Ever wondered who appoints chief election commissioner in India? The answer to that is very simple, the president of India appoints the chief election commissioner of India.

So, who is the chief election commissioner in India? The current chief election commissioner in India is Shri Sunil Arora, who took the oath of office on 2nd December 2018 and is the 23rd chief election commissioner of India.

The role of the Chief Election Commissioner is to head the election commission of India and to make sure it is working within the guidelines set by the constitution of India.

The salary of the  Chief Election Commissioner is around 2.5 lakhs per month. It is set high so that they do not get influenced by bribes and commit any fraud.

Functions of the Election Commission

The election commission is a self-governing body in India that monitors and controls the procedure for election in India and sets down a model of conduct for the contestants. The EC has many functions, few of them are stated below

  • The EC has to set rules and regulations for elections that take place in the country.
  • It is responsible to ensure that elections are held in a free and fair manner
  • Has to make sure that the candidate is eligible and there is no fraud committed by him
  • It ensures that all electoral parties submit their financial reports for auditing
  • Approve name and symbols of candidates or parties contesting the election
  • It has to define the distribution of constituencies

Also Read : Online Classes Available for UPSC Preparation: Course Details and Fees for the Courses

List of the Chief Election Commissioners of India

The following is a list of the chief election commissioners of India

Name of Chief Tenure in Office
1. Sukumar Sen 21 March 1950- 19 December 1958
2. Kalyan Sundaram 20 December 1958- 30 December 1967
3. S.P. Sen Verma 1 October 1967- 30 September 1972
4. Nagednra Singh 1 October 1972- 6 February 1973
5. T. Swaminathan 7 February 1973- 17 June 1977
6. S.L. Shakhder 18 June 1977- 17 June 1982
7. R.K. Trivedi 18 June 1982- 31 December 1985
8. R.V.S Peri Sastri 1 January 1986- 25 November 1990
9. V. S. Ramadevi 26 November-11 December 1990
10. T.N Seshan 12 December 1990- 11 December 1996
11. M. S. Gill 12 December 1966- 13 June 2001
12. James Michael Lyngdoh 14 June 2001- 7 February 2004
13. T.S. Krishnamurthy 8 February- 15 May 2005
14. B.B. Tandon 16 May 2005- 29 June 2006
15. N. Gopalaswami 30 June 2006- 20 April 2009
16. Navin Chawla 21 April 2009- 29 July 2010
17. S.Y. Quraishi 30 July 2010- 10 June 2012
18. V. S. Sampath 11 June 2012- 15 January 2015
19. Harishankar Brahma 16 January 2015- 18 April 2015
20. Nasim Zaidi 19 April 2015- 5 July 2017
21. Achal Kumar Jyoti 6 July 2017- 15 January 2018
22. Om Prakash Rawat 16 January 2018- 1 December 2018
23. Sunil Arora 2 December 2018 (in office)

The Chief Election Commissioner

The head of the election commission is the chief election commissioner. They have a tenure of 6 years or up until the age of 65 years, meaning that the retirement age is 65 years and if they turn 65 before their tenure is up they yet have to retire.

They enjoy the same status as a supreme court judge and also receive the same salary and perks as them. The removal procedure of both posts is the same. The constitution has not set up any basic requirements in terms of education of the chief election commissioner and as well as the rest of the body. All of the EC have equal say and power. They are generally a member of the civil service body of India and are mostly IAS officers, and article 324 describes the powers and roles of the EC.

Who was the first Chief Election Commissioner? Sukumar Sen was the first  Chief Election Commissioner.


Are you preparing for your UPSC mains or UPSC prelims exam? Then this article will help you tackle doubts about the election commission in India and you can learn who was the first Chief Election Commissioner of India, what they do and all the chief’s up until now. Lucky for you, most  Chief Election Commissioner’s are IAS officers. So put in those extra hours, work hard and devote yourself towards the UPSC prelims and mains and maybe one day the position will be yours. All the best!

Also Read : UPSC Prelims 2020: Check-out the Topics Covered in the Exam This Year

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Who Appoints the Chief Election Commissioner in India? The Role of the EC in India
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