The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional body for the superintendence, direction and control of elections to the Parliament including the offices of the President of India and Vice President of India as well as to the various state legislatures as enshrined in the Constitution of India. It is a three member body i.e. a Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
The President appoints
Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners. They have
tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is
earlier. The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from his
office by the Parliament with two-thirds majority in Lok Sabha and
Rajya Sabha on the grounds of proven misbehaviour or incapacity.
Commissioners can be removed by the President on the recommendation
of the Chief Election Commissioner. The Chief Election Commissioner
and the two Election Commissioners draw salaries and allowances at
par with those of the Judges of the Supreme Court of India
as per the
Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners
(Conditions of Service) Rules, 1992.
For free and fair
elections and hence preservation of the democracy, the Election
Commissioners should not only be fair but also appear to be fair. The
Election Commissioners are generally bureaucrats who are appointed by
the President on the recommendations of the Government. In the
current elections, it is seen that they have played a very lax role
with most of the leaders getting away by breaking the model code of
conduct laid down by the Election Commission.
Hence, it is essential
that retired judges of the Supreme Court may be appointed to these
posts so that they could work more fairly and ruthlessly and model
code of conduct is not violated as judges are known to be more strict
in implementing the model code of conduct than the bureaucrats as the
orientation of a judge is such that he can deal with violators of the
model code of conduct more effectively.
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