Election Commission of India
- December 17, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
Election Commission of India
Subject – Polity
Context – CEC ‘Interacted’ With PMO after Unusual Govt Note Demanding His Presence at Meeting: Report
- The Commission’s interactions with the government on election issues usually remain limited to its administrative ministry; the law ministry or, if security forces need to be arranged for a certain election, the home ministry.
- The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India.
- The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country.
- Part XV of the Indian constitution deals with elections, and establishes a commission for these matters.
- Article 324 to 329 of the constitution deals with powers, function, tenure, eligibility, etc of the commission and the member
Structure of the commission
- The commission consists of one Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
- The secretariat of the commission is located in New Delhi.
- At the state level election commission is helped by Chief Electoral Officer who is an IAS rank Officer.
- The President appoints Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.
- They have a fixed 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 a process of removal similar to that of a Supreme Court judge for by Parliament.
Procedure of Removal
- Judges of High Courts and Supreme Court, CEC, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) may be removed from office through a motion adopted by Parliament on grounds of ‘Proven misbehaviour or incapacity’.
- Removal requires special majority of 2/3rd members present and voting supported by more than 50% of the total strength of the house.
- The Constitution does not use the word ‘impeachment’, for the removal of the judges, CAG, CEC.
- The term ‘Impeachment’ is only used for removing the President which requires the special majority of 2/3rd members of the total strength of both the houses which is not used elsewhere.
- Election Commission of India superintendents, direct and control the entire process of conducting elections to Parliament and Legislature of every State and to the offices of President and Vice-President of India.
- The most important function of the commission is to decide the election schedules for the conduct of periodic and timely elections, whether general or bye-elections.
- It prepares electoral roll, issues Electronic Photo Identity Card (EPIC).
- It decides on the location polling stations, assignment of voters to the polling stations, location of counting centres, arrangements to be made in and around polling stations and counting centres and all allied matters.
- It grants recognition to political parties & allot election symbols to them along with settling disputes related to it.
- The Commission also has advisory jurisdiction in the matter of post election disqualification of sitting members of Parliament and State Legislatures.
- It issues the Model Code of Conduct in election for political parties and candidates so that the no one indulges in unfair practice or there is no arbitrary abuse of powers by those in power.
- It sets limits of campaign expenditure per candidate to all the political parties, and also monitors the same.
Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)
- The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) consists of the immediate staff of the Prime Minister of India, as well as multiple levels of support staff reporting to the Prime Minister.
- The PMO is headed by the Principal Secretary
- The PMO was originally called the Prime Minister’s Secretariat until 1977, when it was renamed during the Morarji Desai administration
- It got the status of department under Allocation of Business rules 1961. This staff agency is mainly concerned with providing assistance in decision making at top level of government of India. But even though its importance it is accorded as extra constitutional body.
- Principal functions of the PMO:
- To deal with all references which under the rules of business have to come to the PM
- To help the PM in the discharge of his overall responsibilities as the Chief Executive like liaison with the Union Ministries and the State govts on matters which the PM may be interested.
- To help the PM in the discharge of his responsibilities as the Chairman of Planning Commission.
- To deal with Public relations side of the PMO.
- To provide PM assistance in the examination of cases submitted to him for an order under prescribed rules.