Wednesday, November 30, 2022

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SC questions Centre over mechanism adopted to appoint CEC, ECs

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday rasied questions over the mechanism adopted to appoint the Election Commissioners while pointing out that the system should be transparent.

A bench of five judges which was headed by Justice K.M. Joseph orally observed that a Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) should be the one who can even take actions against the Prime Minister if needed.

The bench, also consisting of Justices Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy and C.T. Ravikumar, said hypothetically, in a situation where the CEC has to act against the Prime Minister then, he will be week-kneed and not be able to do anything.

The Supreme Court bench asserted that the CEC is supposed to be nuetral but the current system is not appropriate as the ap

This comes a week after the Narendra Modi-led central government instated former IAS officer Arun Goel as the Election Commissioner of India.

Keeping the scenario in mind, the bench has asked the Centre to contemplate over it and to explain the former the mechanism they used to appoint Arun Goel.

The court said that it is required to have a larger body apart from just Cabinet to appoint the Election Commission of India’s top officials.

A day earlier, the apex court said the successive governments have destroyed the independence of ECI by making sure that nobody completes their full six-years term.

The bench earlier siad, “It’s a very, very disturbing trend. After TN Seshan (who was CEC for six years between 1990 and 1996), the slide began when no person has been given a full term. What the government has been doing is that because it knows the date of birth, it ensures that anyone who is appointed as the CEC does not get his full six years… Be it the UPA (Congress-led United Progressive Alliance) government or this government, this has been a trend.”

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