sushil-chandra-appointed-next-chief-election-commissioner

Context: Sushil Chandra was appointed as the next Chief Election Commissioner, the Law Ministry said. 

Election commission of India:

  • Article 324 to 329 of the constitution deals with powers, function, tenure, eligibility, etc of the commission and the member.
  • Article 324: 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 a Commission (referred to in this Constitution as the Election Commission).

Composition 

  • Article 324(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, be made by the President.
  • Article 324(3): When any other Election Commissioner is so appointed the Chief Election Commissioner shall act as the Chairman of the Election Commission.
  • Article 324(4): The President may also appoint after consultation with the Election Commission such Regional Commissioners as he may consider necessary to assist the Election Commission in the performance of the functions conferred on the Commission by clause (1).

Tenure:

  • The CEC and the Election Commissioners have a tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier, and enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to apex court judges.

 Removal:

  • Article 324 (5) of the Constitution safeguards the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) from arbitrary removal. 
  • The CEC can be removed from office only by the order of the President, just like a judge of the Supreme Court. 

However, the same constitutional provision is silent about the procedure for removal of the two Election Commissioners. It only provides that they cannot be removed from office except on the recommendation of the CEC.