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4th March 2023 (8 Topics)

Picking the Watchdog

Context:

  • Recently, the Supreme Court has ruled that the appointments of the Chief Election commissioner and the Election Commissioners are to done by the CJI, and legislators rather than executive.

Supreme Court’s verdict:

  • The main clause of the verdict: The Court has ruled that a three-member committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, or the leader of the single largest Opposition party, and the Chief Justice of India (CJI), to choose Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (EC) until a law is passed.
  • Diminishing President’s role: It has been the practice that the President appoints the CEC and ECs on the advice of the Prime Minister, but the original intent of the Constitution makers was that the manner of appointment should be laid down in parliamentary law.
  • Article 324: It says that the President should appoint the CEC and Commissioners, subject to any law made on that behalf by Parliament.
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