Powers and Functions of ECI

Administrative powers

  • To demarcate electoral constituencies in the country on the basis of the Delimitation Commission Act of Parliament.
  • To prepare and periodically update electoral rolls and to register all eligible voters.
  • To notify the dates and schedules of elections and to scrutinise nomination papers.
  • To grant recognition to political parties and allot election symbols to them.
  • To cancel polls in the event of rigging, booth capturing, violence and other irregularities.
  • To supervise the machinery of elections throughout the country to ensure free and fair elections.
  • To register political parties for the purpose of elections and grant them the status of national or state parties on the basis of their poll performance
  • ECI appoints the following seats:
    • Chief Electoral Officer
    • District Election Officer
    • Returning Officer
    • Electoral Registration Officer
  • It regulates the campaign expenditure per candidate of all political parties without any discrimination.

Quasi-Judicial Powers

  • It acts as a court for settling disputes related to granting of recognition to political parties and allotment of election symbols to them.
  • To appoint officers for inquiring into disputes relating to electoral arrangements.
  • It defines a model code of conduct for all political parties and candidates and ensures they adhere to it during election season.

Advisory Powers:

  • It advises the president on matters relating to the disqualifications of the members of Parliament.
  • It advises the governor on matters relating to the disqualifications of the members of state legislature.
  • It advises the president whether elections can be held in a state under president’s rule in order to extend the period of emergency after one year.

Judicial Review:

  • The election commission cannot review any result on its own without a proper election petition filed before the High court or Supreme Court.