Why in News ?
- Voting in the first phase of the Bihar Assembly elections for 71 seats across 16 districts is going to start from 28 october.
- Bihar is the first State going to the polls amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Election Commission has issued several guidelines for the voters and those engaged in conducting the polls.
ELECTION COMMISSION (Art. 324)
- The Election commission is a constitutional body that is entrusted with the responsibility of conducting free and fair elections in the country
THE ELECTION COMMISSION CONDUCTS THE ELECTION FOR
- The President
- The Vice President
- The LokSabha
- The Rajya Sabha
- The State Legislative Assemblies
- The State Legislative Councils
Note: Panchayats and Municipalities elections are conducted by the respective State Election Commissions.
COMPOSITION OF ELECTION COMMISSION
- Election commission is a multi member body.
- There is a Chief Election Commissioner and two election commissioners which have equal powers and receives equal salaries.
Note: The President decides their strength from time to time
- On October 16, 1989 for the first time the President appointed 2 election commissioners to cope with increased work of the election commission on account of lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 (61st amendment act).
- APPOINTMENT: The CEC and other Election Commissioners are appointed by the President of India.
- QUALIFICATIONS: The qualifications of the members of the election commission are not prescribed in the constitution.
- TERM OR TENURE: Six years or until the age of 65 whichever is earlier.
- SALARY: The salary is decided by the Parliament.
- RESIGNATION: The Chief Election Commissioner submits the resignation letter to the President.
- REMOVAL OF CHIEF ELECTION COMMISSIONER: In the same manner like that of a judge of a Supreme Court.
- REAPPOINTMENT: Eligible for further appointment under Government of India.
- REMOVAL OF OTHER ELECTION COMMISSIONERS: By the President only on the recommendation of the CEC.
FUNCTIONS OF ELECTION COMMISSION
- Prepare and revise the voters List
- Notify the dates and schedules the elections.
- Scrutinize the nomination papers.
- Allot the election symbols to the political parties
- Determine the code of conduct to be observed by the parties during & after election.
- Advice the President in the matter relating to the disqualification of the members of Parliament and state legislature.
- Recognize the political parties as National party or Regional (state) party.
Model Code of Conduct
- During the campaign period the political parties and the contesting candidates are expected to abide by a model code of conduct evolved by the Election Commission of India on the basis of the consensus among political parties.
- It comes into force the moment schedule of election is announced by the Election Commission.