Election Laws & Its Mechanism in India

Election Laws & Its Mechanism in India

By Simran Agarwal [Student at School of Law, UPES Dehradun (2018-23 Batch)]


India is proud to be the world’s largest democratic republic, a socialist, secular country. After centuries of colonial rule, the country achieved independence on August 15, 1947. Ever since, free and fair elections have been apprehended on a regular basis, based on the ideals outlined in the Constitution, the Structure of laws, and the elector laws.

Election Laws in India

Elections in India are governed by a wide range of rules and norms. The elections of the center and of the state are held independently, However, the laws regulating parliamentary and state legislature elections are remarkably similar. These are their names:

  • The Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act of 1952: holds India’s elections of The President and Vice President.
  • The Presidential and Vice-Presidential Election Rules of 1974: are the regulations concerning the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act of 1952.
  • The Representation of the People Act of 1950: is primarily concerned with the creation of electoral rolls as well as their revisions or updates.
  • The Electoral Registration Rules of 1960: These are really significant regulations concerning the supervision and updating of the electoral roll, as well as voter registration and verification. It outlines the procedures for registering eligible voters and issuing Voter ID cards. This also includes rules for including eligible voters, excluding ineligible voters and correcting voter registration cards.
  • The Representation of the People Act of 1951: addresses post-election issues such as disputes and malpractice. Every dispute must be heard in the State High Court of the pertinent constituency.
  • Conduct of Elections Rules 1961: Specific norms created by the Central Government and the Election Commission for every level of election administration. in accordance with Section 169 of the Act. These include providing written notice for elections, registering candidates, Candidates being withdrawn, endorsements being reviewed, polls being held, and votes being counted. Furthermore, the house’s natural consequence constitution is categorized in accordance with these rules.
  •  The Election Symbols Order of 1968: authorizes the Election Commission to acknowledge and distribute political party symbols. Anti-defection Act of 1985 was enacted by the 52nd Constitutional Amendment in the 10th schedule: When a representative of a House from a particular political party voluntarily resigns from his or her position as a member of a political party, or votes or stops voting, contrary to the wishes of the political party to which he belongs, or A member is accountable for defecting if they move into a political party after the election.
  • We must first focus on the structure of the Indian government and the different kinds of elections in order to properly grasp election regulations.

Indian Government & Its Structure

India, also known as the State of the Union, is ruled by a parliamentary system. The Head of State of India is the President, who is in a position of authority, either personally or through his junior officials. The state’s Vidhan Sabha is its legislative body. and the Vidhan Parishad is directed by the chief minister. The chief minister is also in charge of nominating the governor of the state legislature. That is the structure of state government.

Indian Democracy & Its Structure

India’s constitution has a crucial element that is inalienable and integral to democracy: the constitutional framework. The idea of democracy embodied in the Constitution presupposes the use of elections to represent people in both state and federal legislatures.

The rule of law should always be respected in order for democracy to thrive, and in order to ensure that the nation is being governed properly, it is essential to choose the best individuals available to serve as the people’s representatives and Elections must be free and fair, and they must be held in a setting where voters can freely exercise their right to vote, in order for the best individuals to be chosen as the people’s representatives. Thus, the foundation of Indian democracy is the holding of free and fair elections.

The leading democratic nation in the world is India. Due to its 28 states and 8 Union territories, India holds more elections than any other country in the world. In the 2019 Legislative Elections, 911 million people were eligible to vote. This historic election was held in 11 phases over the course of 40 days.

Types of Elections in India

  • General Election – In order to fill the 543 Lok Sabha seats, a general election is held to choose representatives for each of the parliamentary districts.
  • Assembly elections– In India, these elections are held every five years, also during these, voters elect Vidhan Sabha members, who then select the Chief Minister of every State Assembly.
  • By Elections– Usually referred to as by-polls, are used to fill open elected positions between general elections.

Overview of the Indian Election Commission

A democratic and constitutional body is required to conduct free and fair elections. Election administration and management in India, the world’s largest democracy, is a massive undertaking. All of this is handled by a single statutory body known as the Election Commission of India.

A perpetual organization with constituent authority is the Indian Election Commission. The Election Commission was established on January 25, 1950, and claims to the Constitution. In 2001, the Election Commission celebrated its Golden Jubilee. The independent statutory organization is in charge of organizing elections and the Election Commission of India oversees elections both within the Union and of States in India. Elections for the Supreme Court, Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies of India, and the positions of president and vice president are overseen by this body.

The Election Commission of India’s Structure

It consists of the Chief Election Commissioner, along with two Election Commissioners. The President appoints the Chief Election Commissioner and the other Election Commissioners. They have a six-year term or until age 65, whichever comes first. They have the same rank as Indian Supreme Court Judges and receive the same salary and benefits. Only Parliamentary Impeachment can remove the Chief Electoral Officer from office.

 This Commission maintains a distinct, hierarchically organized Secretariat in New Delhi having roughly 300 personnel. The top administrators of the Secretariat, the Director-Generals, as well as two to three Deputy Election Commissioners, provide assistance to the Commission.

At the state and local level, the Commission appoints the Chief Electoral Officer of the State from among senior civil servants nominated by the State Government., is in charge of overseeing the election operations concerned, subject to the Commission’s overall supervision, direction, and control. In most states, he is a full-time officer with a small support staff.

The task of conducting district and constituency elections is carried out by Returning Officers, Electoral and Registration District Election Officers with the support of a significant number of subordinate authorities. A massive task force of nearly five million poll workers and civil police is needed to conduct a nationwide general election. During the campaign season of the election, which typically lasts somewhere around one and a half and two months, this enormous electoral machine is deemed to be on the Election Commission’s delegation and is a question of its control, supervision, and oversight.

Requirements of Elections

Free And Impartial Authority- Elections must be conducted by a free and impartial body, independent and unaffected by politics.

Rules And Regulations – To guarantee that the elections are conducted smoothly, the authority chosen to manage them must have a set of rules and regulations in place.

Redressal Mechanism – Any questions or disagreements that surface during elections must be resolved through a redress system.

Right to Vote

Throughout India, the right to vote is safeguarded by Article 326 of the Constitution. Voting privileges are governed by statute or law rather than being fundamental or protected by the constitution. However the 1951 Representation of the People Act governs the right, which has always been governed by the Indian constitution and is still contained in it, it is still governed by that act.

Code of Conduct Model

These are the regulations that political parties and candidates ought to follow while the election is being conducted, according to the Election Commission of India. To make it easier for candidates and political parties alike, the statutes are divided into subcategories.


The largest democracy in the world and the second most populous country is India. Although India falls behind other nations in the Democracy Index, one must keep in mind that doing so has been successful for nearly 70 years despite the fact that maintaining democracy in one of the most populous nations is challenging. To raise the nation’s rating in the Democracy Index, it is necessary to close various election law flaws. The legislative and judiciary are therefore working to close these gaps and make improvements.

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