Election Commissioner of India

Election Commissioners of India are members of Election Commission of India, a body constitutionally empowered to conduct free and fair elections in India to the national and state legislatures. The Election Commissioners are usually retired IAS or IRS officers.

Election Commissioner of India
The Em
Reports toParliament
SeatNirvachan Sadan, New Delhi, India
AppointerPresident of India
Term length6 years
Inaugural holderSukumar Sen
WebsiteElection Commission of India
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Until 1989, the commission was a single member body, but later two additional Election Commissioners were added. Thus, the Election Commission currently consists of a Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners. The decisions of the commission are taken by a majority vote. Sunil Arora is the current 23rd Chief Election Commissioner and the two Election Commissioners are Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra.[1][2]

History

Originally in 1950, the commission had only a Chief Election Commissioner. Two additional Commissioners were appointed to the commission for the first time on 16 October 1989 but they had a very short tenure, ending on 1 January 1990. The Election Commissioner Amendment Act, 1989 made the Commission a multi-member body. The concept of a 3-member Commission has been in operation since then, with the decisions being made by a majority vote.[3] the official website was introduced on 28 February 1998

Appointment and removal

The Chief Election Commissioner cannot be removed from his post easily on account of any political reasons. This is necessary so as to preserve the independence of election commission. Chief Election Commissioner of India can be removed from his office by the Parliament with a two-thirds majority in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on the grounds of proved misbehavior or incapacity. Other Election Commissioners can be removed by the President of India on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner. A Chief Election Commissioner has never been impeached in India.

In 2009, just before the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections, Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami sent a recommendation to President Prathibha Patil to remove Election Commissioner Navin Chawla, who was soon to take office as the Chief Election Commissioner and to subsequently supervise the Lok Sabha Election, citing his partisan behavior in favor of one political party.[4] The President opined that such a recommendation is not binding on the President, and hence rejected it.[5] Subsequently, after Gopalswami's retirement the next month, Chawla became the Chief Election Commissioner and supervised the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections.[6]

Compensation

The Chief Election Commissioner and the two Election Commissioners who are usually retired IAS officers 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.[7]

See also

References

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