary for Cooperation
  • Sukhbir Singh Sandhu: Former Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand

The President of India, in a statement issued from Rashtrapati Bhavan (the President’s House), has announced the appointment of Gyanesh Kumar (Retd. IAS) and Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu (Retd. IAS) as Election Commissioners. Their assumption of office will occur upon formally assuming their duties.

This announcement signifies the initial appointments made under recent legislation. The “Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Act, 2023” was enacted by the government in December of the preceding year.

Election Commissioner Arun Goel Resigned

Election Commissioner Arun Goel resigned citing “personal reasons”, leaving the Election Commission with only Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar. His departure just before the anticipated announcement of Lok Sabha election dates has raised concerns about the selection process for his replacement.

Congress leaders criticized the timing, questioning the impact on democratic institutions. Trinamool Congress expressed concerns about the impending vacancies in the poll panel. The appointment process involves a search committee shortlisting candidates, followed by selection by a committee led by the Prime Minister. Mr. Goel’s resignation highlights ongoing debates about the independence and integrity of India’s electoral processes.

Read this article below to get more information about the Election Commission of India (ECI), its functions, Constitutional Provisions and many more.

Election Commission of India (ECI)

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is a constitutional body responsible for administering and regulating elections in India. It was established on January 25, 1950, under Article 324 of the Constitution of India. The ECI is an autonomous body, and its independence is guaranteed by the Constitution.

The administration of the Union and State election procedures in India is the purview of the Election Commission of India, an independent Constitutional Body. The organisation oversees elections for the President and Vice President of India as well as the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies. This article will discuss the Election Commission of India, its powers and responsibilities, and more.

Election Commission of India Overview

Aspect Details
Formation Established on January 25, 1950
Constitutional Body Yes
Constitutional Basis Article 324 of the Constitution of India
Headquarters New Delhi, India
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar
Election Commissioners Shri Gyanesh Kumar, IAS (Retd.) and

Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, IAS (Retd.)

Tenure of CEC Six years or until the age of 65, whichever is earlier
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Constitutional Provisions of Election Commission of India

  • The Part XV of the Constitution of India addresses and deals with elections and creates a commission to handle these issues.
  • On January 25, 1950, the Election Commission was constituted in conformity with the Constitution.
  • The constitution’s Articles 324 to 329 deal with the commission’s and the member’s authority, function, tenure, eligibility, etc.

Read More: Electoral System in India

Constitutional Provisions Related to Election Commission of India

The following are some of the important constitutional provisions of the Election Commission of India:

Article Detail
324 Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission.
325 No one shall be excluded from or assert a claim to inclusion in a special electoral roster on the basis of their religion, race, caste, or sex.
326 Adult suffrage will be used as the foundation for elections to the House of People and state legislative assemblies.
327 Power of Parliament to make provisions with respect to elections to Legislatures.
328 A state’s legislature has the authority to create rules governing the elections for that legislature.


329 Preventing judges from meddling in electoral processes.

Read More: Parts of Indian Constitution

Election Commission of India’s Role and Responsibilities

The ECI is responsible for conducting elections to the following bodies:

The Election Commission is a permanent constitutional body and one of the main constitutional bodies in India. On January 25th, 1950, it was founded in conformity with the Constitution. The Constitution has granted this body oversight, guidance, and authority over the entire election-related process.

The Commission’s duties and authority with regard to the presidential, vice presidential, state legislative, and parliamentary elections are broken down into three categories

  • Administrative
  • Advisory
  • Quasi-judicial

Functions of Election Commission of India

Here are some of the important functions of the Election Commission of India:

  • To prepare and maintain electoral rolls
  • To conduct elections to the Parliament of India and state legislatures
  • To supervise the conduct of elections to the office of the President and Vice President of India
  • To regulate the political parties and candidates
  • To settle disputes arising out of the electoral process

