Sentinel of Indian democracy, Election Commission constitutional position in India - Must read this article

Despite the atmosphere of political instability in neighboring countries for most of the time, India's democracy has not only remained but continuously flourished, and has remained the norm for other countries. A strong belief in the democracy of the Indian public is a major reason for the success of democracy in India. The constitutional role of the Election Commission has been very effective in maintaining this faith detailed provisions related to elections are in the following Acts -

Sentinel of Indian democracy, Election Commission constitutional position in India
  • The Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952
  • Public Representation Act, 1950
  • Public Representation Act, 1951
  • Delimitation Act, 2002

It is worth noting that the right to elect or vote is a statutory right. It is not a fundamental right, yet it is true that it has fundamental importance for democracy. let's read how Sentinel of Indian democracy, Election Commission constitutional position in India 

Constitutional provisions relating to an election

  • There will be a general election roll for each regional constituency. (Article-325) -
  • No person shall be eligible to be included in such a role on the basis of religion, descent, caste, sex, or any of them. (Article-325)
  • A person cannot claim to be included in a special electoral roll on the basis of religion, race, caste, etc. (Article-325)
  • The general rule for electors is adult suffrage ie if a citizen is 18 years of age on the date fixed by the Legislature and is not disqualified by law, he is entitled to be registered as a voter. But there are also some reasonable restrictions on the franchise. These general disqualifications are set forth in the Representation of the People Act. Adult suffrage means that every adult citizen has the right to vote except for a few exceptions.
  • Parliament has the power to legislate in all aspects of elections. (Article-327). This power is subject to the provisions of the Constitution (Articles-325, 326, etc.). Parliament can legislate not only for the elections of Parliament but also for the elections of other legislatures. The role of state legislatures in this is secondary. Parliament in the years 1950 and 1951 representation act and the delimitation commission act in 1962 and 1972.

Election Commission

Article-324 of the Constitution provides for an Election Commission. The Election Commission will have the Chief Election Commissioner and two other Election Commissioners. The President may, from time to time, control appointments relating to the Election Commission. The Chief Election commissioner acts as the Chairman of the appointment of other Election Commissioners. Till 1989, the Election Commission was one member. On October 16, 1989, a Presidential notification appointed two more Election Commissioners but before 6 months this notification was repealed and from 9 January 1900, the Election Commission became a one-member again.

In October 1993, two Election Commissioners were reappointed and were given the same status status as the Chief Election Commissioners by an ordinance. At the same time, the Commission was expected to act as a unanimous (or majority) decision-making body. Do the work The ordinance was challenged by the Chief Election Commissioner but. The court upheld the ordinance and the ordinance was converted into an act. The President called it. Approved January 1991 and became effective from October 1, 1993.

Article-324 also provides that the regional persons should be appointed after consulting the Chief Election Commissioner at the time of general elections.

Election-related articles at a glance

  • Article-324: Election Commission for Superintendence, Direction, and Control of Elections to be contained in
  • Article-325: of a person on the basis of religion, origin, caste, or lig not ineligible to be included in the electoral roll and included in a particular electoral roll no claim to be made.
  • Article-326: of Elections to the Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies of the States to be on the basis of adult franchise.
  • Article 327: To make provision for elections to legislatures Power of Parliament.
  • Article-328 Regarding elections for the Legislature of a state Power of that Legislature to make provision.
  • Article-329 A version of interference of courts in electoral matters

Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)

Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)

  • Electronic voting machines (EVMs) have been given effect by the Election Commission to make the election more convenient. EVM has two units: -
  • Control unit and balloting unit. There is a wire of five meters between these two units. The control unit is with the Election Officer.
  • In the year 1980 MB Hanifa designed EVM whose year. Tested in the North Parabur assembly by-election in Kerala in 1981.
  • The construction of EVMs started in the year 1989-90. It was first used extensively during elections in 16 assembly constituencies in 1998.
  •  The names and election marks of a maximum of 64 candidates in an EVM. The record of highest number of candidates has been recorded so far: 1009 ha in the Moderichi assembly seat of Tamil Nadu in the year 1986. (1033 candidates contested Buna.
  • The EVM is powered by a normal bolt battery which is also used in areas without electricity.
  • An EVM machine can record a maximum of 3840 votes.
  • The electronic jute machine is being manufactured by two units in the country. Bharat Electronics Limited, Bangalore, and Electronics Corporation of India, Hyderabad. 
  • The Election Commission has introduced the voter-verified paper audit trail system in EVM machine, it was first used in the assembly by-election in Nagaland.

Election Commission Profile

Founded: January 25, 1950

Headquarters: New Delhi

Chief election commissioner: Sunil Arora

Election Commission Functions

Announcement of election dates

The election commission of India periodically announces the dates of various elections (general elections/by-elections). The Election Commission is free to conduct phased elections at its discretion.

The Election The commission does the work allotted to him regarding the following elections. .

  • Election to parliament
  • Election for State Legislatures (This includes Union Territories.
  • Elections for the post of President and Vice-President

Code of conduct

The Election Commission issues a code of conduct for conducting peaceful and clean elections. In this, doable or notable instructions are issued for candidates and political parties.

Recognition of political parties

The Election commission is responsible for the recognition and registration of political parties. At the same time, national or state-level parties should be given political parties. Provides recognition as.

Advisory role

In the election-related promises, the role of the Election Commission is advisory. The Central government and the Supreme Court also try to know the aspect of the Election Commission during the election-related decisions.

