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 of India. It was established on January 25, 1950 with an 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 of Election Commission of India
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 of India
, 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.
Functions and Powers of Election Commission of India
The main functions of the Election Commission are as follows:
Some of the powers wielded by the Election Commission 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 allowed limits of campaign expenditure per candidate to all 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.
- 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 during the elections, the Supreme Court and High Courts consult the Commission.
- The Commission can suspend candidates who fail to submit their election expense accounts timely.
New Initiatives taken by Election Commission
In order to bring about various improvements and reforms in the election procedure, the ECI has taken numerous steps. Some of them are as follows:
A few more initiatives taken in recent years by the ECI are:
- Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were introduced to improve reliability and efficiency. With the help of EVMs, chances of any discrepancies in terms of counting of ballots are almost nil. Moreover, the introduction of technology has just made a quick verdict possible as it just takes three to four days to declare the results.
- 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.
- New guidelines for broadcasting on State-owned electronic media.
- Inspection of instances of criminalisation in politics.
- Computerised electoral rolls.
- Simplification of account maintenance and filing.
- Measures for better enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct.
- An additional Model Code of Conduct, applicable only to news media, is yet to be formulated to ensure free, fair and unbiased media coverage of elections in India.
Budget & Expenses
The Election Commission of India and the Union Finance Ministry finalise the budget for the former's Secretariat, which is liable for an independent budget. The recommendations of the Election Commission are generally upheld by the Ministry of Finance. The concerned states and the Union Territories have to manage the expenses of elections being held, but it is the Union Government who bears the expenses of the Lok Sabha (parliamentary) elections entirely. In case of the legislative assembly elections, the concerned State bears the expenses. If the Lok Sabha (Parliamentary) and the assembly elections are taking place at the same time, the gross expenditure is equally shared amongst the Union Government and the concerned state(s).
Address and Contact details
Election Commission of India
Ashoka Road, New Delhi 110001
Election Commission of India Official Website :
Contact Details of Election Commissioners of India are:
Mr. Sunil Arora
is the present Chief Election Commissioner of India.
|Name||Designation||Email||Office No.||Office Fax|
|Mr. Sunil Arora ||Election Commissioner||N/A|| 23052323,23052424||23052525|
|Mr. Vijay Kumar Dev||Deputy Election Commissioner||N/A||23052133||23052157|
|Mr. Sandeep Saxena ||Deputy Election Commissioner||N/A||23052023,23052024||23052025|
|Mr. Umesh Sinha||Deputy Election Commissioner||N/A||23052081,23052226||23052227|
| Mr. Sudeep Jain||Deputy Election Commissioner||N/A||23052232||23052234|
|Mr. Dilip Sharma||Director General||N/A||23052032,23052093 ||N/A|
|Mr. Dhirendra Ojha||Director General||N/A||23052015||23052203|
List of Former Chief Election Commissioners of India
|1||Om Prakash Rawat||Jan 23, 2018 to 1 Dec, 2018|
|2||Achal Kumar Jyot||July 6, 2017 to Jan 23, 2018|
|3||Nasim Zaidi||Jan 19, 2015 to July 5, 2017|
|4||H. S. Brahma||Jan 16, 2015 to Apr 18, 2015|
|5||V. S. Sampath||Jun 11, 2012 to Jan 15, 2015|
|6||S. Y. Quraishi||Jul 30, 2010 to Jun 10, 2012|
|7||Navin Chawla||Apr 21, 2009 to Jul 29, 2010|
|8||N. Gopalaswami||Jun 30, 2006 to Apr 20, 2009|
|9||B. B. Tandon||May 16, 2005 to Jun 29, 2006|
|10||T. S. Krishnamurthy||Feb 8, 2004 to May 15, 2005|
|11||J. M. Lyngdoh||Jun 14, 2001 to Feb 7, 2004|
|12||M. S. Gill||Dec 12, 1996 to Jun 13, 2001|
|13||T. N. Seshan||Dec 12, 1990 to Dec 11, 1996|
|14||V. S. Ramadevi||Nov 26, 1990 to Dec 11, 1990|
|15||R. V. S. Peri Sastri||Jan 1, 1986 to Nov 25, 1990|
|16||R. K. Trivedi||Jun 18, 1982 to Dec 31, 1985|
|17||S. L. Shakdhar||Jun 18, 1977 to Jun 17, 1982|
|18||T. Swaminathan||Feb 7, 1973 to Jun 17, 1977|
|19||Nagendra Singh||Oct 1, 1972 to Feb 6, 1973|
|20||S. P. Sen Verma||Oct 1, 1967 to Sep 30, 1972|
|21||Kalyan Sundaram||Dec 20, 1958 to Sep 30, 1967|
|22||Sukumar Sen||Mar 21, 1950 to Dec 19, 1958|
Last Updated on April 13, 2020