The State Election Commission (SEC) is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for conducting and overseeing local body elections within a specific state or Union Territory in India. Its primary function is to ensure the smooth and transparent conduct of local body elections at the municipal, panchayat, and other grassroots levels.
According to the Indian Constitution, the Election Commission is important to both the Central and State Governments. However, the Central Election Commission cannot be responsible for the election of panchayats or municipalities in the state. To conduct these elections, separate State Election Commissions have been formed in each state by the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution in 1992.
The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to the Panchayats shall be vested in a State Election Commission consisting of a State Election Commissioner to be appointed by the Governor.Article 243K(1)
State Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on the like grounds as a Judge of a High CourtArticle 243K(2)
Key points on State Election Commission of India
- The State Election Commission may appoint a Commissioner or Chief Electoral Officer or an Election Commissioner as required by the President to assist the Election Commission before every general election.
- The number of Election Commissioners according to the Constitution is not specified.
- The Chief Election Commissioner, in consultation with the State Government, appoints the Chief Electoral Officer of the State.
- The Representation of the People Act, of 1966 provides for the appointment of District-wise District Electoral Officers (DEOs). The District Collector is appointed as the Returning Officer of the district.
- The District Collector appoints a Returning Officer (RO) for each constituency of the district and a Presiding Officer (PO) at each polling station or booth.
- For the election of local autonomous bodies, the Election Commission prepares and revises the list of voters in accordance with the law.
- The terms of service, tenure, etc. of the Election Commissioners are determined by the law enacted by Parliament.
- According to the constitution and the general law of the country, the Election Commission conducts and supervises all the work.
- The State Election Commission conducts elections of autonomous bodies in the State in consultation with the State Government.
- The president and the governor control the commissioners by law from Parliament.
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