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Election Commissioner

Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

Election Commissioner:


Context:

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Anup Chandra Pandey has been appointed as the new Election Commissioner. 

  • The appointment of Pandey will restore the poll panel to its full strength as a three-member commission.

About Election commission of India:

The constitution under article 324 provides for an Election Commission for the superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for the conduct of elections to parliament, state legislatures and to the offices of president and vice president.

  • It was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950 (celebrated as national voters’ day).

Composition Election commission of India:

The constitution provides for the following provisions in relation to the composition of the election commission:

  1. The election commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and a such number of other election commissioners, if any, as the president may from time to time fix.
  2. The appointment of the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners shall be made by the president.
  3. When any other election commissioner is so appointed the chief election commissioner shall act as the chairman of the election commission.
  4. The president may also appoint after consultation with the election commission such regional commissioners as he may consider necessary to assist the election commission.
  5. The conditions of service and tenure of office of the election commissioners and the regional commissioners shall be such as the President may by rule determine.

CEC vs ECs:

Though the Chief Election Commissioner is the chairman of the election commission, however, his powers are equal to the other election commissioners. All the matters in the commission are decided by the majority amongst its members. The Chief Election Commissioner and the two other election commissioners receive equal salary, allowances and other benefits.

Tenure:

The Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners hold office for 6 years or till they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

Removal:

They can resign anytime or can also be removed before the expiry of their term.

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

Limitations:

  1. The Constitution has not prescribed the qualifications (legal, educational, administrative or judicial) of the members of the Election Commission.
  2. The Constitution has not debarred the retiring election commissioners from any further appointment by the government.

 

Insta Curious:

Have you heard of A-WEB(Association of World Election Bodies)? Is India a member ? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Article 243 vs 324, similarities and differences in powers of state election commissions vs Election Commission of India.
  2. Appeals against decisions of Election Commissions.
  3. Elections to Parliament and state legislatures vs Local Bodies.

Mains Link:

Are the State Election Commissions in India as independent as the Election Commission of India? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.