  • To advise the President about the question of whether a Member of Parliament (Article-103) or a Member of the State Legislature (Article-192). Has suffered from disqualification.
  •  Advising the President for the appointment of the Regional Commissioner.

Voter awareness

Sentinel of Indian democracy, Election Commission constitutional position in India

The participation of voters in elections is essential for strengthening democracy. Election Commission various communications to promote it. Performs voter awareness through mediums.

International cooperation

India is a founding member of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA). The headquarters of this institution is in Stockholm. (Sweden).

India is working on the process of electoral reforms with various countries. The Election Commission of India represents India in electoral bilateral cooperation.

Provisions to ensure the independence of the Commission 

The fairness of elections and the independence of the Commission are closely related to each other and that is why the role of the Election Commission becomes very important. In the Constitution, the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Conditions of Service) Act provides that:  

The Election Commissioner is appointed for a term of 6 years or 65 years of age (whichever is earlier).

The election commissioner is not appointed after the appointment. The Election Commissioner can be removed on the same grounds and in the same manner as a Judge of the Supreme Court.

The commissioner's conditions of service will not be changed to a disadvantage after his appointment. No election commissioner or regional commissioner shall be removed from his post without the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner. 

The Union and State Governments are obliged to provide the necessary staff to the Commission for the discharge of its duties. 

Election dispute 

Article-329 is a special provision. In this, the laws related to the delimitation of constituencies have been given full protection. As a result, when the Delimitation Commission creates boundaries for territorial constituencies, its orders regarding delimitation are published and become final and cannot be questioned in any court. [Article-329 (a). 

Any election to each House of Parliament or to a House of the State Legislature shall be questioned only on such election petition which is presented to such authority and in such a manner as is provided for in the appropriate law. (Article-329). 

While electing In this article, the Supreme Court has stated that this section prohibits the courts from accepting any subject related to elections. These subjects can be questioned only by election petition under the law made by the appropriate legislature. In this context, the term election has been given a very wide meaning. All the procedures are covered in it and all the processes from the beginning till the candidate is declared elected.

Restricted Article-329 (a) 

Provision was made by the Constitution (39th Amendment) Act, 1975 to settle disputes regarding the parliamentary election of Prime Minister and Speaker of Lok Sabha by inserting Article-329 (a). The purpose of this amendment was to make the election petition filed against Indira Gandhi fruitless. Mrs. Gandhi succeeded in her purpose and her election as a Parliamentarian was not declared a non-election. Janata Sarkar removed this article in the year 1979 by the 9th amendment.

Smart facts

  • In the year 1993, for the first time photo identity card was issued. Photo: New guidelines related to identity cards were issued in May 2000.
  • In the year 2009, the Election Commission made voter awareness' part of the election-related process.
  • The boundaries incurred in the year 2003 were declared. A maximum limit of 125 lakhs is set for Lok Sabha elections and T 10 lakhs for assembly elections. The Election commission is a permanent constitutional body. It was established on 25 January 1950 on the basis of constitutional provisions.
  • The Election Commission celebrated its Golden Jubilee in the year 2001.
  • Two additional Election Commissioners were appointed for the first time on 16 October 1989. Ended on January 1, 1990. Again on 1 October 1993, the Election Commission became a three-member body. 

Current the jurisdiction in electoral disputes 

Since the year 1966, only the High Court has had the jurisdiction to hear election-related disputes. Its appeal is in the Supreme Court. In the same High Court, there is no appeal from a single bench to a division bench. Article-329 (b) of the Constitution (which was inserted in the year 1976. It provides that a law may be enacted for the appointment of tribunals regarding the election of each House of Parliament and each House of State Legislature Clause (d) also provides that such a law may exclude the jurisdiction of courts other than the Supreme Court. No such law has been enacted so far.

It should be noted that in the Chandra Kumar case, the Supreme Court has held that the exclusion of High Court jurisdiction is unconstitutional and void. The result is that if ever a law is enacted to create an Election Tribunal, the appeal of the such tribunal will be in the High Court. 

Electoral reforms 

How broad can the definition or interpretation of the words superintendence, direction, and control used in Article 324 of the Indian Constitution? It is a matter of dispute. Does the Election Commission also have any right under Article 324 by which it can decide that the elections will not be held or can be postponed indefinitely? In December 1995, the Election Commission made an announcement that there was not a favorable situation for elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Therefore, elections cannot be held. In some similar states, the Election Commission expressed its inability due to a lack of favorable conditions for elections. 

In the last 60 years, there have been 14 general elections for the Lok Sabha and several elections for different states and despite some shortcomings and difficulties, it is believed that the elections have been fair, free, and successful. The need for reforms in the election process has been given equal emphasis since the year 1952. Commissions and committees appointed from time to time have also made their recommendations. There have been special discussions of the recommendations of the Goswami Committee, the Gupta Committee, and the Law Commission (1999). 

The Election Commission has made several important reforms in the recent past. Some of these are the candidates' educational qualifications, criminal background, right to know about the voters, etc. Through these reforms, the Election Commission tried to stop the misuse of power, money power, etc. in voting. But the final approval of the recommendations given by the Election Commission has to be given to the Parliament itself and it seems that the whole matter has remained entangled in party politics or vested interests in the status quo of all parties. this. Recently, tainted MPs have also been seen in disputes related to membership. 

But the Election commission is aware of the rights and duties found in the Constitution and is constantly trying to complete the electoral reforms by staying within its constitutional limits. We should hope that our legislature will also build Mahatma Gandhi's 'dream India' by striving to make India a genuinely democratic republic by strengthening the Constitutional position of the Election Commission by giving positive support to election reforms.

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