Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi
17th Chief Election Commissioner of India
In office
30 July 2010 – 10 June 2012
PresidentPratibha Patil
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded byNavin Chawla
Succeeded byV. S. Sampath
Personal details
Born (1947-06-11) 11 June 1947 (age 74)[1]
Delhi, British India
EducationSt. Stephen's College, Delhi
Jamia Millia Islamia
ProfessionCivil servant

Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi (born 11 June 1947) is an Indian civil servant who served as 17th Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India.[2][3] He was appointed as the CEC as the successor to Navin Chawla on 30 July 2010. He has also served as a Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.[4]


He is an IAS officer of the 1971 batch from Haryana cadre. He has a Ph.D. in Communications and Social marketing.[5]

Quraishi became the first Muslim to be the CEC of India. He demitted office on 10 June 2012.[6]

He has authored a book titled 'An Undocumented Wonder - the Making of the Great Indian Election',[7] a book that describes the enormity and complexity of the Indian election[8][9] and a book titled Old Delhi- Living Traditions a coffee table book on the heritage city and its social and cultural life.[10][11] His latest book The Population Myth reveals how the right-wing spin to population data has given rise to myths about the ‘Muslim rate of growth’, often used to stoke majoritarian fears of a demographic skew.[12] The book busts myths about Islam and family planning. [13]

He figured in The Indian Express list of 100 Most Powerful Indians of 2011[14] and again in 2012[15]

He now pursues his interests in academics by teaching & mentoring at Cluster Innovation Centre, University of Delhi in the capacity of Honorary Professor at the centre.[16] He is also a current member of the International Elections Advisory Council.

While responding to Karan Thapar on the Devil's Advocate programme on the television channel CNN-IBN, he opposed the ideas of Right to Recall and Right to Reject advocated by Anna Hazare as not possible in India.[17]However, after some time in a TV interview he said that the Right to Reject can be considered.[18]

Dr. S Y Quraishi was awarded the Honorary Fellowship of the National Indian Students Union UK in May 2016. He joined Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar who were the first recipients of the Fellowship.[19]


  1. ^ Balaji, J. (28 July 2010). "Quraishi new Chief Election Commissioner". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 29 July 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  2. ^ "India is secular because most Hindus are secular: Former CEC SY Quraishi".
  3. ^
  4. ^ Government of India appointed Youth Affairs and Sports Secretary S Y Quraishi as Election Commissioner for a five-year term from IndiaDaily.Com
  5. ^ Dr. S. Y. Quraishi has also attended the prestigious Jamia Millia Islamia, a Central University in New Delhi for his later education.S.Y. Quraishi appointed as election commissioner of India from YaHind.Com
  6. ^ "V S Sampath is new Chief Election Commissioner". The Times of India. 6 June 2012. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013.
  7. ^ Quraishi, S. y. (25 May 2019). "It's time to take stock of the electoral process". The Hindu.
  8. ^ "An Undocumented Wonder".
  9. ^ "Book review: An Undocumented Wonder, the making of the Great Indian Election".
  10. ^ "Existing and forgotten traditions of Purani Dilli". The Hindu. December 2011.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "The Population Myth".
  13. ^
  14. ^ "The most powerful Indians in 2011: No. 41-50 - Indian Express".
  15. ^ "The most powerful Indians in 2012: No. 31-40 - Indian Express".
  16. ^ "CIC gets a galaxy of honorary professors that include famous scientists, academicians, bureaucrats".
  17. ^ "CEC not for Right to Reject, Recall, suspects will destabilise country". Indiavision news. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  18. ^ "Right to reject can be considered: SY Quraishi". 29 January 2012.
  19. ^ "Former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi awarded honorary fellowship in UK". timesofindia-economictimes. Retrieved 29 May 2016.