What's New :
ITS 2025: Integrated Test Series & Mentorship Program for Prelims and Mains. Get Details
13th December 2023 (8 Topics)

Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners

Context

The RajyaSabha passed the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill which will guide the appointment of the CEC and the EC in future.

About

Key Amendments

  • The bill addresses a perceived lack of legal framework guiding the appointment of the CEC and other ECs, which, until now, has been at the discretion of the government.
  • The absence of specific clauses in the 1991 Act pertaining to these appointments prompted the government to introduce this bill.
  • The proposed legislation advocates the establishment of a search and selection committee to oversee the appointment process, replacing the prior discretionary approach.
  • The contentious bill introduces several key amendments, including a clause protecting the CEC and ECs from legal proceedings related to actions taken in the discharge of their duties.
  • Furtherthe amendments to align the protocol, salaries, and emoluments of the CEC and ECs with those of Supreme Court judges were incorporated.

Criticism

  • Despite these amendments, the opposition voiced vehement objections, questioning the government's intentions.
  • It has been contended that the bill violates the Constitution. It has been further argued that it subordinates the Election Commission to executive authority, undermining the apex court's judgment.
  • The opposition's demand to refer the bill to a select committee was rejected by the House.
  • Undermines the independence of the Election Commission, alleging that the bill's intent was malicious.
  • Concerns were expressed about the arbitrary nature of the process and warned of disastrous consequences. The government's reluctance to adopt an independent appointment mechanism indicated a desire for a subservient Election Commission.
  • The parliamentary debate underscored the deep divisions over the proposed restructuring of the Election Commission.

While the government maintains that the bill aligns with the Supreme Court's directive and enhances transparency, the opposition vehemently opposes it, characterizing it as an assault on the independence of the Election Commission and a violation of constitutional principles.

The outcome of this legislative move is poised to impact the electoral landscape in India significantly.Top of Form

Verifying, please be patient.

Enquire Now