SC made major changes in the appointment process of Election Commissioners

Tags: National News

The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court gave an important judgement on 2 March 2023 that the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners would be appointed by the President on the advice of a committee. The committee will consist ofthe Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.

An overview of the news:

  • A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice KM Joseph, in a unanimous judgement, said the rule would remain in force until Parliament enacts a law on the issue.

  • According to the top court, if there is no Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, then the leader of the largest opposition party will be included in the committee on appointment of election commissioners and chief election commissioner.

  • The Supreme Court agreed with the petitioners and made five major changes in the process of appointment of Election Commissioners. These are as follows:

    • The three officers will be appointed by the collegium of PM, LOP and CJI.

    • They can only be removed by impeachment in Parliament, a process similar to the removal of judges of the Supreme Court. Till now, he could be removed by the government.

    • The commission will have a separate budget. Till now, they used to get the share of the Union Budget allocated to the Law Ministry.

    • The Commission will have a separate secretariat like the Parliament.

    • The Commission will have the right to make its own rules wherever there is any vacancy or lack of clarity in the law.

Validity of the New Testament:

  • A five-judge constitution bench(Justice Ajay Rastogi, Justice Aniruddha Bose, Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice CT Ravikumar) unanimously said in its decision that this rule will remain in force until Parliament enacts a new law on the subject.

  • According to the apex court, elections in a democracy must undoubtedly be fair and it is the responsibility of the Election Commission to ensure its purity.

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