The Election Commission of India is a permanent constitutional body, and it is defined under Article 324 of Indian Constitution. The commission established on January 25, 1950. The Commission has a separate Secretariat at New Delhi, consisting of about 300 officials, in a hierarchical set up. Initially it has consisted of a lone member, the Chief Election Commissioner. For the first time two additional commissioners were appointed on October 16, 1989. They had a very short tenure till January 1, 1990. Subsequently, on October 1, 1993 two additional Election Commissioners were once again appointed. Ever since then, the EC has been a multi-member body with a CEC and two Election Commissioners.
Appointment of CEC & Officers
The President appoints Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners. They have tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court of India. The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through impeachment by Parliament.
Subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, the conditions of service and tenure of office of the Election Commissioners and the Regional Commissioners shall be such as the resident may by rule determine.
The Chief Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on the like grounds as a Judge of the Supreme Court and the conditions of service of the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
Any other Election Commissioner or a Regional Commissioner shall not be removed from office except on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner.
At the state level, the election work is supervised, subject to overall superintendence, direction and control of the Commission, by the Chief Electoral Officer of the State, who is appointed by the Commission from amongst senior civil servants proposed by the concerned state government.
At the district and constituency levels, the district election officers, electoral registration officers and returning officers are in charge of election work. During election time they are available to the Election Commission more or less on a full time basis.
Expenditure of EC
The Commission has an independent budget, and it is finalised between election commission and finance ministry.
No person to be ineligible for inclusion in, or to claim to be included in a special, electoral roll on grounds of religion, race, caste or sex. There shall be one general electoral roll for every territorial constituency for election to either House of Parliament or to the House or either House of the Legislature of a State and no person shall be ineligible for inclusion in any such roll or claim to be included in any special electoral roll for any such constituency on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or any of them.
Elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assemblies of States to be on the basis of adult suffrage.(Art. 327)
The elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of every State shall be on the basis of adult suffrage; that is to say, every person who is a citizen of India and who is not less than eighteen years of age on such date as may be fixed in that behalf by or under any law made by the appropriate Legislature and is not otherwise disqualified under this Constitution or any law made by the appropriate Legislature on the ground of non-residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt or illegal practice, shall be entitled to be registered as a voter at any such election.
Power of Parliament to make provision with respect to elections to Legislatures(Art. 327)
Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may from time to time by law make provision with respect to all matters relating to, or in connection with, elections to either House of Parliament or to the House or either House of the Legislature of a State including the preparation of electoral rolls, the delimitation of constituencies and all other matters necessary for securing the due constitution of such House or Houses.
Power of Legislature of a State to make provision with respect to elections to such Legislature(Art. 328)
Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and in so far as provision in that behalf is not made by Parliament, the Legislature of a State may from time to time by law make provision with respect to all matters relating to, or in connection with, the elections to the House or either House of the Legislature of the State including the preparation of electoral rolls and all other matters necessary for securing the due constitution of such House or Houses.
Bar to interference by courts in electoral matters (Art. 329)
Not with standing anything in this Constitution...
(a) the validity of any law relating to the delimitation of constituencies or the allotment of seats to such constituencies, made or purporting to be made under Article 327 or Article 328, shall not be called in question in any court;
(b) No election to either House of Parliament or to the House or either House of the Legislature of a State shall be called in question except by an election petition presented to such authority and in such manner as may be provided for by or under any law made by the appropriate Legislature.