Constitutional Provisions Lacking to Prosecute Chief Election Commissioner for Partisan Acts Once General Elections are Announced

election commission of india

What if the Chief Election Commissioner acts in a partisan manner once the General Elections are announced and thereafter for a period of about 75 days till the election results are declared? The Constitution talks of impeachment of the Chief Election Commissioner. But that process can take place in parliament only after election results are announced. It means that the bias against some political parties could change the election results. It is only later that the issue of impeachment can be raised in parliament. There should be a mechanism to provide relief during the period of election itself. Of-course people/voters can protest against any such injustice. Even the courts in India can’t intervene. True, there could be criticism from countries across the world. Even the United Nations can take a public stand on the issue. All this would put pressure on the Election Commission to mend its ways. In rare cases the entire opposition political parties can boycott the elections. This has happened in some countries.

The Constitution of India has provision to impeach Election Commissioners if the Chief Election Commissioner recommends to the President of India about it. But such a recommendation is not binding on the President.

There is no provision for prosecution of Election Commissioners and the Chief Election Commissioner for partisan acts once the general elections are announced.

Constitutional experts, political scientists and all those concerned about a free and fair election in a democracy need to think about the above-mentioned crucial question. Meanwhile activists could make efforts to constitute an Independent Citizens’ Tribunal to document the partisan acts of the Chief Election Commissioner and release the same in the form of a ‘Report to the Nation’ to exert moral pressure on the Election Commission of India. Also, Nation-wide peaceful protests at the offices of State Election commissions to condemn the partisan acts could be resorted to. The Election Commission of India is not above the Indian constitution. The Election Commissioners must abide by the Constitution.  

P.S Sahni is a member of PIL Watch Group


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