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  • Context (PIB): The 14th National Voters’ Day (NVD) is celebrated on January 25, 2024.
  • Theme: ‘Nothing Like Voting, I Vote For Sure.
  • The President of India presented the Best Electoral Practices Awards for the year 2023.
  • ECI celebrated its 75th year of service on January 25, 2024 by releasing of a commemorative postage stamp themed “Inclusive Elections.

National Voters’ Day (NVD)

  • It is celebrated annually on 25th January to mark foundation day of the Election Commission of India.
  • Inception: January 25, 2011
  • Objective: To create electoral awareness amongst citizens and encourage them to participate in the electoral process.

Election Commission of India (ECI)

  • It is a permanent, all India, quasi-judicial and independent constitutional body established in 1950 to conduct and regulate elections in the country.
  • Part XV and Article (324-329) of the constitution of India deal with elections and election commission.
  • ECI administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, State Legislative Councils and the offices of the President and Vice President of the country.
  • ECI is not concerned with the elections to panchayats and municipalities in the states.

Composition of the ECI

  • Article 324 of the IC outlines the structure of the Election Commission.
  • It consists of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and other election commissioners appointed by President for the term of 6 years, retire at the age of 65 years whichever is earlier.
  • No specific qualification is mentioned in the IC for the appointment to ECI.
  • Number of election commissioners are determined by the President but the salaries, facilities and other conditions are regulated by Parliament.
  • CEC and other commissioners have equal status and rank similar to those of a judge of the SC.
  • When additional Election Commissioners are appointed, the Chief Election Commissioner acts as the head of the Commission.
  • Currently, the Election Commission of India includes one Chief Election Commissioner and two subordinate Election Commissioners.
  • CEC is removed like that of the judges of SC whereas the other commissioners are removed by President after consultation with CEC.

Procedure for removal of a SC judge on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity

  • A removal motion raised by 100 members of Lok Sabha or 50 members of Rajya Sabha.
  • If the Speaker/Chairman admits the motion, he/she would constitute a 3-member Committee consisting of a Chief Justice or judge of SC, a Chief Justice of HC and a renowned Jurist.
  • The Committee would investigate the charges and submit its report to the Speaker/Chairman.
  • If the report is adverse, the House can take up the consideration if the motion.
  • If the motion is passed by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting in both the houses of the Parliament, it would be sent to the President for his assent.

Roles and Responsibilities of the ECI

  • Administrative Power: Includes defining electoral constituencies, preparing voter lists, scheduling elections, recognizing political parties, allocating symbols, and setting election conduct codes.
  • Advisory Power: The ECI advises the President and Governor on disqualifications in Parliament and state legislatures, consults on elections during President’s rule and emergencies, and guides higher courts on post-election disputes.
  • Quasi-Judicial Power: Acts as a tribunal for disputes regarding political party recognition and symbol allocation.
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