What is the Election Commission of India and Its Role? Power and Functions

Posted on May 29th, 2021
Election Commission of India
Election Commission of India


What is the Election Commission of India (ECI)?

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is the creation of the Constitution. According to Article 324, the ECI reserves the right to oversee, direct and control all elections to Parliament, State Assemblies, and the President and Vice President.

The article interprets the courts and the orders of the Election Commission from time to time, which means that the power contained therein is absolute. When elections are held, it is seen as unlimited and unconditional.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is an autonomous constitutional body that oversees the electoral process in India under the Constitution of India. ECI was established on January 25, 1950, with the objective of defining and regulating the multi-level electoral process in our country.

The Election Commission manages the electoral process from the President of India to the State Legislative Assembly. According to Article 324 of the Constitution of India, the ECI oversees and directs the electoral process of each state, parliament, and legislature, as well as the office of the President and Vice President.


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What is the Structure of ECI?

The ECI consists of the Chief Election Commissioner and two other Election Commissioners. The multi-member Election Commission operates on the strength of a majority vote.

How is the Appointment and tenure of Commissioners in ECI?

i. The Chief EC and the Election Commissioner are appointed by the President.

ii. Each holds offices for 6 years or up to 65 years, whichever comes first.

iii. They receive the same salary and allowances as Supreme Court judges.

iv. The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only on the recommendation of the President with the support of Parliament.

v. Only the Chief Election Commissioner can remove the Election Commissioner or the Regional Commissioner from office.

What are the judicial powers of ECI?

i. The Election Commission has the power to advise on the disqualification of existing Members of Parliament and the State Legislative Assembly after elections.

ii. Cases in which the Supreme Court or the High Court is found guilty of election malpractice are referred to the ECI for comment on the disqualification of the individual. In such cases, the decision passed by the ECI is final and within the jurisdiction of the President or Governor of India.

iii. The Election Commission has the power to prohibit any candidate from violating the law by not recording the election expenditure figures till the time limit.

iv. By law, the ECI can remove or reduce the disqualification period.

What are the Administrative powers of ECI?

i. Allocate local areas for constituencies in the country

ii. Organize and update the voter list and register eligible voters

iii. Check the nomination papers for the election date and schedule

iv. Identify political parties and give them election symbols.

ECI appoints the following seats:

i. Chief Electoral Officer

ii. District Election Officer

iii. Returning Officer

iv. Electoral Registration Officer

What is the role of the Election Commission?

Role of the Election Commission in India
Role of the Election Commission in India

The ECI plays an important role in organizing elections. The most important role of the Election Commission of India is to ensure free and fair elections in accordance with the norms and code of conduct. It is responsible for monitoring the activities and activities of political parties and candidates.

What are the activities of the Election Commission?

i. The ECI is responsible for free and fair elections

ii. This ensures that political parties and candidates follow a model code of conduct

iii. Regulates parties and registers according to eligibility to run in elections

iv. Prescribes and monitors promotional spending limits for each party and each candidate.

v. All political parties are required to submit an annual report to the ECI to claim tax benefits for donations.

vi. Assurance that all political parties submit regularly audited financial reports.

The main functions of the Election Commission are:

i. Oversee, control and conduct all elections to Parliament and State Legislatures

ii. Set general rules for elections.

iii. Prepare voter list

iv. Determine the local distribution of constituencies

v. Give credit to political parties.

vi. Allow election signs for political parties or candidates

vii. Appoint tribunals to consider doubts and disputes arising out of elections to Parliament and the State Legislature.

What is the ECI Power Source?

i. Constitution: The ECI derives its powers and functions from Article 324 of the Constitution.

ii. Supreme Court verdict: Supreme Court Mohinder Singh Gill Vs. The Chief Election Commissioner stated in 1978. .

iii. Model Code of Conduct: The Model Code of Conduct issued by the Election Commission is a set of guidelines to be followed by political parties, candidates, and governments during elections.

iv. The code is based on consensus between political parties. The Code of Conduct for Political Parties drafted by the Government of Kerala in 1960 for the Assembly elections can trace its origins.

v. It was approved, revised, and expanded by the ECI in later years and has been strictly implemented since 1991.

Freedom of the ECI: The independence of the ECI is protected by the provisions of the Constitution which state that the Chief Election Commissioner cannot be removed from office except in the manner prescribed for the removal of a Supreme Court Judge.

In addition, his terms of service may not vary to the detriment of the current person upon appointment.

What is the Model Code of Conduct?

Election Commission model code of conduct
Election Commission model code of conduct

In the fifth general election in 1971, the Election Commission first issued a model code of conduct for political parties. Thereafter, the Code is revised from time to time, and guidelines are drawn up on how political parties and candidates should behave during elections.

From the time the Commission announces the election, ministers and other officials can make appointments to anyone in government and public institutions to announce financial aid or promise to build roads, which may have the effect of influencing voters in favor of the ruling party.

Despite the adoption of the Code of Conduct by political parties, cases of violation continue to rise. It is a common complaint that the party in power at the time of the election is abusing the official formalities to advance the electoral prospects of the candidates. The misuse of government machinery takes various forms, including the distribution of advertisements at the expense of the public treasury, the misuse of official social media to propagate political news in a biased manner during election periods, the propaganda of their achievements, and the misuse of public transportation, including aircraft, Helicopter, vehicle.

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