Polity & Governance Prelims cum Mains

Dissent in the Election Commission – what the rules say?

Context of the topic:

  • One of the Election Commissioners has dissented with the opinion of his colleagues in the Election Commission in some matters pertaining to alleged violations of the Model Code of Conduct.

 

About Election Commission

  • Election Commission is a permanent and independent body established by the constitution to ensure free and fair elections in the country.
  • Article 324 of the constitution provides the power of superintendence, direction and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of President of India, and office of Vice-President of India shall be vested in the election commission.

Composition:

  • 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.

Appointment of Election Commissioners

  • The Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners are appointed by the President.
  • Term: Six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as judges of the Supreme Court of India.

 

Decision making in the Election Commission:

  • The Commission transacts its business by holding regular meetings and also by circulation of papers.
  • All Election Commissioners have equal say in the decision making of the Commission.
  • Section 10 of the Election Commission Act, 1991: All business of the Election Commission shall, as far as possible, be transacted unanimously.

How a decision is made in case of dissent in the Election Commission?

  • According to the Election Commission Act, 1991, if the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners differ in opinion on any matter, such matter shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority.

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