Chief Electoral Officer : Shri. Sushil Chandra
Shri Sushil Chandra assumed office as the 24th Chief Electoral Officer of India on 13th April 2021. Shri Chandra belongs to the 1980 Batch of the Indian Revenue Service. Shri Chandra has been Election Commissioner in ECI since 15th February 2019. He is also Member of Delimitation Commission since 18th February 2020 looking after Delimitation of Jammu Kashmir UT.
Having held several posts in the Income-Tax Department for nearly 39 years, Sh Sushil Chandra was appointed CBDT Chairman on 1stNovember 2016. He spent considerable time as Director of Investigation and Director General of Investigation, Mumbai and Gujarat, respectively followed by his stint as Member (Investigation), CBDT and thereafter assuming the post of Chairman of this Apex body.
Transparency and purity of political finance are of vital importance for free and fair electoral process and the creation of a level playing field. Continuing the crusade that he started as CBDT Chairman against the menace of black money, Shri Chandra was proactive as the erstwhile Election Commissioner in curbing the use of Money Power that vitiates the Electoral Process. He has constantly emphasized the concept of "Inducement-Free" elections and it has become an integral dimension of monitoring the electoral process in all ongoing and forthcoming elections. Process of focused and comprehensive monitoring through the deployment of Special Expenditure Observers, activating the role of many more enforcement agencies in the process of Election Expenditure monitoring, more exhaustive and frequent reviews of observers and other agencies are few of the aspects of electoral management encouraged by him. During his tenure as Chairman, CBDT, he had played an active role in unearthing illegal money often used during Assembly Elections. With his continuous monitoring the seizures of cash, liquor, freebies, narcotics have increased substantially in recent elections.
His contributions are also reflective in systemic changes like the Form 26 that has now become an integral part of essential paperwork. Shri Chandra as Chairman CBDT took special efforts in the area of verification of affidavits filed by the candidates before elections. In 2018 in his role as Chairman CBDT, Shri Chandra was instrumental in evolving a uniform format of sharing details of all assets and liabilities not mentioned in the affidavits of the candidates.
An avid proponent of the use of technology, Shri Chandra has overseen implementation of recent IT applications for facilitating electoral processes. Facilitation through innovative IT applications in Election systems have been a unique contribution of Sh Sushil Chandra to the 2019 17thLok Sabha Elections and the Legislative Assembly Elections held since in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim, Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Delhi. Holding of elections to State Assemblies of Bihar, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal amidst Covid concerns and making processes such as nomination and filing of papers online, extending option of postal ballot to the specific categories of senior citizens, Persons with Disabilities, essential services personnel as also Covid patients/suspects, has seen Sh Chandra lead from the front with an iron will to work despite challenges.
Shri Chandra has been instrumental in the exchange of Best Electoral Practices among the Electoral Management Bodies internationally. In June 2019 he participated in the Presidential Election process of Kazakhstan as an International Election Observer. He was invited to the 18th Cambridge Conference on Electoral Democracy in the Commonwealth Trinity College, Cambridge, UK in July 2019. He participated in the 3rd Plenary Assembly of Global Network Electoral Justice conference held in Los Cabos, Mexico in November 2019. He also attended the 2nd Electoral Studies Program Conference in Bali in December 2019.
Born on 15thMay 1957, Shri Chandra did his B.Tech. from IIT Roorkee (BE Civil, 1977). He received Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater on 25thNovember 2019. He also holds a degree in LLB from DAV College, Dehradun and has undergone various trainings at IMF, IIM Bengaluru and Wharton on management. Before joining the Indian Revenue Service, he was in the Indian Engineering Service.