STATE ELECTION COMMISSION
- November 18, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject : Polity
Context : Andhra Pradesh State Election Commission has decided to conduct the grama panchayat elections in February 2021.
State Election Commission:
- The Constitution of India vests in the State Election Commission, consisting of a State Election Commissioner, the superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for, and the conduct of all elections to the Panchayats and the Municipalities (Articles 243K, 243ZA).
- The State Election Commissioner is appointed by the Governor.
- As per article 243(C3) the Governor, when so requested by the State Election Commission, make available to the State Election Commission such staff as may be necessary for the discharge of the functions conferred on the SEC.
Do ECI and SECs have similar powers?
- The provisions of Article 243K of the Constitution, which provides for setting up of SECs, are almost identical to those of Article 324 related to the EC. In other words, the SECs enjoy the same status as the EC.
- In Kishan Singh Tomar vs Municipal Corporation of the City of Ahmedabad case, the Supreme Court directed that state governments should abide by orders of the SECs during the conduct of the panchayat and municipal elections, just like they follow the instructions of the EC during Assembly and Parliament polls.
- Courts cannot interfere in the conduct of polls to local bodies and self-government institutions once the electoral process has been set in motion.
- Article 243-O of the Constitution bars interference in poll matters set in motion by the SECs; Article 329 bars interference in such matters set in motion by the EC.
- Only after the polls are over can the SECs’ decisions or conduct be questioned through an election petition.
- These powers enjoyed by the SECs are the same as those by the EC.