President Signs Bill Designating Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners

Prior to being approved by the Lok Sabha on December 21, the Bill was approved by the Rajya Sabha on December 12.

The President of India gave her assent to the Bill on Thursday that will regulate the terms of service and appointment for the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and other Election Commissioners (ECs).

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, which highlighted the legal void surrounding the appointment of Election Commissioners, Minister of State for Law & Justice Arjun Ram Meghwal introduced the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023 in the Rajya Sabha on August 10.

Prior to being approved by the Lok Sabha on December 21, the Bill was approved by the Rajya Sabha on December 12.

According to the Bill, the Prime Minister (PM) will preside over the selection committee that names the CEC and Election Commissioners (ECs), which will also include the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and a Union Cabinet Minister.

Justice Rohinton Nariman, former judge of the Supreme Court of India, recently stated that the bill might gravely threaten the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) independence.

According to Justice Nariman, if the bill is passed into law, the executive branch will have the last say when it comes to choosing CECs and ECs, which could have an impact on free and fair elections.

“If you are going to get the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners appointed in this fashion, free and fair elections are going to become a chimera,” he had said.

The Supreme Court ruled on March 2, 2023, that appointments to the Election Commission of India (ECI) should be made on the recommendation of a committee made up of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India (CJI), and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, until the Central government enacts legislation on the subject.

A permanent secretariat for the ECI should be considered, according to a request made by the Central government to Justices KM Joseph, Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy, and CT Ravikumar, who comprised the Constitution Bench. Additionally, it was proposed that the poll body’s expenses be charged to the Consolidated Fund of India in order to achieve true independence.

The Court further stated that an election commission that fails to guarantee free and fair polls in accordance with the game’s rules ensures the disintegration of the fundamental elements of the rule of law.

1 thought on “President Signs Bill Designating Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners”

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