oppn parties Supreme Court: Making The Election Commission Truly Independent

News Snippets

  • Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, referring to a spate of FIRs for putting up posters in Delhi which said "Modi Hatao, Desh Bachao", said that even the British did not act in such manner
  • The 2023-24 Appropriation BIll, which allows the government to spend Rs 45 lakh crore in the fiscal, was passed by Lok Sabha in 9 minutes without any discussion
  • Sources say that Amritpal Singh fled to Haryana and may now be in Uttarakhand
  • Experts say that Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from Parliament will kick in immediately as the conviction has not been stayed
  • Tatas to invest $2bn in super app Tata Neu
  • Chief Economic Advisor V Anantha Nageswaran has said that inflation will drop as commodity and food prices have fallen
  • Government will define quality norms to ensure better 5G service
  • Stocks tumble again on Thursday after two sessions of recovery: Sensex loses 289 points to 57925 and Nifty goes down by 75 points to 17076
  • Amicus curiae and senior advocate K V Vishwanathan has told the Supreme Court that the changes made in law and three extensions given to the present director of Enforcement Directorate are illegal and will imperil the integrity of the agency
  • Supreme Court says it cannot judicially direct the government to acquire land or buildings near the court for advocates' chambers
  • ISSF Cup shooting: Indian pair of Rhythm Sangwan and Varun Tomar win silver in 10m sir rifle mixed team event
  • WPL: UP Warriorz take on Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator today. The winner will play Delhi Capitals in the finals
  • World Boxing: Four Indians - Nikhat Zareen, Nitu Ghanghas, Lovelina Borgohain and Saweety Boora - enter the frinals in their respective category
  • Bombay HC imposes costs and dismisses a petition by a housing society that sought to have a community-wise cap on residents
  • Delhi Police files 159 FIRs for defacement of public property and 49 for posters saying 'Modi Hatao Desh Bachao'
Rahul Gandhi disqualified from Parliament, Wayanad Lok Sabha seat declared vacant
oppn parties
Supreme Court: Making The Election Commission Truly Independent

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2023-03-03 08:02:55

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that Election Commissioner (EC) and the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) will henceforth be selected by a panel comprising of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the leader of the opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha till the Parliament enacts a law on the subject. Ruing the fact that several Central governments in the past 75 years have failed to enact such a law, despite the Constitution asking them to do so, as it will hamper their pursuit of power, the five-judge constitution bench said that exclusive control of the executive in such selection cannot be allowed to continue.

The bench said that "ECs, including the CEC, blessed with nearly infinite powers, must be chosen not by the executive exclusively and particularly without any objective yardstick". It said that "weak-kneed persons" or persons who are obligated or feel indebted to those who appoint them cannot be entrusted with the job as it is the "very foundation of democracy". There was stiff opposition from the Centre which said that the judiciary was stepping in executive domain but the bench was of the view that it has to step in as there is legislative vacuum in the matter. The court also accorded a huge degree of independence to the Election Commission by ruling that, among other things, it can now draw funds directly from the Consolidated Fund of India instead of waiting for approvals from the finance and other ministries.

There is no doubt that the selection of such important functionaries as the ECs and the CEC must follow some defined yardstick and must not be left to the whims and fancies of the party in power at the Centre. The practice now is to appoint retired bureaucrats who were close to the ruling dispensation to have control over them while maintaining a facade of propriety. But one feels that with regional parties becoming important in recent times, the Supreme Court could have, apart from the leader of the opposition in Parliament, included the leaders (in Parliament) of the next two big parties in the panel to make it truly representative.