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The Election Commission of India

The Election Commission of India is an autonomous, constitutionally established federal authority responsible for administering all the electoral processes in the Republic of India. Under the supervision of the commission, free and fair elections have been held in India at regular intervals as per the principles enshrined in the Constitution. Election Commission of India is a permanent body governed by rules specified in the Constitution. The Election Commission was established on 25th January 1950. The Election Commission has the power of superintendence, direction and control of all elections to parliament and the state legislatures and of elections to the office of the President and Vice-President.

The commission consists of a Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and two Election Commissioners, appointed by the president of India. Two additional Commissioners were appointed to the commission for the first time on 16th October 1989 but they had a very short tenure till 1 st January 1990. Later, on 1 st October 1993, two additional Election Commissioners were appointed. The concept of multi-member Commission has been in operation since then, with decision making power by majority vote. The current CEC is V Achal Kumar Joti.

The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from his office by Parliament with two¬thirds majority in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity. The Election Commission consists of a Chief Election Commissioner and such other Commissioners as the President may, from time to time, fix. Other Election Commissioners can be removed by the President on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner. The Chief Election Commissioner and the two Election Commissioners draw salaries and allowances at par with those of the Judges of the Supreme Court of India as per the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1992. [3] All three commissioner have equal rights of decision making. Follow the Constitutional duties for conducting the free, fair and peaceful elections to the Parliament and the State Legislatures under Article 324 of the Constitution of India.

Chief Election Commissioner of India

The Chief Election Commissioner heads the Election Commission of India. The President of India appoints the Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners. They have tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through impeachment by Parliament.

The decisions of the Commission can be challenged in the High court of India and the Supreme Court of India by appropriate petitions. By long standing convention and several judicial pronouncements, once the actual process of elections has started, the judiciary does not intervene in the actual conduct of the polls. Once the polls are completed and result declared, the Commission cannot review any result on its own. This can only be reviewed through the process of an election petition, which can be filed before the High Court, in respect of elections to the Parliament and State Legislatures. In respect of elections for the offices of the President and Vice President, such petitions can only be filed before the Supreme Court