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Election Commissions of India
The Constitution provides for an independent election commission to ensure free and fair election to the Parliament, the state legislature and the offices of President and Vice – President.
Consists of Chief Election Commissioner + 2 Election Commissioners. They all enjoy equal powers.
The Chief Election Commissioner is appointed by the President and the other Election Commissioners are appointed by the President after consultation with the Chief Election Commissioner.
Article 324 also provides for the appointment of Regional Commissioners at the time of General Elections after consultation with the Election Commission.
Election Commissioners are appointed for a term of 5 yrs. They are not eligible for re – appointment. Also, they cannot hold any office of profit after their retirement. Article – 324 says that there is no upper limit on the no. of Election Commissioners.
In 1990, Dinesh Goswami Committee recommended that the Election Commission be a 3 – membered body. Also, at its constitution Chief Justice & leader of the opposition ought to be consulted. (Thus Art – 324 was amended).
The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office before expiry of his term by the President on the basis of a resolution passed by the Parliament by a special majority on the ground of proven misbehavior or incapacity (same as that of Judge of Supreme Court).
The other Election Commissioners maybe removed by the President on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner.
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- Preparation of electoral rolls & keep voters list updated. The electoral roll is normally revised every year to add the names of those who have turned 18 on the 1st January of that year or have moved into a constituency and to remove the names of those who have died or moved out of a constituency.
- Preparation of code of conduct for all political parties.
- Recognition of various political parties & allotment of election symbols.
- Appointment of election officers to look into disputes concerning election arrangements.
- To examine the returns of election expenses filed by the candidate.