Formalise Election Commissioners appointment through law

In News

The court was hearing a PIL filed, contending that successive governments failed in the constitutional obligation to set up a fair, just and transparent process for selection of election commissioners since the adoption of the Constitution.Appointments were made by the President solely on the basis of the advice given by the political-executive at the Centre.

Court Observation

  • Election Commissioners, who are charged with the free and fair conduct of polls in a democracy, should be appointed through a “most transparent and just process” formalised by a law enacted by the Parliament.
  • None other than the Prime Minister is involved in the selection of the election commissioners, Besides it is for the parliament to decide whether there should be a law or not.
  • There is a “gap” due to the lack of a parliamentary law which transparently spells out the eligibility, criteria required for a person to be an election commissioner.

Election Commission

  • Election Commissioners, who are charged with the free and fair conduct of polls.
  • The appointment of the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners shall be made by the president.
  • The President of India (based on a recommendation from incumbent Govt of India) appoints the Chief Election Commissioner.
  • Conventionally, senior-most Election Commissioner is appointed as CEC.
  • He has tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • President may also appoint after consultation with the election commission such regional
    commissioners as he may consider necessary to assist the election commission.
  • At present, the Election Commission of India is a three-member body, with one Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
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