Published on: October 20, 2021



What is in news : Election Commission of India halts the Dalit Bandhu scheme in Huzurabad Assembly constituency citing the October 30 byelection.


  • Act appropriately according to its volition when there arises a surprise situation, in relation to the conduct of an election, on which already enacted laws are silent. Article 324, which gives this power to the ECI, is a plenary provision, enabling it to enact necessary provisions for dealing with a previously unknown state of affair. This power is available, unless and until the existing parliamentary laws are not transgressed.
  • Determine whether a registered political party is in the status of National party or Regional party.
  • Setting limit on expenses of poll. This limit is revised from time to time. This power is given with a view to secure fair elections by curbing the undue advantage, which may be gained by wealthy candidates.
  • Seek information from candidates regarding expenses made during election. In order to exercise this power the commission appoints officers from Indian Revenue Service designated as Expenditure Observers, who will have a check on the individual account of election expenditure.
  • Publish all particulars of a candidate, which are relevant to the election.
  • Forbid circulation of publication of voting trends like opinion polls or exit polls.
  • Decriminalize politics by putting lifetime ban on convicted politicians, thereby preventing those from criminal background to contest in elections. This has been envisaged in Articles 102 and 191 of the Indian Constitution along with sections 7(b), 8 to 10-A of the Representation of People Act, 1956.
  • Under certain circumstances has the power to postpone the date of election

Rights of Election Commission of India:

  • Decide the schedule of elections.
  • Article 324 of the Indian Constitution explicitly provides the right to maintain electoral rolls to the ECI.
  • ECI only will allot symbols to political parties. Some symbols are identified as reserved while others as free. The reserved symbols will be allotted only to candidates who belong to a recognized political party while free symbols are available to other candidates. The Supreme Court has held that, ECI will be the adjudicating authority and will act as a tribunal in relation to disputes regarding symbols.
  • direct re-polls. Article 324 confers on the ECI, the powers to countermand a poll because of hooliganism and breakdown of law and order at the time of polling or counting of votes within 10 days from the last date of filing the returns.
  • After a sitting member of the Parliament or State Legislature has been found guilty of malpractices during election by the Supreme Court or High Court, the ECI has the right to give opinion as to whether such person should be disqualified or not.
  • By virtue of Articles 103 and 192 of the Indian Constitution, the ECI has the right to give opinion to the President and Governor respectively on matters relating to disqualification of sitting members of Parliament and State Legislature.
  • remove or reduce the period of disqualification of any member of legislature from contesting elections according to law existing at that time.
  • quasi-judicial function of settling merger disputes between political parties. The commission is a tribunal in such cases and appeal against any of its order will lie before Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution of India.


Dalit Bandhu scheme is a flagship programme introduced by the government of Telangana. It is a welfare scheme that aims at empowering and promoting the welfare of Dalits in the state.