Chief Election Commissioner of India

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Chief Election Commissioner of India
Emblem of India.svg
Shri Rajiv Kumar Chief Election Commissioner.jpg
Rajiv Kumar
since 15 May 2022
Election Commission of India
NominatorCouncil of Ministers
AppointerPresident of India
Term length6 years or up to 65 years of age
(whichever is prior)
Inaugural holderSukumar Sen
DeputyElection Commissioners of India
Deputy Election Commissioners of India
Salary250,000 (US$3,100) per month[1][2]
WebsiteElection Commission of India

The Chief Election Commissioner of India heads the Election Commission of India, a body constitutionally empowered to conduct free and fair elections to the national and state legislatures and of President and Vice-President. This power of the Election Commission of India is derived from the Article 324 of the Constitution of India. Chief Election Commissioner of India is usually a member of the Indian Civil Service and mostly from the Indian Administrative Service. It is very difficult to remove the authority of the Chief Election Commissioner once appointed by the president, as two-thirds of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha need to present and vote against him for disorderly conduct or improper actions.

India was among the early countries to use a completely electronic ballot in the parliamentary elections in 2014,[3] which the Election Commission of India implemented across India's large and diverse population with many rural illiterate people.

While the office has always been an important one in the machinery of the Indian political process, it gained significant public attention during the tenure of T.N. Seshan, from 1990 to 1996. Seshan is widely credited with undertaking a zealous effort to end corruption and manipulation in Indian elections.[4][5][6]

Suggested reforms[edit]

In June 2012, Lal Krishna Advani, a veteran Indian politician and former Deputy Prime Minister of India (as well as former Leader of the Opposition in Indian Parliament),[7] suggested that appointment of CEC (as well as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)) should be made by a bipartisan collegium consisting of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice, the Law Minister and the Leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.[8][9] Subsequently, M Karunanidhi, the head of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party and five times Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu[10] supported the suggestion. Advani made this demand to remove any impression of bias or lack of transparency and fairness because, according to him, the current system was open to "manipulation and partisanship".[8][9] Similar demand was made by many former CEC's such as B B Tandon, N Gopalaswamy and S Y Quraishi.[11][12]


Salary of the Chief Election Commissioner
250,000 (US$3,100) monthly[1][2]

By the "Election Commission (Condition of Service of Election Commissions And Transaction of Business) Act, 1991", the salary of the chief election commissioner is the same as salary of a Judge of Supreme Court of India.[1] If there are other election commissioners appointed by the President to help the chief election commissioner, they also receive the same salary.

List of Chief Election Commissioners[edit]

The following have held the post of the Chief Election Commissioner of India.[13]

