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Election Commission of India


About Election Commission of India


The Election Commission of India (ECI) is a constitutional body responsible for administering elections in India according to the rules and regulations mentioned in the Constitution. It was established on January 25, 1950 with the aim to define and control the process for elections conducted at various levels: parliament, state legislatures, and the offices of the president and vice president of India. In other words, the ECI ensures smooth and successful functioning of the democracy.

Role of Election Commission of India

In its assigned role, the most crucial challenge before the Election Commission of India is to implement norms and the Model Code of Conduct to ensure free and fair elections in the country. Its existence and independence are necessitated by history, which has shown that democratic elections are not free from sabotage. Towards this end, it has been empowered to oversee political parties and candidates and take appropriate action in case of violations.

Structure



The secretariat of the commission has 300 officials, and is located in New Delhi. The deputy election commissioners and director generals are the senior-most officers in the secretariat. The President of India appoints the chief election commissioner, who serves for six years and must retire at the age of 65. The commissioner is generally a member of the Civil Services, and more often, of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) or the Indian Revenue Services (IRS). He can be removed from his office through the process of impeachment, which needs to be carried out in the parliament. The President of India can remove the other officers on the chief commissioner's recommendation.

Present Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners of India


DesignationName & AddressPhone (Office)Fax (Office)Resi.
Chief Election CommissionerMr. V.S.Sampath
Chief Election Commissioner
vs.sampath@eci.gov.in
23716552, 23713689 2371102323015904, 23015905 (Fax)
Election CommissionerMr. T.N.Malhotra
P.P.S.
23713689 (302)2371102325613309
Election CommissionerMr. H.S.Brahma
Election Commissioner
hs.brahma@eci.gov.in
23717027, 237200122373993326880145
Election CommissionerMrs. Shakuntla Gaur
Sr. P.P.S.
23717027 (216)2373993329054985
Election CommissionerDr. Nasim Zaidi
Election Commissioner
nasimzaidi@eci.gov.in
23720013, 237170352335563123074243
Election CommissionerMr. Ashwani Kumar
P.P.S
23720013 (333)2335563127864444
Election CommissionerMr. R.M. Bhatia
P.P.S.
23717035 (201)2335563123342456

Technological advancements



In order to bring improvements in the election procedure, the ECI has taken numerous steps. Some of them are as follows:
  • Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were introduced to improve reliability and efficiency.
  • The website of the ECI was launched on February 28, 1998 to provide accurate information and instant results of the elections.
  • Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPICs) were issued in 1993 to prevent electoral fraud. From the 2004 elections, these were made mandatory.

A few more initiatives taken recently by the ECI are:
  • New guidelines for broadcasting on state-owned electronic media.
  • Inspection of instances of criminalization in politics.
  • Computerized electoral rolls.
  • Issuing identity cards to electors.
  • Simplification of account maintenance and filing.
  • Measures for better enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct.


Functions and Powers



The main functions of the ECI are as follows:
  • The Election Commission of India is considered the custodian of free and fair elections.
  • It issues the Model Code of Conduct in every election for political parties and candidates so that the dignity of democracy is maintained.
  • It regulates political parties and registers them for being eligible to contest elections.
  • It publishes the limits of campaign expenditure per candidate allowed to the political parties, and also monitors the same.
  • The political parties must submit their annual reports to the ECI for getting tax benefit on contributions.
  • It ensures that all the political parties regularly submit their audited financial reports.

Some of the powers wielded by the ECI are as follows:
  • The commission can suppress the results of opinion polls if it deems such an action fit for the cause of democracy.
  • The commission can advise for disqualification of members after the elections if it thinks they have violated certain guidelines.
  • In case a candidate is found guilty of corrupt practices in elections, the Supreme Court and high courts consult the commission.
  • The commission can suspend candidates who fail to submit their election expense accounts timely.

Main executives of Election Commission



Chief Election Commissioner (CEC): V. S. Sampath has been appointed to serve as the CEC. He replaced S. Y. Quraishi on June 11, 2012. Before this, he was an election commissioner from April 21, 2009 to June 10, 2012.

Election Commissioners (EC):
  • Harishankar Brahma: He is a retired IAS officer and will hold the office as EC till April 18, 2015.
  • Syed Nasim Ahmad Zaidi: A retired IAS officer, he has served as Permanent Representative of India on the Council of ICAO. He has also served as the Director General of Civil Aviation.


New Initiatives taken by Election Commission



In order to bring improvements in the election procedure, the ECI has taken numerous steps. Some of them are as follows:
  • Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were introduced to improve reliability and efficiency.
  • The website of the ECI was launched on February 28, 1998 to provide accurate information and instant results of the elections.
  • Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPICs) were issued in 1993 to prevent electoral fraud. From the 2004 elections, these were made mandatory.

A few more initiatives taken recently by the ECI are:
  • New guidelines for broadcasting on state-owned electronic media.
  • Inspection of instances of criminalization in politics.
  • Computerized electoral rolls.
  • Issuing identity cards to electors.
  • Simplification of account maintenance and filing.
  • Measures for better enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct.

Address and Contact details



Election Commission of India
Nirvachan Sadan
Ashoka Road, New Delhi 110001
Tel: 011-23717391
Fax: 011-23713412
Email: feedbackeci@gmail.com

Last Updated on August 11, 2014




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