CHEIF ELECTION COMMISSIONER
What is the news : Union government has appointed Anup Chandra Pandey, as Election Commissioner.
About the Election Commission of India:
The Election Commission of India (ECI) –
- Is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes.
- Was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950 (celebrated as national voters’ day). The secretariat of the commission is located in New Delhi.
- Body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country.
- 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)
- Part XV (Article 324-329) of the Indian Constitution: It deals with elections, and establishes a commission for these matters.
- Article 324: Superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission.
- Article 325: No person to be ineligible for inclusion in, or to claim to be included in a special, electoral roll on grounds of religion, race, caste or sex.
- Article 326: Elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assemblies of States to be on the basis of adult suffrage.
- Article 327: Power of Parliament to make provision with respect to elections to Legislatures.
- Article 328: Power of Legislature of a State to make provision with respect to elections to such Legislature.
- Article 329: Bar to interference by courts in electoral matters.
Structure of ECI:
- Originally the commission had only one election commissioner but after the Election Commissioner Amendment Act 1989, it has been made a multi-member body
- The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and such number of other election commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix.
- Presently, it consists of the CEC and two Election Commissioners.
- At the state level, the election commission is helped by the Chief Electoral Officer who is an IAS rank Officer.
Appointment & Tenure of Commissioners:
- The President appoints CEC and Election Commissioners.
- They have a fixed tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court (SC) of India.
- They can resign anytime or can also be removed before the expiry of their term.
- The CEC can be removed from office only through a process of removal similar to that of a SC judge by Parliament.
Procedure of Removal
- Judges of High Courts and SC, CEC, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) may be removed from office through a motion adopted by Parliament on grounds of ‘proved misbehaviour or incapacity’.
- Removal requires a special majority of 2/3rd members present and voting supported by more than 50% of the total strength of the house.