No. Name Portrait Term of office
1 Sukumar Sen Sukumar Sen.jpg 21 March 1950 19 December 1958 8 years, 273 days
2 Kalyan Sundaram 20 December 1958 30 September 1967 8 years, 284 days
3 S. P. Sen Verma 1 October 1967 30 September 1972 4 years, 365 days
4 Nagendra Singh 1 October 1972 6 February 1973 128 days
5 T. Swaminathan 7 February 1973 17 June 1977 4 years, 10 days
6 S. L. Shakdhar 18 June 1977 17 June 1982 4 years, 364 days
7 R. K. Trivedi 18 June 1982 31 December 1985 3 years, 196 days
8 R. V. S. Peri Sastri 1 January 1986 25 November 1990 4 years, 328 days
9 V. S. Ramadevi VS RamaDevi.jpg 26 November 1990 11 December 1990 69 days
10 T. N. Seshan T.N. Seshan in 1994.jpg 12 December 1990 11 December 1996 6 years
11 M. S. Gill Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports, Dr. M.S. Gill.jpg 12 December 1996 13 June 2001 4 years 69 days
12 J. M. Lyngdoh 14 June 2001 7 February 2004 2 years 269 days
13 T. S. Krishnamurthy The Chief Election Commissioner Shri T. S. Krishna Murthy delivering the keynote address on "Media Coverage of Election in India towards Free and Fair Elections" at a function organised by Centre for Advocacy and Research (cropped).jpg 8 February 2004 15 May 2005 1 year 69 days
14 B. B. Tandon Shri B.B. Tandon in his office after assuming the charge as the Chief Election Commissioner of India in New Delhi on May 16, 2005.jpg 16 May 2005 29 June 2006 269 days
15 N. Gopalaswami The Chief Election Commissioner, Shri N. Gopalaswami announcing the schedule for the Lok Sabha polls, at a Press Conference, in New Delhi on March 02, 2009 (cropped).jpg 30 June 2006 20 April 2009 2 years, 294 days
16 Navin Chawla Election Commissioner Shri Navin. B. Chawla releasing Landmark Judgments on Election Law at a meeting with Chief Electoral Officers of all the States, in New Delhi on June 28, 2006 (cropped).jpg 21 April 2009 29 July 2010 1 year 89 days
17 S. Y. Quraishi Dr. S.Y. Quraishi taking charge as the Chief Election Commissioner of India, in New Delhi on July 30, 2010 (cropped).jpg 30 July 2010 10 June 2012 1 year 316 days
18 V. S. Sampath Shri V. S. Sampath assuming the charge of the Election Commissioner, in New Delhi on April, 21, 2009.jpg 11 June 2012 15 January 2015 2 year 218 days
19 Harishankar Brahma The Chief Election Commissioner, Shri H.S. Bramha addressing a Curtain Raiser Press Conference on the project of seeding of Aadhar with Electoral Roll database, in New Delhi on February 26, 2015 (cropped).jpg 16 January 2015 18 April 2015 92 days
20 Nasim Zaidi Dr. Syed Nasim Ahmad Zaidi assumes the charge as the Election Commissioner of India, in New Delhi on August 07, 2012.jpg 19 April 2015[14] 5 July 2017 2 years 77 days
21 Achal Kumar Jyoti Shri Achal Kumar Joti taking charge as the Chief Election Commissioner of India (CEC), in New Delhi on July 06, 2017 (1) (cropped).jpg 6 July 2017[15] 22 January 2018 200 days
22 Om Prakash Rawat Shri Om Prakash Rawat (cropped).jpg 23 January 2018[16] 1 December 2018 312 days
23 Sunil Arora Media address by Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Sunil Arora on 2nd December 2018 (cropped).jpg 2 December 2018[17][18] 12 April 2021 2 years, 131 days
24 Sushil Chandra Sushil Chandra, Election Commissioner of India (cropped).jpg 13 April 2021[19] 14 May 2022 1 year, 31 days
25 Rajiv Kumar CEC Rajiv Kumar.jpg 15 May 2022 Incumbent[20] 268 days


  1. ^ a b c "Election Commission (Condition Of Service Of Election Commissions And Transaction Of Business) Act, 1991". Vakil No. 1. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  2. ^ a b "The High Court and Supreme Court Judges Salaries and Conditions of Service Amendment Bill 2008" (PDF). PRS India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  3. ^ "Why India stands out as a gold standard in electronic voting". The Economic Times. 14 May 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  4. ^ Das, Sanjib Kumar (1 May 2014). "The man who cleaned up India's elections". Gulf News. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  5. ^ Narasimhan, T. E. (12 May 2012). "The more you kick me..." Business Standard. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  6. ^ Srivastava, Ritesh K.(The Observer) (5 March 2012). "Empowering the EC". Zee News. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Members Bioprofile". Lok Sabha of India/National Informatics Centre, New Delhi. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  8. ^ a b "Karunanidhi backs Advani's view on collegium to appoint CAG, EC". The Times of India. 5 June 2012. Archived from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Karunanidhi backs Advani's plea for collegium". The Hindu. Chennai. 5 June 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  10. ^ "DMK's Official Homepage-Chennai-Tamilnadu-India 800x600 screen resolution". 9 December 2011. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  11. ^ "Collegium needed to select EC: SY Quraishi". The Times of India. 16 July 2012.
  12. ^ "Ex-CECs backed collegium, Law Ministry not too keen". The Indian Express. 10 June 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Former Chief Election Commissioners". Election Commission of India. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  14. ^ "Election Commission of India". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  15. ^ Borgohain, Sonalee, ed. (3 July 2017). "India's new Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Jyoti to take charge on 6 July". India Today. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  16. ^ "Om Prakash Rawat to succeed AK Joti as new Chief Election Commissioner". The Indian Express. New Delhi. 21 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  17. ^ "President Kovind appoints Sunil Arora as new Chief Election Commissioner". 26 November 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Sunil Arora takes over as Chief Election Commissioner, will oversee 2019 polls". 2 December 2018.
  19. ^ Nath, Damini (12 April 2021). "Sushil Chandra appointed Chief Election Commissioner". The Hindu.
  20. ^ "Rajiv Kumar takes charge as 25th Chief Election Commissioner, says EC won't shy away from tough calls". The Hindu. 15 May 2022. Retrieved 19 May 2022.

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