Election Commission: Role and Functions

By Mayank Yadav|Updated : May 4th, 2021

Election commission is a very important body for democracy in India. In this article we will look about its constitution, its appointment, role and functions. Article 324 of the Constitution mentions about the election commission mentioned in part XV. Have a look on it!!


  1. Article 324 of the Constitution mentions about the election commission mentioned in part XV.
  2. The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that behalf by Parliament made by the President. The institution of Election Commission presently consists of the chief election commissioner and two other election commissioners, appointed by the President.
  3. They hold office for a term of six years. The age of retirement is 65 years, whichever comes earlier.
  4. The first election commissioner of India was Sukumar Sen.
  5. The conditions of service and tenure of office President may by rule determine: Provided that the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on the like grounds as a Judge of the Supreme Court and the conditions of service of the Chief Election Commissioner shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment: Provided further that any other Election Commissioner or a Regional Commissioner shall not be removed from office except on the recommendation of CEC.

61st CAA 1984 reduced the voting age from 21 years to 18 years, and because of this two election commissioner were added to reduce work load.

Role of Election Commission

  • The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to Parliament and to the Legislature of every State and of elections to the offices of President and Vice-President held under this Constitution shall be vested in the Election Commission.
  • Before each general election to the HOP and SLAs, before each biennial election to the Legislative Council of each State having such Council, the President may also appoint after consultation with the Election Commission such Regional Commissioners.
  • The President, or the Governor of a State, shall, when so requested by the Election Commission, make available to the Election Commission or to a Regional Commissioner such staff as may be necessary for the discharge of the functions conferred on the Election Commission.

Functions of Election Commission 

  • To determine the territorial areas of the electoral constituencies throughout the country on the basis of the Delimitation Commission Act of Parliament.
  • To prepare and periodically revise electoral rolls and to register all eligible voters.
  • To notify the dates and schedules of elections and to scrutinize nomination papers.
  • To grant recognition to political parties and allot election symbols to them.
  • To act as a court for settling disputes related to granting of recognition to political parties and allotment of election symbols to them.
  • To appoint officers for inquiring into disputes relating to electoral arrangements.
  • To determine the code of conduct to be observed by the parties and the candidates at the time of elections.
  • To prepare a roster for publicity of the policies of the political parties on radio and TV in times of elections.
  • To advise the president on matters relating to the disqualifications of the members of Parliament.
  • To advise the governor on matters relating to the disqualifications of the members of state legislature.
  • To cancel polls in the event of rigging, booth capturing, violence and other irregularities.
  • To request the president or the governor for requisitioning the staff necessary for conducting elections.
  • To supervise the machinery of elections throughout the country to ensure free and fair elections.
  • To advise the president whether elections can be held in a state under president’s rule in order to extend the period of emergency after one year.
  • To register political parties for the purpose of elections and grant them the status of national or state parties on the basis of their poll performance.
  • The Election Commission is assisted by deputy election commissioners. They are drawn from the civil service and appointed by the commission with tenure system. They are assisted, in turn, by the secretaries, joint secretaries, deputy secretaries and under secretaries posted in the secretariat of the commission.

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