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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 11 March, 2023

  • 5 Min Read

Election Commission

Election Commission

Latest Context

  • The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (ECs) will be appointed by the President on the advice provided by a committee made up of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha, and the Chief Justice of India, according to a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court's Constitution Bench (CJI).

About The Verdict

  • According to SC, examining the Constituent Assembly's (CA) deliberations on the nomination of the ECI reveals that every member was unambiguous of the opinion that elections must be run by an impartial Commission.

  • Additionally, the purposeful inclusion of the phrase "subject to the terms of any law established in that behalf by Parliament" shows that CA intended for the parliament to establish standards to control ECI appointment.
  • The President has thus far appointed Chief Election Commissioners and Election Commissioners on the Prime Minister's recommendation.
  • Since the verdict, the selection of Chief Election Commissioners and Election Commissioners has been conducted in a manner comparable to that of the CBI Director.
  • Up till the Parliament passes legislation on the selection of Election Commissioners, the high-powered body would continue to advise the President on the appointment.
  • The action aims to shield the Chief Election Commissioner's (CEC) and election commissioners' appointments from intervention by the Government.
  • Normally, the court cannot interfere with exclusively legislative powers, but given the context of the Constitution, the Legislature's inaction and the void it created, the court must step in.
  • When asked if the removal process for CEC and ECs should be the same, the SC responded that it cannot be because CEC holds a special position and without CEC, article 324 is rendered useless.

The Election Commission of India

  • Election Commission of India is an independent constitutional body in charge of managing India's Union and State election processes.
  • In 1950, it was created in conformity with the Constitution.
  • It oversees elections for the President and Vice President of India as well as the Lok sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies.
  • Provisions of the Constitution:
  • Part XV of the Indian Constitution (Articles 324–329) addresses the elections and creates a panel to handle these issues.

Composition

  • The commission's sole member at first was the Chief Election Commissioner. Two Election Commissioners and the Chief Election Commissioner make up the present membership.
  • Two extra Commissioners were appointed for the first time in 1989, however, they only served up until the first of January 1990.
  • Two additional Election Commissioners were subsequently appointed on October 1st, 1993.
  • Since then, the idea of a multi-member Commission with majority voting authority has been in use.
Process for Appointments:
  • Article 324(2) The President will nominate the CEC and other Election Commissioners, subject to the terms of any relevant laws passed by Parliament.
  • The Prime Minister is given a list of potential candidates by the Law Minister. On the Prime Minister's recommendation, the President appoints the person.
  • The President chooses the terms of employment and length of the Election's office.
  • They can serve for six years or until they become 65, whichever comes first.
Power and Purpose
  • In the Commission's decision-making, each Election Commissioner has an equal voice.
  • According to the law, political parties must register with the Election Commission.
  • By requiring periodic organisational elections, the Commission ensures that party democracy is upheld within its operations.
  • The Election Commission recognises political parties that have registered with it based on their polling results at general elections in accordance with the standards set forth by it at the State and National levels.
  • The Commission also resolves conflicts between the breakaway factions of such recognised parties as a part of its quasi-judicial competence.
Removal
  • They are eligible to quit at any time or be dismissed before their term is out.
  • Only through a procedure identical to that used by Parliament to remove an SC judge from the office can the CEC be removed from office.

Except on the advice of the CEC, no other EC may be dismissed.

Source: The Hindu


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