Published On : Mon, Nov 11th, 2019

Former Chief Election Commissioner TN Seshan Passes Away at 86

New Delhi: Former Chief Election Commissioner TN Seshan on Sunday night passed away at his home in Chennai. He died due to cardiac arrest and was 86. Former CEC SY Quraishi took to Twitter to confirm the news of his death.

Synonymous with electoral reforms in India, Seshan was appointed the 10th Chief Election Commissioner by President Venkataraman in December 1990. Born on December 15, 1932 in Thirunellai, Kerala, Seshan was appointed Secretary of Defence in 1988 when Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister.

A 1955 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, TN Seshan was best known for cleaning up the electoral system in India. He had reformed elections by largely ending its malpractices in the country. He is credited for redefining the status and visibility of the Election Commission of India.

A Ramon Magsaysay Award winner for government service in 1996, Seshan had earlier served as the 18th Cabinet Secretary of India in 1989.

After completing his schooling from Basel Evangelical Mission Higher Secondary School and intermediate from Government Victoria College, Palakkad, Seshan obtained his graduation in Physics from the Madras Christian College.

During his tenure as Election Commissioner in 1994, Seshan had asked then Prime Minister to remove two of his sitting Cabinet ministers – Sitaram Kesari and Kalpnath Rai – saying that they were trying to influence voters and violating the model code of conduct.

According to one old report, Seshan was living with his wife at an old age home in Chennai. Seshan later left the old age home after three years and returned home. However, he then again returned to the old age home to live there with his wife.

The report said that Seshan and his wife helped the other inmates of the old age home with their income (pension). This includes meeting the personal needs of inmates, giving them financial assistance and paying their medical bills. He also celebrated his 85th birthday with the inmates of the Gurukulam Old Age Home on December 15, 2017.