Election Commission of India

 The current Chief Election Commissioner of India is Dr. S. Nasim Zaidi

Contact Details of Election Commissioners of India are:

Name Designation Email Office No. Office Fax
S. Nasim Zaidi Chief Election Commissioner nasimzaidi@eci.gov.in 23052323,23052424 23052525
Mr. Achal Kumar Joti Election Commissioner akjoti@eci.gov.in 23052132,23052134 23052249
Mr. Vinod Zutshi Deputy Election Commissioner vinodzutshi@eci.gov.in 23052023,23052024 23052025
Mr. Sudhir Tripathi Deputy Election Commissioner s.tripathi@eci.gov.in 23052013,23052228 23318497
Mr. Umesh Sinha Deputy Election Commissioner decus@eci.gov.in 23052081,23052226 23052227
Mr. P.K. Dash Director General prasana.dash@eci.gov.in 23356025, 23715028 23318506

About Election Commission of India

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is a constitutional body responsible for administering elections in India according to the rules and regulations mentioned in the Constitution of India. It was established on January 25, 1950 with an aim to define and control the process for elections conducted at various levels: Parliament, State Legislatures, and the offices of the President and Vice President of India. In other words, the ECI ensures smooth and successful functioning of the democracy.

Role of Election Commission of India

In its assigned role, the most crucial challenge before the Election Commission of India is to implement norms and the Model Code of Conduct to ensure free and fair elections in the country. Its existence and independence are necessitated by history, which has shown that democratic elections are not free from sabotage. Towards this end, it has been empowered to oversee political parties and candidates and take appropriate action in case of violations.

Structure

The secretariat of the Commission has 300 officials, and is located in New Delhi. The Deputy Election Commissioners and Director Generals are the senior-most officers in the secretariat. The President of India appoints the Chief Election Commissioner, who serves for six years and must retire at the age of 65. The Commissioner is generally a member of the Civil Services, and more often, of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) or the Indian Revenue Services (IRS). He can be removed from his office through the process of impeachment, which needs to be carried out in the Parliament. The President of India can remove the other officers on the Chief Commissioner’s recommendation.

Functions and Powers

The main functions of the ECI are as follows:

  • The Election Commission of India is considered the custodian of free and fair elections.
  • It issues the Model Code of Conduct in every election for political parties and candidates so that the dignity of democracy is maintained.
  • It regulates political parties and registers them for being eligible to contest elections.
  • It publishes the allowed limits of campaign expenditure per candidate to all the political parties, and also monitors the same.
  • The political parties must submit their annual reports to the ECI for getting tax benefit on contributions.
  • It ensures that all the political parties regularly submit their audited financial reports.

Some of the powers wielded by the ECI are as follows:

  • The Commission can suppress the results of opinion polls if it deems such an action fit for the cause of democracy.
  • The Commission can advise for disqualification of members after the elections if it thinks they have violated certain guidelines.
  • In case, a candidate is found guilty of corrupt practices during the elections, the Supreme Court and High Courts consult the Commission.
  • The Commission can suspend candidates who fail to submit their election expense accounts timely.

 

New Initiatives taken by Election Commission

In order to bring about various improvements and reforms in the election procedure, the ECI has taken numerous steps. Some of them are as follows:

  • Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were introduced to improve reliability and efficiency. With the help of EVMs, chances of any discrepancies in terms of counting of ballots are almost nil. Moreover, the introduction of technology has just made a quick verdict possible as it just takes three to four days to declare the results.
  • The website of the ECI was launched on February 28, 1998 to provide accurate information and instant results of the elections.
  • Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPICs) were issued in 1993 to prevent electoral fraud. From the 2004 elections, these were made mandatory.

A few more initiatives taken in recent years by the ECI are:

  • New guidelines for broadcasting on State-owned electronic media.
  • Inspection of instances of criminalisation in politics.
  • Computerised electoral rolls.
  • Simplification of account maintenance and filing.
  • Measures for better enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct.
  • An additional Model Code of Conduct, applicable only to news media, is yet to be formulated to ensure free, fair and unbiased media coverage of elections in India.

Budget & Expenses

The Election Commission of India and the Union Finance Ministry finalise the budget for the former’s Secretariat, which is liable for an independent budget. The recommendations of the Election Commission are generally upheld by the Ministry of Finance. The concerned states and the Union Territories have to manage the expenses of elections being held, but it is the Union Government who bears the expenses of the Lok Sabha (parliamentary) elections entirely. In case of the legislative assembly elections, the concerned State bears the expenses. If the Lok Sabha (Parliamentary) and the assembly elections are taking place at the same time, the gross expenditure is equally shared amongst the Union Government and the concerned state(s)

Address and Contact details

Election Commission of India
Nirvachan Sadan
Ashoka Road, New Delhi 110001
Tel: 011-23717391
Fax: 011-23713412
Email: feedbackeci@gmail.com

List of Chief Election Commissioners of India

S.No. Name Tenure
1 Dr. S. Nasim Zaidi Apr 19, 2015 to Jul 12, 2017
2 H. S. Brahma Jan 15, 2015 to Apr 18, 2015
3 V. S. Sampath Jun 10, 2012 to Jan 15, 2015
4 S. Y. Quraishi Jul 30, 2010 to Jun 10, 2012
5 Navin Chawla Apr 21, 2009 to Jul 29, 2010
6 N. Gopalaswami Jun 30, 2006 to Apr 20, 2009
7 B. B. Tandon May 16, 2005 to Jun 29, 2006
8 T. S. Krishnamurthy Feb 8, 2004 to May 15, 2005
9 J. M. Lyngdoh Jun 14, 2001 to Feb 7, 2004
10 M. S. Gill Dec 12, 1996 to Jun 13, 2001
11 T. N. Seshan Dec 12, 1990 to Dec 11, 1996
12 V. S. Ramadevi Nov 26, 1990 to Dec 11, 1990
13 R. V. S. Peri Sastri Jan 1, 1986 to Nov 25, 1990
14 R. K. Trivedi Jun 18, 1982 to Dec 31, 1985
15 S. L. Shakdhar Jun 18, 1977 to Jun 17, 1982
16 T. Swaminathan Feb 7, 1973 to Jun 17, 1977
17 Nagendra Singh Oct 1, 1972 to Feb 6, 1973
18 S. P. Sen Verma Oct 1, 1967 to Sep 30, 1972
19 Kalyan Sundaram Dec 20, 1958 to Sep 30, 1967
20 Sukumar Sen Mar 21, 1950 to Dec 19, 1958

 

State Election Commissions of India
Andhra Pradesh EC Maharashtra EC Haryana EC Sikkim EC
Arunachal Pradesh EC Meghalaya EC Jammu and Kashmir EC Telangana EC
Bihar EC Mizoram EC Jharkhand EC Tripura EC
Chhattisgarh EC Nagaland EC Karnataka EC Uttarakhand EC
Delhi EC Odisha EC Kerala EC Uttar Pradesh EC
Goa EC Punjab EC Madhya Pradesh EC West Bengal EC

 

State-wise Elections in India
Andhra Pradesh Haryana Manipur Rajasthan
Arunachal Pradesh Himacahal Pradesh Meghalaya Sikkim
Assam Jammu and Kashmir Mizoram Tamil Nadu
Bihar Jharkhand Nagaland Tripura
Chhattisgarh Karnataka Orissa Uttarakhand
Delhi Kerala Punjab Uttar Pradesh
Goa Madhya Pradesh Pondicherry West Bengal