2 Mar 2023

Appointment Of Election Commissioners: Centre Will Not Directly Appoint, Says SC; Panel Of PM, LoP IN LS, CJI Will Be Formed

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday gave a historic verdict on the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners. The court ordered that a panel of the PM, the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha and the CJI would appoint them. Earlier only the central government used to select them.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice KM Joseph, in a unanimous verdict, held that this norm will continue to hold good till a law on the issue is made by Parliament.

The 5-member bench said that this committee will recommend the names to the President. After this the President will give his approval. The Supreme Court said in its decision that this selection process should be on the lines of the CBI Director.

Fairness of election process must be maintained

Justice KM Joseph said that for the survival of democracy, the fairness of the election process must be maintained. Otherwise it will not give good results. He said that the power of vote is supreme, due to which even the strongest parties can lose power. 

That's why it is necessary for the Election Commission to be independent. It is also necessary that it discharges its duties impartially, within the ambit of the law, as per the provisions of the Constitution and on the basis of court orders.

At present, there is no law in the country regarding the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners. The entire process of appointment is in the hands of the Central Government. According to the procedure followed till now, a list of officers of the rank of Secretary, serving or retired, is prepared.

The government has a full role in the process of selection of ECs. Their tenure is for 6 years or till the age of 65 years whichever is earlier. Election commissioners are elected through this process and the senior most among them is appointed as the chief election commissioner.

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