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EC’s power to hold elections

Why in news?

  • recently as March this year, elections to 18 Rajya Sabha seats were postponed by the Commission due to the COVID19 pandemic.

More about elections

  • The EC is mandated under law to hold elections at any time within six months before the five-year term of the Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly expires.
  • The polls are timed in a way that the new Assembly or Lok Sabha is in place on the day of the dissolution of the outgoing House.
  • In the case of early dissolution, EC has to ensure, as far as possible, a new Lok Sabha or Assembly is in place within six months of the dissolution.

Powers to delay

  • Only in exceptional cases, the election can be postponed or even scrapped after its announcement
  • Under Section 153 of the Representation of the People Act, the poll panel can “extend the time” for completing an election, But such extension should not go beyond the date of the normal dissolution of the Lok Sabha or the Assembly.

More about Election Commission

  • The Election Commission is a permanent and an independent body established by the Constitution of India to ensure free and fair elections in the country.
  • Article 324 of the Constitution states that, the  EC is in charge of elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of president of India and the office of vice president of India
  • It is common to both the Central government and the state governments.

COMPOSITION

  1. The Election Commission consists of the chief election commissioner and those many number of other election commissioners as the president decides.
  2. ECE and other EC’s are appointed by president.
  3. The president appoints regional commissioners to assist election commission
  4. The conditions of service and tenure of office of the election  commissioners and the regional commissioners are determined by the president.

Thank you!

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