Why in news : Recently, the Supreme Court expressed disappointment about the short tenure of chief election commissioners.

Key points about Election Commission :

  • The Election Commission is a permanent and an independent body established by the Article 324 of the constitution.
  • Article 324 gives the power of superintendence, direction and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, office of president and vice-president to the Election commission.

chief election commissioner(CEC) :

  • Article 324 says that the election commission shall consists of chief election commissioner and other election commissioners as the president may specify.
  • Appointment : The appointment of the chief election commissioner and other election commissioner will be done by the president.
  • Tenure : Section 4 of the Election Commission Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business Act of 1991 says that the term of the CEC and other EC is six years or till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • Therefore, the constitution has not specified the term of the members of the Election Commission.
  • The Constitution has not debarred the retiring election commissioners from any further appointment by the government.
  • Independence : The CEC is provided with the security of the tenure. He cannot be removed from his office except in the same manner and on the same grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court.

Recent controversy :  Supreme Court expressed its anger because of short tenure of the CEC since 2004.

Since the tenure is not fixed, government is appointing those as CEC who can never complete the full term of 6 years.