Independent Election Commission

An independent Election Commission has been established under the Constitution in order to carry out and regulate the holding of elections in India. The Election Commission was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950. Originally a Chief Election Commissioner ran the commission, but first in 1989 and later again in 1993 two additional Election Commissioners were appointed. The Election Commission is responsible for the conduct of elections to parliament and state legislatures and to the offices of the President and Vice-President. The Election Commission prepares, maintains and periodically updates the Electoral Roll, which shows who is entitled to vote, supervises the nomination of candidates, registers political parties, monitors the election campaign, including candidates’ funding. It also facilitates the coverage of the election process by the media, organises the polling booths where voting takes place, and looks after the counting of votes and the declaration of results. All this is done to ensure that elections can take place in an orderly and fair manner. At present, there are two Election Commissioners appointed by the President. Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only by parliamentary impeachment. The Commission decides most matters by consensus but in case of any dissension, the majority view prevails. Election Commission : Present composition Mr. Navin Chawla - Chief Election Commissioner MR. V S Sampath- Election Commissioner Mr. S Y Qureshi - Election Commissioner Chief Election Commissioners : 1. Sukumar Sen ICS (b. 1899) : 21 March 1950 to 19 December 1958 2. K. V. K. Sundaram : 20 December 1958 to 30 September 1967 3. S. P. Sen Verma : 1 October 1967 to 30 September 1972 4. Dr. Nagendra Singh : 1 October 1972 to 6 February 1973 5. T. Swaminathan : 7 February 1973 to 17 June 1977 6. S. L. Shakdhar : 18 June 1977 to 17 June 1982 7. R. K. Trivedi : 18 June 1982 to 31 December 1985 8. R. V. S. Peri Sastri : 1 January 1986 to 25 November 1990 9. V. S. Ramadevi : 26 November 1990 to 11 December 1990 10. T. N. Seshan : 12 December 1990 to 11 December 1996 11. M. S. Gill : 12 December 1996 to 13 June 2001 12. J. M. Lyngdoh : 14 June 2001 to 7 February 2004 13. T. S. Krishnamurthy : 8 February 2004 to 15 May 2005 14. B. B. Tandon : 16 May 2005 to 29 June 2006 15. N. Gopalaswami : 30 June 2006 to 20 April 2009 16. Navin Chawla : 21 April 2009 to present The Commission has its headquarters in New Delhi, with a Secretariat of some 300 staff members. At the state level a Chief Electoral Officer with a core staff of varying numbers, is available on a full time basis. At the district and constituency level, officers and staff of the civil administration double up as Election officials. During actual conduct of elections, a vast number of additional staff are temporarily drafted for about two weeks. They function mainly as polling and counting officials.

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