In the news: Election Commissioner Appointment

  • The Supreme Court denied the Association for Democratic Reforms’ (ADR) petition to challenge the appointment of an Election Commissioner.
  • The court noted an earlier Constitution Bench decision that addressed the matter and decided not to overturn the appointment.

About Election Commission of India (ECI)

  • The ECI is a constitutional organisation created by the Indian Constitution to conduct and regulate elections in the country.
  • The power of superintendence, direction, and supervision of elections is provided for in Article 324 of the Constitution.
  • The body is in charge of elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, State Legislative Councils, and the offices of the country’s President and Vice President.
  • As a result, the Election Commission is an all-India entity in the sense that it serves both the Central and state governments.
  • The Election Commission functions under the authority of Article 324 of the Constitution and the following Representation of the People Act 1951.

ECI Composition

  • The ECI was founded in 1950, with only one Chief Election Commissioner at the time.
  • During the 1989 General Election, two extra Commissioners were appointed to the commission for the first time, however their stay was brief, expiring on January 1, 1990.
  • Deputy Election Commissioners, who are usually IAS officers, assist the Election Commissioners.
  • Directors General, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries and Under Secretaries also support them.
  • The Chief Electoral Officer of the State, an IAS officer of Principal Secretary rank, assists the Election Commission at the state level.
  • District Magistrates (in their position as District Election Officers), Electoral Registration Officers, and Returning Officers do election work at the district and constituency levels.


  • The Indian Constitution makes no provision for the tenure of election commissioners.
  • The Election Commission Conduct of Service Act of 1991, on the other hand, specifies the length of service.
  • The Chief Election Commissioner or an Election Commissioner shall serve for a term of six years, or until the age of 65, whichever comes first, from the date he/she takes office.

Expulsion from the office

  • The Chief Election Commissioner of India can be dismissed from office in the same way as a Supreme Court of India judge can be removed.
  • A resolution voted by the Indian Parliament with a two-thirds majority in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on the basis of proven misbehaviour or incompetence is required.
  • The President of India has the authority to remove other Election Commissioners on the advice of the Chief Election Commissioner.
  • In India, no Chief Election Commissioner has ever been impeached.

Recent instances of ECI

  • Several of the commission’s acts and omissions have been criticised in recent years.
  • In a letter to the President, nearly 66 former bureaucrats expressed their dissatisfaction with the Election Commission’s operations.
  • They perceived a credibility issue, claiming multiple infractions of the model code of conduct during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Importance of ECI for India

  • Elections: Since 1952, the ECI has successfully conducted both national and state elections.
  • Electoral engagement: In recent years, however, the Commission has begun to take a more active role in ensuring increased public participation.
  • Political party discipline: It had gone so far as to threaten political parties with de-recognition if they did not maintain internal party democracy.
  • Maintains federalism: It protects the constitutional norms of equality, equity, impartiality, independence, and the rule of law in superintendence, direction, and control over electoral governance.
  • Elections that are free and fair: It holds elections that meet the highest standards of credibility, freedom, fairness, transparency, honesty, accountability, autonomy, and professionalism.

Problems with ECI

  • Composition flaws: The Constitution does not specify qualifications for EC members. After retiring or quitting, they are not prohibited from future assignments.
  • Security of tenure is not guaranteed for election commissioners under the Constitution.
  • Partisan role: The EC has been under fire like never before, with increasing instances of Model Code of Conduct violations in the 2019 general elections.
  • Political favour: The opposition claimed that the ECI favoured the ruling party by granting the PM a pass on the model code of conduct violations.
  • Incompetence: Increased violence and election malpractices under the influence of money have resulted in political criminalization, which ECI is powerless to stop.
And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.