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Current issues related to the Election Commission of India

October 04, 2020
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Current issues related to the Election Commission of India

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This article is written by Dhananjai Singh Rana, a student pursuing BBA LLB(H) from Amity Law School, Noida. This article deals with the analysis of the reforms needed in the Election Commission of India.

History

Election Commission of India (ECI), an intrinsically commanded body was set up in 1950, to encourage following a just procedure during elections. It is headquartered in New Delhi. 

The Election Commission worked as a solitary organ consisting of the Chief Election Commissioner from its origin in 1950 until October 1989. In October 1989, the President selected two extra quasi-judicial magistrates to adapt to the election commission expanded work due to the decrease in the age criteria of casting vote from 21 to 18 years. From that point, the Election Commission worked as a multi-organ body comprising three election Commissioners. However, the two posts of election Commissioner were annulled in January 1990 and the Election Commission was returned to the prior position. 

The President again delegated two more political decision chiefs in October 1993. The Election Commission has worked as a multi-organ body comprising three officials of election Commissioner from that point forward and until today. The Central election commissioner and the two other officials of the election commission have equivalent powers and get equivalent pay, recompenses, and different perquisites, which are like those of an appointed authority of the Supreme Court.

Composition

Organization of the Election Commission is provided under Article 324 of the Indian Constitution

Issues in Election Commission

Launch of NaMo TV (alongside Biopic and web arrangement) without a permit: Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act “precludes” show of any “political race matter” by methods for “cinematograph, TV or another comparable mechanical assembly”, 48 hours before the hour fixed for the decision of survey in a specific supporter. 

This stage is known as the ‘quiet period’ as it permits a voter to make up their psyche on whom to cast a ballot without being impacted by political battling. 

Besides, these free exposure crusades were excluded from political race consumption. Note that Section 126 isn’t pertinent on the print media. Loathe discourse by different pioneers like Mayawati, Yogi Adityanath was just banished after the mediation of the Supreme Court. Political decision commission in all the above cases fought that it is an innocuous tiger. Simply after notification and warning, it can make any move against any government official. 

Aside from numerous issues like chauvinist comments by Azam Khan, move and arrangement of Chief Electoral Officer, obvious paper review trail (VVPAT) reviews, infringement of the Model code of conduct (MCC), are bringing up an issue over institutional self-sufficiency.

 

Analysis of the stand of Election Commission

In all the above cases the Election commission was reluctant to make a quick move. The statement by the Election Commission in the Supreme Court that it is currently mindful of its forces after the court requested the commission to act conclusively against guilty parties, diminishes the status of the survey board to that of a minor needing guardianship. It took about 24 hours for the commission to change from stubbornness [stubbornly declining to compromise] into unequivocal activity after the SC address. This implies the issue was not with the commission or its forces, yet with the individuals who were responsible for its undertakings. The Constitution has given the commission all the forces that it requires for the smooth release of its duties. The issue lies just in the activity of such powers.

A Case for Resurrection

The Election Commissioners are appointed by the current government and they might feel obliged to the government or the government might feel that they should be beholden. In any case, public perception is that if they have been appointed by a particular government, they will be soft towards it. A collegium system of appointment (as suggested by Tarkunde Committee, 1975 and the Goswami Committee, 1990) should be considered. This will weaken the influence of the government over the President’s choice of Election Commissioners.

Additionally, removal of the other two ECs does not require such a process of impeachment and can be removed simply by the government in power, making them vulnerable, and affecting their ability to act independently.

The issue of fanatic impact over arrangements rose in a blast of debate in January 2009, when the Chief Election Commissioner Gopalaswami composed a letter to the President suggesting the evacuation of Election Commissioner Navin Chawla. 

Gopalaswami blamed Chawla for partisanship. The President, Pratibha Patil, declined to follow up on the suggestion. 

The contention featured two institutional shortcomings in the structure of the Election Commission The potential for fanatic arrangements by a legislature; Distinction in the security of residency for the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.

A Missed opportunity

The overall shortcoming of residency for Election Commissioners, who lawfully could be believed to serve at the command of the Chief Election Commissioner, had been raised by the Election Commission in 2004 when a proposition was made to settle in the Election Commissioners similarly as the Chief Election Commissioner. Be that as it may, no move was made over it. 

Best practices from different nations in designating of Election Commissions 

The legality of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC)

Questions are being raised on the viability of the present MCC including recommendations to make it an authoritative report to make it increasingly viable. Be that as it may, specialists are of the view that MCC has been a complete arrangement of rules and has been viable before.

If MCC is made a legal document

The origin of MCC

A model code of conduct for parties and candidates contesting in elections was first utilized in Kerala before the Assembly Elections of February 1960 and flowed broadly in 1968 just before State Assembly races. 

The historic development of MCC

The Chief Election Commissioner, T.N. Seshan, utilized the model set of accepted rules as a weapon in his campaign against discretionary negligence, upheld up by the danger of deferment of decisions and the reversing of results. Such a measure was viewed as patent maltreatment of intensity, however, it guaranteed reasonable surveys. 

The Election Commission under Seshan likewise braced down on the utilization of unnecessary cash for decisions, putting an enforceable fix on the sum gatherings and applicants can spend in every voting public. 

Transfer and appointment

The Chief Election Commissioner, T.N. Seshan, used the model arrangement of acknowledged principles as a weapon in his battle against optional carelessness, maintained up by the threat of delay of choices, and the switching of results. Such a measure was seen as patent abuse of force, anyway, it ensured sensible studies. 

The Election Commission under Seshan in a like manner supported down on the usage of pointless money for choices, putting an enforceable fixing on the aggregate get-togethers and candidates can spend in each casting a ballot open. 

It put the fear of law in the mind of lawmakers and ideological gatherings. This infers when the EC course of action was under trustworthy authorities, the law finished as far as possible and everyone put everything in order. Regardless, at various events, things came back to the beginning stage, and that is conceivably hazardous.

The limitations of Election Commission

Way Forward

EC ought to constantly rehash its forces given to it under the Indian Constitution as done by numerous past CECs like T. N. Seshan. 

Perceiving the expansion of battle media is the initial move towards tending to the uncontrolled mocking of the MCC. The system for comprehension and tending to the different types of voter control must be generally rethought by the ECI. 

Voter Awareness is an extreme and viable arrangement, which makes applicants increasingly responsible to their voters and stops the spurning the MCC sometimes. The EC has propelled voter mindfulness battles like SVEEP (Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation program). 

It has likewise helped transform individuals into political decision members who stay cautious in surveying forms through the cVigil App where anybody can report political race acts of neglect.

Amending the appointment and removal process of ECs

The government ought to consider the proposals by Administrative Reform Commission-II and Law Commission reports concerning the progressions required in the arrangement and expulsion of ECs and make the organization more grounded.

Conclusion

References


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