The Election commission of India is a constitutional body provided under the original constitutional text of the Indian constitution. The article 324 and onwards is all about the powers and duties of the ECI. The ECI’s role has been non controversial for few decades after independence. The ECI has got infact far more powers than followed in practice. It was thought that the ECI is merely a department of Government of India until there commenced the phase of activism. The ECI was born but its youth was awaited.
Who does not know the name and fame of Mr. T.N. Shesan who was appointed as Chief Election Commissioner of ECI. The government locked its horns with the activism of the ECI and the matter went to the Supreme Court of India. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India recognized the powers of the ECI as constitutional bodies but gave upper hand to the elected executive government as two more Election Commissioners were appointed by the Government.
The controversies subsided and the ECI took not only short term but long term reforms also. The introduction of EPIC cards was initiated by ECI in that decade only and what was thought to be an impossible HErculian task got completed with all flying colors and feathers all in the cap of ECI.
The ECI activism never came down after that and there was gradual rise in the grip of the ECI over the electoral politics and laws. The issue of disqualification and voluntary disclosure of assets and criminal records is initiative of the ECI only. The most recent contribution of ECI is the total EVM based General Election and the introduction of NOTA system in the EVM itself.
The ECi can claim that it has the vast experience of handling the election of the largest democracy on the planet.