In an announcement on Tuesday, the Centre declared Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Joti, the next Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India.
According to the Ministry of Law, AK Joti will take charge as the CEC on July 6, when incumbent CEC Nasim Zaidi retires.
For those who don’t know much about the all-new Chief Election Commissioner, here are the top 10 things you need make note of:
- 64-year-old Achal Kumar Joti, was appointed Election Commissioner and joined the three-member panel with Nasim Zaidi and Om Prakash Rawat in May 2015.
- He is an IAS officer of the 1975 batch from Gujarat cadre.
- He served as the Chief Secretary of Gujarat during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure as Chief Minister of the state.
- He has also served as the Gujarat vigilance commissioner.
- Achal Kumar Joti will be the 21st CEC (Chief Election Commissioner).
- As per the constitution, the Chief Election Commissioner heads the Election Commission of India for a tenure of six years in office, or till he or she attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- As CEC of India, Joti will be overseeing state Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh before retiring from office in January 2018, as he turns 65, TOI reported.
- He has worked in various capacities in Gujarat as the chairman of the Kandla Port Trust between 1999 and 2004.
- He served as the managing director of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL).
- He was also the secretary in the industry, revenue and water supply departments in the state.
The President appoints the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners. They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court of India.
Originally, the Election commission had only a Chief Election Commissioner. It currently consists of Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners. The first time two additional Commissioners were appointed on October 16, 1989, they had a very short tenure till January 1, 1990. Later, on October 1, 1993, two additional Election Commissioners were appointed.
The concept of multi-member Commission has been in operation since then, with decision-making power by majority vote.
Om Prakash Rawat is the other election commissioner in the poll panel. As Achal Kumar Joti assumes office, the government is soon expected to appoint one more Election Commissioner to fill up the vacancy caused by Zaidi’s retirement to fill the three-member setup.