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Appointment of CEC and ECs

  • Published
    3rd Mar, 2023

Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a high-power committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India must pick the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (ECs).

  • This made the selection process of CEC and ECs similar to what is followed in the case of the Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

How are the CEC and ECs currently appointed?

  • The Constitution does not lay down a specific legislative process for the appointment of the CEC and ECs.
  • The President makes the appointment on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister.

What are the powers of the Election Commission?

  • Article 324 of the Constitution vests the “superintendence, direction and control of elections” in an Election Commission
  • Supreme Court in 'Mohinder Singh Gill & Anr vs The Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi and Ors' (1977) stated that Article 324 "operates in areas left unoccupied by legislation and the words 'superintendence, direction and control' as well as 'conduct of all elections' is the broadest terms".
  • The SC stated that Article 324 "is a plenary provision vesting the whole responsibility for national and State elections" in the ECI "and, consequently, the essential authorities to fulfil that function"
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