Shri Rajiv Kumar today assumed charge as the 25th Chief Election Commissioner of India. Shri Rajiv Kumar has been serving in ECI as Election Commissioner since September 1, 2020. During his tenure as Election Commissioner, elections have been held for State Assemblies of Bihar in 2020, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal.
|Utility: UPSC, JPSC, BPSC Prelims & Mains
Section: Polity (Governance) : Appointments
About Election Commissioner of India
- The Election Commission is a permanent and independent body established by the
- The Constitution of India directly ensures free and fair elections in the country.
- Article 324 of the Constitution provides that the power of superintendence, direction, and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of president of India, and the office of vice-president of India shall be vested in the election commission.
- Thus, the Election Commission is an all-India body in the sense that it is common to both the Central government and the state governments.
- It must be noted here that the election commission is not concerned with the elections to panchayats and municipalities in the states.
- For this, the Constitution of India provides for a separate State Election Commission.
- Article 324 of the Constitution has made the following provisions:
- 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.
- The appointment of the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners shall be made by the president.
- The chief election commissioner shall act as the chairman of the election commission.
- Since 1993, the Election Commission has been functioning as a multi-member body consisting of three election commissioners.
- The chief election commissioner and the two other election commissioners have equal powers.
- In case of a difference of opinion amongst the Chief Election Commissioner and/or two other election commissioners, the matter is decided by the Commission by the majority.
- They hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- The chief election commissioner is provided with the security of tenure.
- He cannot be removed from his office except in the same manner and on the same grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court.
- Any other election commissioner or a regional commissioner cannot be removed from office except on the recommendation of the chief election commissioner.
- Note: The Constitution has not prescribed the qualifications (legal, educational, administrative or judicial) of the members of the Election Commission
Powers and functions
- To determine the territorial areas of the electoral constituencies throughout the country on the basis of the Delimitation Commission Act of Parliament.
- To prepare and periodically revise electoral rolls.
- To notify the dates and schedules of elections.
- To grant recognition to political parties and allot election symbols to them.
- To act as a court for settling disputes related to granting of recognition to political parties.
- To determine the code of conduct.
- To advise the president on matters relating to the disqualifications of the members of Parliament.
- To advise the governor on matters relating to the disqualifications of the members of the state legislature.
- To cancel polls in the event of rigging.
- To advise 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.