Election Commission of India is constitutionally mandated to conduct free and fair elections. It regulates elections of both the houses, i.e., Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies and offices of President and Vice-President. The Commission is headed by the Chief Election Commissioner. In 1989, two additional Election Commissioners were appointed and the Commission was made a multi-member body. The Chief Commissioner is appointed by the President and holds the office for a term of 6 years or up to the age of 65 years whichever is earlier. The Chief-Election Commissioner cannot be removed except in a manner provided for the removal of Judges of the Supreme Court. He can be removed only by impeachment. However, for removal of any other Election Commissioner or regional Commissioner, the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner is required. The Commission has its own secretariat at New Delhi.
Functions of Election Commission of India
The main functions of the Election Commission of India includes control, direction and superintendence of the preparation of the electoral rolls for conduct of the elections of Parliament and the state legislature and elections of the offices of the President and Vice President. It is also involved in the conduct of polls, demarcation of constituencies, briefing the details of elections to media and arranging sufficient staff for smooth conduct of the elections etc. The Commission exercises advisory jurisdiction under the law. All political parties who wish to contest the elections must register themselves with the Commission. Registration of political parties by the Commission has been held as quasi judicial function by the Supreme Court. It scrutinizes the accounts of election expenses which are submitted by the contestants.
Article 324-329 of the Constitution deals with elections. It is under Article 324 that the superintendence, directions and control of elections has been vested in the Election Commission.
The Representation of People Act, 1951 provides for the conduct of election, the qualification and disqualification of members and the memberships of houses of Parliament. It also deals with the corrupt practices and offences in connection with election.
The Representation of People Act, 1950 provides for the allocation of seats, delimitation of constituencies, the qualification of voters, preparation of electoral rolls etc.
We have provided a link to website of the Election Commission of India and various laws relating to elections in India. We have also promoted links to some important electoral forms.