Election Commission of India (ECI) Current Affairs

SC asks government to formalise Election Commissioners’ appointment through Law

The Supreme Court has asked the Union government to formalise appointment of election commissioners through law.

Need

The Supreme Court has observed that even though the Election commissioners have been so far appointed in a very fair manner, there exists a legitimate expectation in the Constitution of India that Election Commissioners, who are charged with the free and fair conduct of elections be appointed through a “most transparent and just process” formalised by a law enacted by the Parliament.

According to the Supreme Court, at present due to lack of a parliamentary law, there is no transparency in the eligibility, criteria required for a person to be appointed as an election commissioner. The court has observed that even the selection procedure of the CBI Director is formalised by a written law

Election Commissioners

For the conduct of free and fair elections, an independent Election Commission has been provided for in Article 324.In India, the Election Commission consists of three members. These all are appointed by the President for a term which is fixed by the President. However, conditions of service and tenure of office of the chief election commissioner and other election commissioner are determined by an act of parliament titled The Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Conditions of Service) Act, 1991. This act has fixed the following:

  • The chief election commissioner or an election commissioner shall hold office for a term of 6 years or age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • The chief election commissioner and other commissioners are paid a salary equal to the salary of a judge of the Supreme Court. On retirement, they are entitled to a pension payable to a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • All business of the election commission shall, as far as possible, be transacted unanimously. If the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners differ in opinion on any matter, such matter shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority.

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Election Commission joins hands with Facebook to Launch First Time Nationwide “Voter Registration Reminder”

The Election Commission of India has joined hands with Facebook to launch nationwide voter registration reminder aimed at reminding eligible Indian voters to register themselves on the electoral rolls.

Salient Highlights

As a part of the initiative, Facebook will activate a unique ‘Register Now’ button reminding all the eligible Indian users to enrol themselves as voters.

The reminder will be made available for four days beginning July 1. When the users click the button, they will be redirected to National Voters’ Services Portal, where they can register themselves as voters.

The reminder will be available in 13 languages-English, Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu, Assamese, Marathi and Oriya.

In 2016 and 2017, Election Commission had joined hands with Facebook to implement such features in selected states during the state elections. However, this is the first time the initiative is carried out all over India.

The Election Commission is expecting to reach over 180 million Indians on Facebook through this drive. The initiative aims at enrolling left-out voters with a particular focus on first-time electors.

Election Commission

Election Commission of India is a permanent body entrusted for the conduct of free and fair elections. An independent Election Commission has been provided for in Article 324 of the Constitution of India. One of the most important functions of the election commission is to prepare an up-to-date list of all the persons who are entitled to vote at the elections.

Election Commission is entrusted with the Election of President; Election of Vice-President; Election of Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha; Elections to State Legislatures as well as Legislative Councils; Reservation of Seats in Lok Sabha and State Legislatures; Qualifications of the MPs and MLAs; and Determination of population for purposes of the election.

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