The Election Commission of India (ECI) is a creation of the Constitution. Article 324 says the superintendence, direction, and control of all elections to Parliament, the State legislatures, and the offices of the President and Vice-President shall be vested in the ECI. The article has been interpreted by courts and by orders of the ECI from time to time to mean that the power vested in it is plenary in nature. It is seen as unlimited and unconditional in the matter of holding elections.
Source of Power of ECI
ECI derives its power and functions from Article 324 of the Constitution.
Supreme Court Judgement
The Supreme Court held in Mohinder Singh Gill vs Chief Election Commissioner 1978 that Article 324 contains plenary powers to ensure free and fair elections and these are vested in the ECI which can take all necessary steps to achieve this constitutional object.
Model Code of Conduct
The model code of conduct issued by the ECI is a set of guidelines meant for political parties, candidates, and governments to adhere to during an election.
Independence of ECI
The independence of the ECI is preserved by clauses in the Constitution that say the Chief Election Commissioner cannot be removed from office except in the manner provided for the removal of a Supreme Court judge.
Associated Issues With The ECI
Undefined Scope of Powers
Besides the MCC, the ECI issues from time to time directions, instructions, and clarifications on a host of issues that crop up in the course of an election.The code does not say what the ECI can do; it contains only guidelines for the candidates, political parties, and the governments.
No Legal Backing of MCC
MCC is framed on the basis of a consensus among political parties, it has not been given any legal backing.