Election Commission of India Structural History

  • 1950 till 15 October 1989: The Chief Electoral Commissioner (CEC) was the single member of the Election Commission from the time it was established in 1950 until 15 October 1989.
  • October 16, 1989: The voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 on October 16, 1989. In order to handle the election commission’s increasing workload, the president nominated two additional election commissioners. Since that time, the Election Commission has had more than one member and a total of three election commissioners.
  • January 1990: Later, in January 1990, the two positions of election commissioners were eliminated, returning the Election Commission to its prior status.
  • January 1993: In October 1993, when the president nominated two more election commissioners, this occurred once more. Since that time, the Election Commission has had three commissioners and operates as a multi-member entity.
  • The chief and the other two election commissioners are paid the same as Supreme Court judges and have the same authority and benefits.
  • When the Chief Election Commissioner and/or two other election commissioners disagree on a topic, the Commission must determine by a majority vote.
  • They hold the position for a period of six years or until they are 65, whichever comes first. Before the end of their term, they are also eligible for removal or resignation at any time.

Election Commission of India Composition

  • The following guidelines for the makeup of the election commission are set forth in Article 324 of the Constitution-
  • The Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners are chosen by the President.
  • The CEC serves as the chairman of the Election Commission whenever another EC is constituted.
  • After conferring with the Election Commission, the President may additionally select regional commissioners to support the Commission.
  • The President of the nation will decide on the commissioners’ terms of office and working conditions.

Autonomy of the Election Commission of India

  • The provisions to safeguard and ensure the independent and impartial operation of the Election Commission are listed in Article 324 of The Constitution of India and are as follows.
  • Tenure security is offered to the chief election commissioner. He cannot be dismissed from his position other than using the same procedures and justifications as a Supreme Court judge. In other words, the President has the authority to oust him if both Houses of Parliament pass a resolution to that effect with a special majority, either on the basis of shown misconduct or incapacity.
  • Therefore, despite being selected by the president, he does not hold office until the president so chooses. After being appointed, the chief election commissioner’s employment terms cannot be changed to his detriment.
  • Except on the chief election commissioner’s advice, no other election commissioner or regional commissioner may be dismissed from their positions.
  • The Constitution has not specified the members of the Election Commission’s qualifications (legal, educational, administrative, or judicial), despite the fact that it has endeavoured to safeguard and ensure the independence and impartiality of the Election Commission. The Election Commission members’ terms are not outlined in the Constitution.
  • The Constitution does not prohibit the government from appointing the retiring election commissioners again.

Election Commission of India Powers

  • Using the Delimitation Commission Act of Parliament as a guide, determining the territorial boundaries of the Electoral Constituencies across the nation.
  • Creating electoral rolls, which are then periodically revised, and enrolling all eligible voters.
  • Distributing election schedules and dates and reviewing nomination forms.
  • The process of recognizing political parties and assigning them electoral insignia.
  • Acting as a court to resolve arguments over the decision to recognize political parties and assign them election symbols.
  • Appoint investigators to look into electoral arrangements complaints.
  • Deciding on the code of behaviour that political parties and candidates would adhere to during elections.
  • Putting together a plan to promote all political parties’ platforms on radio and television during elections.
  • Giving advice to the President regarding issues involving the disqualification of MPs.
  • Advising the governor on issues involving the removal of MLAs from office.
  • Voiding elections in the event of violence, rigging, or other irregularities.
  • Requesting that the President or the Governor requisition the personnel needed to conduct elections.
  • Advising the President to extend the state of emergency after a year by recommending whether elections may be held in a state that is under their control.
  • Political parties’ registration and designation as national or state parties (depending on their poll performance).
  • Deputy election commissioners assist the Commission in carrying out its duties. The Commission appoints the deputy ECs, who are drawn from the civil service. Their tenure is predetermined. The secretaries, deputy secretaries, joint secretaries, and under-secretaries working in the secretariat of the commission provide assistance to them.
  • To oversee and manage the entire process of holding elections for India’s President and Vice-President as well as the legislatures of each State.
  • To select the dates for periodic and timely elections, whether general or bye-elections.
  • To choose the locations of polling places, the distribution of voters among them, the positioning of counting centres, the preparations to be made in and around polling places and counting places, as well as any related issues in order to create the electoral roll and issues Electronic Identity Card with a Photo (EPIC).
  • To recognize political parties, assign them election emblems, and resolve any ensuing problems.
  • To establish and enforce campaign spending caps for each candidate across all political parties
  • To provide guidance about the post-election disqualification of sitting members of the State Legislature and the Parliament.
  • To publish the Model Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidates in the Election to prevent unfair practices and arbitrary power abuse by those in authority.

