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Election Commission – Power and Functions

The Indian constitution has formed a standard association. The Indian Election Commission’s power and functions govern the election process of India.

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The Indian Constitution has set up a standard association to govern the polls in the nation, which is the Election Commission of India. The Election Commission of India is a Constitutional association that is responsible for conducting, regulating, and analysing the poll elections occurring in the nation. In democracies like India and other countries, where leaders are elected, the Election Commission plays a major role. Having knowledge of the Election Commission and its powers and functions is essential for every citizen. The first Election Commission was formed on 25th January 1950.

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The first election in India

  • The Election Commission was first set up to establish democracy in the country.
  • The first election occurred in 1951.
  • The election had 1849 candidates enrolled to fill in 489 MP seats.
  • The public population was around 36 crores, and only 17.3 crores were eligible to vote. 
  • Initially, the voting age limit for the citizens was 21.
  • Article 324 was in effect for governing the rules and regulations for the election to be conducted by the Election Commission.

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The Election Commission of India

  • In 1990, T N Seshan was the person to draft the rules and regulations thoroughly for conducting an election by the Election Commission. 
  • He was the 10th Election Commissioner.
  • Currently, the chief Election Commissioner of India is Sushil Chandra, who is the 24th Chief Election Commissioner.
  • He was appointed on 13th April 2021.
  • Appointments to the positions of the chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioner are made by the President of India.
  • Their working duration is for around six years. They are eligible to work till they are 65 years old.
  • At the state level, the elections are overseen by the chief electoral officer of the state.
  • The chief electoral officer of the state is appointed by the commission from the senior-most civil servants.

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The Election Commission – powers and functions

The Election Commission governs the polling procedures right from enrolling the parties to announcing the leaders. Their functions and powers are as follows:

  • Issue symbols for the respective parties who are participating in the election.
  • Recognise the parties for election, be it national, regional, or state.
  • Determine the budget setup for polling processes from polling agents, including food, stationery, and sanitary measures. The budget is set up to inhibit the influence and vulgarity of excess money. 
  • Proofread the expenses list submitted 30 days before the result announcements. In case of any illegal practices, they have the power to disqualify the candidate.
  • Prepare and update the electoral rolls and the voters’ list of the region.
  • Issue the date and time for the polling process.
  • Admit the election officers for the polling areas.
  • Segregate and organise the electoral constituents and poll territories.
  • Scrutinise and approve the nomination papers and documents.
  • Settle the disputes for the symbols and recognition to the election parties.
  • Set the limit for campaign expenditure for a candidate in every political party. They also set up the duration and date range for conducting election campaigns.
  • Deliver the moral code of conduct for every election. It was first issued during the 5th general election held in 1971.
  • They have the power to disqualify a candidate even after the election when the candidate violates the election guidelines.

The Election Commission of India has the following officials:

  • Chief electoral officer
  • District election officer
  • Returning officer
  • Electoral registration officer

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The Election Commission – duties

The prime duties of the Election Commission and its officers are as follows:

  • They are confined to conducting and regulating the polling for the election of 
  • Parliamentary election
  • State legislature election
  • The president and vice-president of India.
  • Prepare the general rules for the election processes and monitor the processes.
  • They qualify and admit the political parties for competing in the elections. 
  • Responsible for appointing the officials to clarify the doubts and rumours regarding the election.

Election Commission – roles

The Election Commission plays a vital role in the process and processing of the election. Their key roles are as follows:

  • They set up and implement the rules and code of conduct for organised and fair elections.
  • The existence of the Election Commission in a democratic country has proved to be essential since the start of such an association.
  • They are empowered and obligated to supervise and regulate the election parties and candidates.
  • In case of any disputes, chaos, or misbehaviours, they are obliged to interfere and govern the parties.


The Election Commission of India governs the election processes, right from the national to the state level. The Election Commission’s powers and functions are all concerning the election process, from accepting a candidate to the result announcement. They are empowered to set the rules and budgets as well as regulate the candidate and the limits for the elections. They are responsible for settling disputes and chaos during and regarding the elections.


Frequently asked questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the UPSC Examination Preparation.

Who selects the chief election commissioner of the Election Commission of India?

Ans. He is selected and appointed by the President of India. The chief election commissioner  is responsible for th...Read full

What elections are conducted by the ECI?

Ans. They are confined to conducting and regulating the polling for the election of:  ...Read full

The Election Commission appoints what officials?

Ans. The Election Commission of India admits the following officials: ...Read full

Mention at least two powers of the Election Commission.

Ans. The commission is empowered to disqualify a candidate even after the elec...Read full

Mention at least two functions of the Election Commission.

Ans. Three functions of the Election Commission are: ...Read full