Rajiv Kumar, former finance secretary appointed as Election Commissioner
On August 21, 2020, the former finance secretary was appointed as the Election Commissioner. The outgoing Election Commission Ashol Lavasa is to join the Asian Development Bank as its vice president.
Mr Kumar has 30 years of experience in public policy and administration in several sectors. He holds LLB and BSc degrees along with Master of Public policy and Sustainability. He was appointed as the finance secretary in July 2019. He had worked in the key areas of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan of Financial Inclusion, Mudra loan schemes and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.
Election Commission of India
Article 324 of the Constitution of India mentions provisions to ensure and safeguard functions of Election Commission. They are as follows
- An Election Commissioner has been provided with security of tenure. He can be removed from office only on the same grounds as that of judge of Supreme Court. That is, both the houses of the Parliament have to pass a resolution based on proved misbehaviour or incapacity.
- Though he is appointed by the President, he cannot be removed even by the president.
- The Constitution has not provided any qualification (education) for the members of Election Commission.
The Part-15 of the Indian constitution establishes election commission and deals with elections. Election Commission had only one election commissioner. However, after Election Commissioner Amendment Act, 1989, multiple election commissioner are being appointed.
Functions of Election Commission
- The Election Commission determines the territorial areas of Electoral constituencies throughout the country on the basis of Delimitation Commission Act of Parliament.
- It prepares and revises electoral rolls registering all eligible voters.
- It notifies all dates and schedules scrutinizing nomination papers
- When in dispute between pollical parties in allocating election symbols and recognition to political parties, the election commission acts as a court.
- It prepares programme to publicize policies of all political parties like TV and radio during elections.
- It advises President on disqualification of MPs. Also, it advises the governor on disqualification of MLA.