Importance of Election Commission

  • Since 1952, the ECI has successfully run both national and state elections. To promote increased public participation, the Commission has begun to take a more active role in recent years.
  • The Commission had gone as far as fining political parties and threatening them with de-recognition if they failed to uphold internal party democracy.
  • It maintains the constitutionally defined values of equality, equity, impartiality, and independence as well as the rule of law in overseeing, directing, and controlling election governance.
  • It conducts elections in accordance with the greatest standards of veracity, independence, fairness, transparency, and professionalism.
  • It ensures that all eligible citizens take part in the voting process in a welcoming and inclusive environment.
  • In the interest of the electoral process, it interacts with political parties and all stakeholders.
  • It increases and strengthens confidence and trust in the electoral system of this country by raising an understanding of the electoral process and electoral governance among key stakeholders, including voters, political parties, election officials, candidates, and the general public.

Challenges Faced by Election Commission of India

  • Political criminality has occurred as a result of rising violence and corrupt electoral practices brought on by money, which ECI is powerless to stop.
  • The Election Commission lacks the necessary tools to control political parties. It is powerless to impose internal party democracy or control party finances.
  • ECI’s image has been harmed by the Executive’s increasing dependence on it.
  • The general public’s confidence in ECI is eroded by claims that EVMs are broken, vulnerable to hacking, and incapable of recording votes.
  • The perception that the Election Commission is losing its independence from the Executive in recent years has had an influence on the institution’s reputation.
  • The lack of transparency in the election of the CEC and the other two commissioners, which is dependent on the choice of the presiding government, is one of the key institutional flaws.
  • There have been claims that electronic voting machines (EVMs) have broken down, been compromised, or failed to record votes, undermining public confidence in the institution.

Way Forward

  • The commission’s task is to remain cautious and on the lookout for any cooperation between lower-level civil and police bureaucracies in favour of the current ruling party.
  • The commission must build public trust by establishing (Voter voter-verifiable paper Audit Trail System) VVPATS in an increasing number of constituencies until the concern over EVM flaws dies down.
  • The commission’s mandate and the procedures that support it both need to have additional legal backing.
  • Poor leadership is the plague of our public institutions, as history demonstrates. They need safeguards to make sure moral and competent individuals are in charge.
  • The 2nd ARC report recommended that recommendations for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioners be made by a collegium headed by the Prime Minister, with the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, the Law Minister, and the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha as members.
Other Important Articles
Election Symbols in India Chief Election Commissioner And Other Election Commissioner Bill
Know Your Candidate App for Voters Electoral Bonds
Electoral Reforms in India Remote Electronic Voting Machine
Lok Sabha Election 2024
Model Code of Conduct

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Election Commission of India FAQs

Is the election commissioner an IAS officer?

IAS or IRS personnel in retirement typically serve as the election commissioners.

Who appoints the Election Commission of India?

The Election Commission of India is appointed by the President of India.

Who is India’s first woman Chief Election Commissioner?

V. S. Ramadevi, an Indian politician who lived from 15 January 1934 to 17 April 2013, was the first woman to hold the positions of 9th Chief Election Commissioner of India and 13th Governor of Karnataka from 26 November to 11 December 1990.

Who is the current Chief Election Commissioner of India?

Rajiv Kumar is the current Chief Election Commissioner of India. He is 25th Chief Election Commissioner of India.

What is the tenure of the Election Commission of India?

The period of six years for the Chief Election Commissioner or an Election Commissioner holding office immediately before the passage of this Act must be calculated from the day on which he had taken office for the purposes of this section.

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