New Election Commissioner appointed
#GS2 #POLITY #ELECTION COMISSION #POWERS AND FUNCTIONS
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- Recently, President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday appointed Anup Chandra Pandey, a retired Uttar Pradesh-cadre IAS officer, to the post of Election Commissioner.
- Following the elevation of Sushil Chandra because the CEC, the position of an EC was vacant since April 13.
About the election commission of India:
- It was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950 (celebrated as national voters' day). The secretariat of the commission is in New Delhi .
- The election commission of India (ECI) is an autonomous constitutional authority liable for administering Union and State election processes in India
- The body allocates elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies in India, and also the offices of the President and vice chairman within the country.
- It has jurisdiction concerned with the elections to panchayats and municipalities within the states. For this, the Constitution of India provides for a separate State election commission.
What is the Structure of ECI:
- Originally the commission had just one election commissioner but after the Election Commissioner Amendment Act 1989, it's been made a multi-member body
- The election commission shall contains the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and such number of other election commissioners, if any, because 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.
- 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 one to be ineligible for inclusion in, or to say to be included during 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 supported adult suffrage.
- Article 327: Power of Parliament to form provision with reference to elections to Legislatures.
- Article 328: Power of Legislature of a State to form provision with reference to elections to such Legislature.
- Article 329: Bar to interference by courts in electoral matters.
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 an equivalent status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court (SC) of India.
- They can resign anytime or also can be removed before the expiry of their term.
- The CEC are often faraway from office only through a process of removal almost like that of a SC judge by Parliament.
Procedure of Removal
- Judges of High Courts and SC, CEC, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) could also be faraway 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 quite 50% of the entire strength of the house.
- The Constitution doesn't use the word ‘impeachment’, for the removal of the judges, CAG, CEC.
- The term ‘Impeachment’ is only used for removing the President which needs the special majority of 2/3rd members of the entire strength of both the homes which isn't used elsewhere.
- The Constitution has not prescribed the qualifications (legal, educational, administrative or judicial) of the members of the election commission.
- The Constitution has not specified the term of the members of the election commission.
- The Constitution has not debarred the retiring election commissioners from any longer appointment by the govt .
Powers and Functions of ECI:
- To determine the territorial areas of the electoral constituencies throughout the country on the idea of the Delimitation Commission Act of Parliament.
- To prepare and periodically revise electoral rolls and to register all eligible voters.
- To grant recognition to political parties and allot election symbols to them.
- Election Commission ensures A level playing field for the political parties in election fray, through strict observance by them of a Model Code of Conduct evolved with the consensus of political parties.
2. Advisory Jurisdiction & Quasi-Judicial Functions:
- Under the Constitution, the Commission has advisory jurisdiction within the matter of post election disqualification of sitting members of Parliament and State Legislatures.
- The opinion of the Commission altogether such matters is binding on the President or, because the case may be, the Governor to whom such opinion is tendered.
- Further, the cases of persons found guilty of corrupt practices at elections which precede the SC and High Courts also are mentioned the Commission for its opinion on the question on whether such person shall be disqualified and, if so, for what period.
- The Commission has the facility to disqualify a candidate who has did not lodge an account of his election expenses within the time and within the manner prescribed by law.
SOURCE: THE HINDU