“What if the Electoral Commissioner is called to take over as Prime Minister?” Supreme Court to Center – Flying Journals


New Delhi:

On the independence of India’s top polling body, the Supreme Court today posed a scathing “assumption” against the central government: “You think the electoral commissioner… if he is asked to be prime minister – and this is just an example – he And there’s no going back: wouldn’t this be a case of total system breakdown?”

It said the Electoral Commission “should be fully insulated” and referred to how the government spoke of appointing a “person of character”. “Character is made up of various components…one particular characteristic required is independence,” it states.

It then cites “how one of the election commissioners actually resigned”. Instead of calling names, the court argued its central point that the appointment system needed “a larger body” than just the union cabinet to decide on names. “There is an urgent need for change.”

Currently, the polling body has a chairperson and two other commissioners, both drawn from among the civil servants.

Among recent appointments, Arun Goel

Later, the court also asked the center to produce documents related to the appointment of Election Commissioner Alen Goel to check whether he had any “handkerchiefs” because he had only recently voluntarily retired. Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who represented one of the petitioners, had urged the court to look into it specifically.

In seeking the documents, the court rejected the government’s objection that it could not hear individual cases because the court was dealing with broader appointment process issues. The bench said it began hearing the matter last Thursday, after Mr Goel’s appointment was made on November 19; it therefore wanted to see what prompted the step.

Five constitutional judges headed by Justice KM Joseph have been hearing Petition to reform the system of appointing electoral commissioners. It says “every government appoints a yesman” as head of the pollster “regardless of party affiliation”. [in power]”.

Courts have noted that Article 324 of the Constitution provides for the appointment of electoral commissioners, but does not prescribe the procedure. The article talks about legislation being enacted by Parliament to define the process, but it hasn’t done so for the last 72 years.

Government says no one can be ‘rogue’

Government lawyers said, “Bizarre events do not justify court intervention. It is our job to defend the position.”

“First prepare a list of all senior bureaucrats. The list is then sent to the legal ministry and then forwarded to the prime minister,” the lawyer explained. “We need to see to what extent the courts can enter the process. The existing system works well. , there is no trigger point for the court to intervene in this case.”

That was not to say the system was incorrect, the court stressed. “There should be a transparent mechanism,” it added.

The court also rejected the Center’s opinion that appointments were “always based on seniority” and that the terms of office were “mostly five years”.

When the court asked why the pool of candidates was “restricted to civil servants”, the government replied, “This is the practice. How can we not comply? Can we conduct a national poll of candidates? It is impossible.”

The government lawyer added, “The court can’t interfere with the system just because we can’t show how the appointment of every file was done. You need to show some instance where something went wrong. Mere possibility, concern or anxiety, from court intervention unnecessary.”

The government also cited the sheer size of the system, arguing that “the whole mechanism does not allow for hooligans.”

‘People like TN Seshan’

the court said yesterday There should be a Chief Election Commissioner like TN Seshan – known for its aggressive electoral reforms from 1990 to 1996 – has insisted on a “mechanism” of pollster appointments. The government invoked the 1991 law and the past practice of appointments recommended by the prime minister’s cabinet to the president, who then picked an official.

The center strongly opposes seeking an academy-like system — such as the highest level of justice-appointed judges — to elect electoral commissioners. The government argues that any such attempt would amount to amending the constitution.

However, the court noted that since 2004, no CEC has completed a six-year term. During the 10-year reign of the UPA, there have been six CECs; during the eight years of the NDA, there have been eight. “The government has given the EC and CEC such short terms that they are doing what they want,” the court said.



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