Election Commission

The Election Commission of India, a powerful non-partisan constitutional body, conducts the largest electoral exercise in the world.


Primary Functions

Superintendence, direction, and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for and conduct of the elections to Parliament and to the legislature of every state and also of the elections to the offices of the President and Vice President of India. Also, demarcation of constituencies, preparation of electoral rolls, arranging sufficient staff for smooth conduction of polls, and briefings the details of elections to media.

Other Functions

The Election Commission has got an important duty of advising the President and the Governor in the matter of disqualification of sitting members of Parliament, State Legislature on all grounds other than the ground of defection  (Arts. 103 and 192).

The Election Commission has been vested with advisory jurisdiction under the law. If a person is found guilty of corrupt practice during the election, the President decides the question of whether he should be disqualified from contesting future elections. The President obtains the opinion of the Election Commission and acts accordingly.

Quasi Judicial Functions

All political parties wishing to contest in the elections must register themselves with the Election Commission. Such function of registration of political parties by the Election Commission has been held by the Supreme Court as a quasi-judicial function of the commission. The Supreme Court also held that in merger disputes between two political parties, the Election Commission exercises the judicial power of the state.

Role of Election Commission

  • Guardian of free and fair Elections
  • Issues Model Code of Conduct
  • Registration of political parties
  • Limit on poll expenses
  • Use of scientific and technological advancements
  • Multi-member election commission
  •  A tribunal for adjudication
  • Checking criminalization of politics
  • Right to know about candidates
  •  Role of advisor
  •  Prohibition on publication