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Chapter: 11th Political Science : Election and Representation

Election Commission of India

The Main objective of the constitution of Election Commission of India is to have a permanent and independent election machinery.

Election Commission of India

For the conduct of free, fair and regular elections, Article 324 of the Indian Constitution provides for a single Election Commission which is entrusted with the superintendence, direction and control of all elections to Parliament, state legislatures and to the offices of the President and Vice –President of India.

Election Commission - An independent body.

The Main objective of the constitution of Election Commission of India is to have a permanent and independent election machinery, which is free from political pressure of the party in power and the executive of the day, and which could be entrusted with the task of holding free and fair elections to the parliament and the state legislatures and to the offices of the President and Vice-President of India.

Election Commission of India-Structure

 Chief Election Commissioner

 Two other election commissioners

 By the President of India

 6 years or 65 years of age(whichever is earlier)

 Chief Election Commissioner-Impeachment

 Other Election -Commissioners-Recommendation of CEC




Powers and functions of the Election Commission of India

v    Preparation of the electoral rolls

v    Revision of electoral rolls

v    Allotment of seats

v    Conduct of elections

v    Superintendence, direction and control of all matters pertaining to the elections

v    Granting of recognition of political parties

v    Allotment of symbols

v    Ensuring fair and free elections

v    The Election Commission of India advises the President of India or the Governor of the concerned state regarding all electoral matters including questions relating to disqualifications of members.

v Settles disputes and petitions referred to it by the President of India or the Governor of a state.

v Decides disputes pertaining to election symbol in the event of a split in the political party.

v Has power to impose ceiling on the election expenses of the contestants.

v Entrusted with the task of collecting affidavits from the contestants to the elections regarding their assets.

v Has the power and duty to disqualify a candidate if he/she fails to submit election returns within the prescribed period.

v It issues a notification after the election is over, that the house is duly constituted.

Chief Electoral Officer(CEO)

The chief electoral officer of a state/union territory is authorised to supervise the election work in the state/ union territory subject to the overall superintendence, direction and control

District Election Officer(DEO)

Subject to the superintendence, direction and control of the chief electoral officer, the district election officer supervises the election work of a district. The Election Commission of India nominates or designates an officer of the state government as the district election officer in consultation with the state government.

Returning Officer (RO)

The returning officer of a Parliamentary or Assembly constituency is responsible for the conduct of elections in the Parliamentary or Assembly constituency concerned. The Election Commission of India nominates or designates an officer of the government or a local authority as the returning officer for each of the assembly or parliamentary constituencies in consultation with the state government/union territory administration. In addition, the election commission of India also appoints one or more assistant returning officers for each of the assembly or parliamentary consituencies to assist the returning officer in the performance of his functions in connection with the conduct of elections.

Electoral Registration Officer(ERO)

The Electoral registration officer is responsible for the preparation of electoral rolls for a parliamentary/ assembly constituency. The Election commission of India, in consultation with the state/ union territory government, appoints an officer of the government or the local authorities as the Electoral registration officer. One or more Assistant electoral registration officers to assist the Electoral registration officer are appointed by the Election commission of India.

Presiding Officer (PO)

The Presiding officer with the assistance of Polling officers conducts the poll at a polling station. The district election officer appoints the Presiding officers and the Polling officers. In the case of union territories, such appointments are made by the returning officers.

Election Observers (EO)

The Election Commission of India nominates officers of government as Election observers (general observers and election expenditure observers) for Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies. They perform such functions as are entrusted to them by the commission. They report directly to the commission.

 

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