The Election Commission of India was established on January 25, 1950 (under Article 324 of Constitution of India)
Status and Power of Election Commission:
It is an autonomous, quasi-judiciary constitutional body. It is insulated from any kind of executive interference. Its recommendations and opinions, in matters of electoral disputes and other matters involving the conduct of elections, are binding on the President of India. However, the decisions of the body are liable for independent judiciary reviews by courts acting on electoral petitions.
Duties of Election Commission:
Conduct free and fair elections in India. The Election Commission is one of the four pillars of the Indian Constitution, the other three being the Supreme Court (SC) of India, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).
During the elections, the entire Central (Federal) and State government machinery including para-military forces and the Police is deemed to be on deputation to the Election Commission which takes effective control of personnel, movable and immovable Government Properties it deems necessary for successful completion of the electoral process.
Apart from conducting elections to representative bodies, the Election Commission has been on many occasions, called upon by the Courts to oversee and execute elections to various governing bodies of other autonomous organisations, such as Syndicates of Universities, statutory professional bodies, etc.
The following are the principal functions of the Election Commission of India:
- Demarcation of Constituencies
- Preparation of Electoral Rolls
- Recognition of Political parties and allotment of symbols
- Scrutiny of nomination papers
- Conduct of polls
- Scrutiny of election expenses of candidates
- Structure of Election Commission:
The commission presently consists of a Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners, appointed by the president.