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Election Commission of India

Election Commission of India

The Election Commission of India is a constitutional body. It supervises the entire election and nomination procedures of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislatures as well as the President and Vice President. It is an independent body to oversee free and fair elections throughout the country. Article 324 of the Indian Constitution deals with the powers of the Election Commission of India. Panchayat and Municipality elections are not supervised by the Election Commission.

Composition and Appointments:

  1. The body is comprised of a Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
  2. The President appoints the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioners.
  3. Concept of multi-member Commission has been in operation since 1993, before that the commission only had a Chief Election Commissioner.
  4. The Election Commissioner is assisted by the Deputy Election Commissioner at the time of election.


They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court of India. The salary is drawn from the Consolidated Fund of India.


They have a tenure of 6 years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

Key Functions and Powers of Election Commission of India:

  1. Division of constituencies.
  2. Preparing up-to-date lists of all valid voters.
  3. Determine territories of the electoral constituencies and allot seats to each of them.
  4. Recognition of political parties and party symbol allocation.
  5. Notify dates and schedules of elections.
  6. To fix Code of Conduct which must be observed at the time of election.
  7. Scrutiny of Nomination Papers.
  8. Determine number of polling booths required.
  9. Fix and limit the election expenses.
  10. Conduct and supervise elections and by-elections.
  11. Scrutinize election expenses accounts submitted by the contestants.
  12. Declare the election results.
  13. Settle down disputes referred by the President.
  14. Advising the President on the question of disqualification of any Member of Parliament or advising the Governor on the question of disqualification of a member of a State legislature.


The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through impeachment by Parliament.

New Initiatives and Reforms:

Over the years, the Commission has brought several reforms in the electoral processes. A few are summarized below:
  1. Facility of use of state-owned Electronic Media for broadcast/telecast by political parties.
  2. Checking criminalization of politics.
  3. Computerization of electoral rolls.
  4. Providing voters with Identity Cards.
  5. Simplifying the accounts maintenance and filling procedures by candidates.
  6. A variety of measures for strict compliance of Model Code of Conduct to conduct fair elections.
  7. “None of the above” button: In 2013, SC passed a landmark judgement, approving the ‘Right to Negative Vote’ by exercising the NOTA option in EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) and ballots. The NOTA option has been in use since November 2013.