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ICAI elections are the backbone of the profession. The council formed from the members we elect have the power to carry out laws, issue regulations, adjudicate complaints and above all open new professional opportunities.

The voting for the elections of the twenty-fifth council for thirty-two seats from five regions and twenty-fourth regional councils from five regional constituencies of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India will be held on 3rd and 4th December in cities having 1000 or more members and on 4th December 2021 in other cities/towns.

Let us understand the procedure of election in detail-

ICAI Elections 2021: A Complete Overview

Who is eligible to contest for election?

A member who is a fellow on the first day of April of the financial year in which an election is to take place and whose name continues to be borne on the Register on the last date of scrutiny of nominations shall be eligible to stand for election to the Council from the regional constituency in which he is eligible to vote.

Procedure for filing Nomination

At least 3 months before the date of the election, the Council shall publish in the Gazette of India a notice stating the number of members to be elected from each regional constituency and calling for nominations of candidates for election by the date and time notified. The maximum number of nominations that can be submitted by a candidate shall be 10 only. If more than 10 nominations are received, then the first 10 nominations determined, on the basis of date and time of receipt, shall be taken into consideration.


Preparation of Valid List of Nominations

Upon the filing of nominations, the nominations shall be verified through scrutiny. Post scrutiny, a list of valid nominations for each constituency shall be prepared and shall be sent to each candidate from that constituency who had filed the nomination.

Can a candidate withdraw the nomination?

A candidate may withdraw his candidature by giving a notice in his own hand and duly signed by him and have it delivered to the Returning Officer anytime before 6.00 P.M. of the last date notified.

The Returning Officer shall omit from the list of valid nominations the names of candidates who have withdrawn their candidature and send the final list of nominations for each constituency to all the candidates for that constituency by registered or speed post and to the voters of that constituency by ordinary post.

Who is eligible to Vote?

A member, whose name is borne on the Register on the 1st day of April of the financial year in which the election to the Council is to take place and is entitled to vote by poll, shall be permitted to cast his vote for the candidates contesting from the regional constituency to which he belongs, at any polling booth of his choice within his Regional Constituency, provided an intimation to vote at a particular booth is received by the Returning Officer at least fourteen days prior to the date of polling


Mode of Election

The election shall be held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote. Except as otherwise provided, at every election where a poll is taken, the vote shall be given by secret ballot and every voter in any election shall cast his vote personally in the booth provided for the purpose unless a voter is allowed in respect of any election to cast his vote by post.

The elections to the Central Council and the Regional Council will be held simultaneously. Each region has its own separate seats and different candidates for the above two elections. The procedure for both the elections is almost the same.

Each voter will get two ballot papers, one for the Central Council choice and the other for his regional council. The ballot papers carry the name of the candidates, ballot numbers, photographs etc. By marking the vote separately on the ballot papers, one has to put it separately in the two prescribed boxes.

Polling Booth

The Returning Officer shall set up such a number of polling booths at such places as he deems necessary, but no polling booth shall be set up in any place having less than 25 members eligible to vote in the said place or within a distance of 50 kilometres.

In a place having less than 1000 voters, there shall be one polling booth for every 500 voters or part thereof. In a place having 1000 voters or more, each polling shall be allotted to 1000 voters or part thereof and the polling shall be held on two consecutive days.

There shall be a secret chamber or chambers in each polling booth. The chamber shall be so arranged that no person may be able to see how a voter has recorded his vote.


Each voter has only one vote in both the above elections. The candidate whom the voter originally wants to vote for has to mark the first preference. First preference is the most important. Thereafter he can also give Second, Third, etc. Preferences are not a separate vote, but through these, the voter only tells that his vote (in the case of a losing candidate or a candidate who won by a surplus vote) be transferred to other candidates in his order of preference.

Counting of Votes

The Returning Officer shall, at least fifteen days before the date of polling, appoint for each regional constituency, a date or dates, place and time for each such date for the counting of votes at the headquarters or regional office of the Institute, as the case may be, and shall also give notice of such date or dates, place and time in writing to all the candidates.

First Count

The candidate will be declared elected if he gets more than the required quota of 2000 votes. If there are 2500 votes over and above 2000, those 500 votes shall be declared Surplus votes.

The surplus of votes will be transferred to other candidates. For this purpose, the value of surplus votes will be worked out and distributed to candidates who have been marked for a second preference.

If only 2000 out of 2500 voters have exercised their second preference, the value of each surplus vote will work out to ¼ (500/2000). It may be noted that since only 2000 out of 2500 voters have exercised second preference votes, 500 votes out of that packet have gone waste.

In common language, if the candidate with first preference wins, then the vote of the voter is normally consumed for the candidate with first preference. But if the candidate with first preference does not win the election, then the vote is transferred to another candidate. 

If the second preference candidate wins, the vote will be consumed by the second preference candidate. But if the second preference candidate also does not win, then that vote will be transferred to the third preference candidate. It will happen. Similarly, the next sequence will also go on. This happened for the losing candidate.

Surplus Votes

The votes of the losing candidate are transferred to other candidates in the same way in the order of preference, as the winning candidate’s surplus votes are transferred to other candidates by taking the new value from a certain formula.

Elimination process

After exhausting surpluses with the other candidates, the candidate who has the lowest number of first preference votes will be eliminated first. The candidates, to whom second preference or later preferences are marked, will get an advantage on the distribution of the value of these votes, however the second preferences given to the already declared candidates will have to be ignored.

Therefore, the second preference received by candidates will be added to their packets at full value. So far as third preference votes received by them are concerned, each such vote will have 100% value as they are transferred from packets of elected candidates. The process goes on until the balanced candidates become equal to the contesting seats.

It may so happen that a candidate who gets good first preference votes in the first count, may not succeed in the election if he does not get support from other voters in the form of second or next preferences.

It is often seen that the value of the winning candidate’s surplus vote remains low, whereas the value of the first preference vote of the eliminated candidate, which is transferred, is 100% full. The transfer received by the winning candidate’s surplus vote does not normally benefit other candidates as much as the vote received from the losing candidate.

Declared victorious

A candidate is declared victorious if he wins a certain number of votes. This certain number of votes is called a quota. The name of the candidates who are declared victorious and elected shall be mentioned in the gazette.

Electing the President, Vice President and Other Office Bearers

The elected members shall vote internally to choose the President, Vice President and Other Office Bearers.

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