How are the CEC and ECs appointed?

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How are the CEC and ECs appointed? Blog Image

Overview:

The Supreme Court recently ruled that the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and election commissioners (ECs) will be done by the President on the advice of a committee comprising the prime minister, the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, and the Chief Justice of India.

About Election Commission of India (ECI):

  • It is an autonomous and permanent constitutional body responsible for organizing free and fair elections in India.
  • The Constitution grants the ECI with the power of direction, superintendence, and control of elections to Parliament, state legislatures, the office of president of India, and the office of vice-president of India.
  • Powers and responsibilities ECI:
    • Determining the Electoral Constituencies’ territorial areas throughout the country.
    • Preparing and periodically revising electoral rolls and registering all eligible voters.
    • Notifying the schedules and dates of elections and scrutinizing nomination papers.
    • Granting recognition to the various political parties and allocating them election symbols.
    • 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 elections for political parties and candidates so that no one indulges in unfair practice or there is no arbitrary abuse of powers by those in power.
  • Composition: The commission consists of a Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and two Election Commissioners (ECs).
  • How are the CEC and ECs currently appointed?
    • Under Article 324 (2), the President appoints the CEC and other ECs.
    • The President makes the appointment on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister.
    • The Constitution does not prescribe any qualifications, academic or otherwise, for appointment to these offices.
    • The tenure of office and the conditions of service of all the commissioners is determined by the President. 
    • The tenure of commissioners is 6 years or up to the age of 65, whichever is earlier.
    • The CEC and the two other ECs have the same powers and emoluments, including salaries, which are the same as a Supreme Court judge.
    • All three commissioners have the same right of taking a decision. In case of a difference of opinion amongst the three members, the matter is decided by the Commission by a majority.
  • Can CEC and ECs be removed?
    • Article 324 of The Constitution of India mentions the provisions to safeguard and ensure the independent and impartial functioning of the Election Commission.
    • The CEC is provided with security of tenure. He cannot be removed from his office except in the same manner and on the same grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court. 
    • Any other election commissioner or a regional commissioner cannot be removed from office except on the recommendation of the CEC.
  • What does the recent Supreme Court ruling say?
    • The CEC and other ECs should be appointed by the President on the advice of a committee comprising the prime minister, the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, and the Chief Justice of India.

 


Q1) What is the mandate of Election Commission of India (ECI)?

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, State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country.

Source: How are the CEC and ECs appointed, and what has the Supreme Court order changed?