What is the role of the Election Commission of India?

What is the role of the Election Commission of India?

The Election Commission of India or ECI is a constitutional body entrusted with the responsibility of administering the elections in India.

The Constitution of India clearly mentions the rules and regulations governing this body. Established in 1950, the Election Commission works with the principal objective of defining and controlling the course of elections held at various levels for the state legislatures, the Parliament and the offices of the Vice-President and the President of the country as per article 324 of the Constitution.

In its present form, the Election Commission consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners. The decision making will be done by majority vote.

Appointment and Tenure

The President appoints the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.

The tenure of these officers is six years or up to 65 years of age, whichever is earlier.

The status and pay of these officers is similar to what is enjoyed by the Judges of the Supreme Court.

The election Commissioners or the regional commissioners can be removed from office only if recommended by the CEC.

The CEC can be removed only by the President of India supported by a resolution passed in both the houses of the parliament with special majority on the grounds of incapacity or misbehavior.

Role of Election Commission

In organizing the elections of the largest democracy of the world, the Election Commission of India plays a crucial and decisive role. The Election Commission in India has the prime responsibility to ensure the conduct of free and fair elections in the country. Towards this end, the Commission has to implement the norms and Model Code of Conduct. Since the role of the Election Commission will need a high degree of independence and autonomy, the Constitution has empowered this body with the power to supervise the political bodies and candidates. It can take the action it deems appropriate in case of any violations.

Functions of Election Commission

The most important functions of Election Commission are given under.

  • It is the guardian of free and reasonable elections in India.
  • The Election Commission issues the Model Code of Conduct before every election to be followed by the different candidates and parties so that the decorum of the democracy is maintained well.
  • The body regulates the political parties and has to register the eligible ones enabling them contest in the elections.
  • The Election Commission prescribes the limits of campaign expenditure by the candidates and parties and monitors the spending too.
  • All the political parties are expected to submit their annual reports to the Election Commission of India in order to get tax benefits on the contributions.
  • The body also mandates that the political parties submit their audited financial reports regularly.
The duties of the Election Commission

  • Supervising, directing, controlling and conducting the elections for the states and the Parliament.
  • Laying down the general rules for the elections.
  • Deciding the constituencies and preparing the electoral rolls
  • Giving credit to the political parties
  • Allotting the election symbols to contesting candidates and parties
  • Appointing the tribunals to take decision on the doubts and disputes related to the elections conducted for state legislatures and the Parliament.