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Supreme Court rules: PM, Leader of Opposition, CJI’s panel to select Chief Election Commissioner, Commissioners

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Batori24 Bureau
Batori24 Bureau
Batori24 is a Vernacular based Assamese news portal based in Guwahati Assam. We are a dedicated news channel covering news and stories across the globe with special reference to Assam, north-east along with National and International news.

Supreme Court of India Rules: The Supreme Court’s constitution bench revamped the selection mechanism for the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (ECs) on Thursday, ruling that a panel comprised of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition (LoP), and the Chief Justice of India (CJI) will appoint them until Parliament passes legislation in this regard.

The Supreme Court’s constitution bench has issued its long-awaited decision on the appointment of the chief election commissioner (CEC) and election commissioners (ECs). The president of India will make the appointments based on advice from a committee comprised of the prime minister, the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, and the chief justice of India, according to the order.

 

The Election Commission of India (ECI) currently consists of three members: a CEC and two ECs. The President has the authority to appoint the CEC and ECs under Article 324(2) of the Constitution. This provision also states that the President will make the appointments “subject to the provisions of any law made in that behalf by Parliament” with the assistance and advice of the Prime Minister and the council of ministers.

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However, because no such law has been enacted to date, CECs and ECs are appointed by the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers under the President’s seal. The rules for such appointments are also silent on a candidate’s qualifications.

Justices Joseph and Rastogi delivered separate but concurring opinions, declaring that the independence of the ECI requires the participation of the CJI in a collegium. “Purity of election process must be maintained to preserve democracy. Otherwise, it would have disastrous consequences,” said Justice Joseph as he read the operative portion of his decision.

According to Article 324(2) of the Constitution, the CEC and ECs are appointed by the President with the assistance and advice of the Council of Ministers until Parliament passes legislation establishing the criteria for selection, terms of service, and tenure.

The decision comes at a time when the Opposition has repeatedly questioned ECI’s independence, citing the declaration of poll dates and alleged dereliction in acting against ruling party leaders for violating poll regulations.

The Supreme Court’s decision on CEC and EC selection puts it on par with the appointment of the CBI chief, who is also chosen by the same collegium.

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