Supreme Court on Chief Election Commissioner: The Supreme Court raised questions about the method of appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner. The High Court said that in the current system, commissioners of strong character like TN Sessions will not be found again and again.
Supreme Court wants Chief Election Commissioner like TN Sessions
New Delhi: The Constitution has placed the important responsibility of protecting the democracy of India on the shoulders of the Chief Election Commissioner. So the method of appointing the Chief Election Commissioner is as important as the question of who sits in that position. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court said in this regard, a person of strong character should hold the post. One who will not allow himself to be ‘bulldozed’. Referring to former Chief Election Commissioner TN Sessions, the apex court said, “Many Chief Election Commissioners have come, but TN Sessions has come only once.”
Freedom is lost
A petition was filed demanding amendment of the procedure for appointing the Election Commissioner. He is being heard by a five-judge constitution bench of the apex court comprising Justices KM Joseph, Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy and CT Ravikumar. The court said that there is a flaw in the method of appointing the Chief Election Commissioner. According to the apex court, every government has destroyed the independence of this constitutional institution.
‘Silence of the Constitution’
The court noted that since 2004, no Chief Election Commissioner has held the post for a full term. The court said that according to the ‘Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Appointment Act, 1991’ every election commissioner should hold this position for 6 years. But there is a loophole in this law. According to the law, if he reaches the age of 65 within the term, then he has to retire within the term. And this loophole in the law has been used by one government after another. Intentionally recruited persons who will retire before 6 years. The court also said that Article 324 of the Constitution called for a law to be made for such a procedure of appointment. But the ‘Silence of the Constitution’ is being exploited.
opposition to the centre
Attorney General and Benkataramani did not accept this observation of the court. He said that such an application was also before the Constituent Assembly. But, they didn’t consider them. So this application court should consider them? He also said, “It cannot be said that there is a vacuum in the constitution because there is no law. He also said that the basic features of the constitution cannot be challenged. The consideration of this Court violates the fundamental rights of the Constitution. Courts can extend the scope of legislation, but cannot violate a fundamental provision of the Constitution. It is a matter for Parliament to debate, not for the courts.
Current procedure for appointment of Chief Election Commissioner
The Constitution does not lay down any specific procedure for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner or other Election Commissioners. The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners are appointed by the President. However, he was largely a formality. The Prime Minister recommended the name of the Chief Election Commissioner. However, as per Article 324(5) of the Constitution, Parliament can regulate the terms of service and tenure of the members of the Election Commission.
The petitioners demanded to change this system and introduce a collegium-like system for electing the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commission members. Justice KM Joseph suggested setting up an appointment committee in the presence of the Chief Justice. According to him, the presence of the Chief Justice will send a message that the committee will select the best person as the Chief Election Commissioner. Neutrality will be ensured.