The Election Commission defines and controls the course of elections held at various levels for the state legislatures, the Parliament and offices of the Vice-President and President of India.
The 2019 Lok Sabha polls are underway and the conduct of 'free and fair' elections in India hinges upon the impartiality of the Election Commission of India.
So what exactly is the role of the Election Commission of India?
The Election commission of India is an autonomous body insulated from political pressures and executive influence. The Constitution has empowered this body with the power to supervise the political bodies and candidates.
Established in 1950, the Election Commission works with the principal objective of defining and controlling the course of elections held at various levels for the state legislatures, the Parliament and the offices of the Vice-President and the President of the country.
In its present form, the Election Commission consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners. They are appointed by the President and the tenure of these officers is six years or up to 65 years of age. The status and pay of these officers is similar to what is enjoyed by the Judges of the Supreme Court.
In organising the elections of the largest democracy of the world, the Election Commission of India plays a crucial and decisive role. It must ensure the conduct of free and fair elections.
The most important functions of Election Commission include issuing the Model Code of Conduct before every election which is to be followed by the different candidates and parties so that the decorum of the democracy is maintained.
The body regulates the political parties and has to register the eligible ones enabling them contest in the elections. It prescribes the limits of campaign expenditure by the candidates and parties and monitors the spending too. All the political parties are expected to submit their annual reports to the Election Commission of India in order to get tax benefits on the contributions. The body also mandates that the political parties submit their audited financial reports regularly.
The Election Commission also decides the constituencies and prepares the electoral rolls. It gives credit also allots election symbols to contesting candidates and parties.It can take appropriate actions in case of any violations of the Model Code of Conduct. It can also appoint the tribunals to take decision on the doubts and disputes related to the elections conducted for state legislatures and the Parliament.
Sakshi Batra gives you more details on the role of the Election Commission in India's elections.Check out the video.