This chapter examines India’s constitutional framework and its mechanisms that govern and control the electoral process, especially those that go beyond the domain of election law and raise a host of constitutional issues. Before discussing these mechanisms, their operation, and the extent to which they are justifiable, the chapter provides an overview of the right to vote and how it is treated in the Indian Constitution as a fundamental right. It then considers the Election Commission and its duties and functions, and proceeds by outlining the three levels by which elections are regulated in India: the first relates to the preparation of the electoral roll; the second stage to the electoral process; and the third to the outcome and verdict. Finally, it looks at potential challenges to free and fair elections, such as those posed by the problem of campaign finance.
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