Need for reforms in appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (Ecs)

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Need for reforms in appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (Ecs)

  • Recently, through a private member’s bill, there has been a demand for the formation of a committee under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister for the selection of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).
  • The Bill has been introduced at a time when the Supreme Court is hearing petitions on the need for reforms in the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (Ecs).
  • The Supreme Court has questioned the government on the method of selection of the CEC. Also, the Center has sought an answer about the reasons for not bringing any law yet to regulate the appointment of CECs and ECs.
  • It may be noted that the President appoints the CEC and ECs under Article 324 (2) of the Constitution.
  • According to the above article, the President, who acts on the aid and advice of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, shall make such appointments “subject to the provisions of any law made in this behalf by Parliament”.

Issues related to appointment/removal of CEC and EC

  • The appointment is made entirely by the executive. Thus, this arrangement gives complete discretion to the ruling party to choose any person whose loyalty to that party is assured.
  • The constitution does not prescribe any qualification (legal, educational, administrative or judicial) for appointment to the post of CEC/ECs.
  • CEC cannot be removed arbitrarily. He can be removed from office by an order of the President, just like a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • However, ECs are not provided with the same protection as CECs.

Private Member’s Bill

  • Under this, a bill introduced by any member of the parliament other than a minister comes.
  • This bill can be introduced only on Friday and discussion on it can also take place only on this day.
  • Whether such Bills are fit to be introduced in the House or not is decided by the Chairman in the case of Rajya Sabha and the Speaker in the case of Lok Sabha.
  • No private member’s bill has become an act since the year 1970.

Source – The Hindu

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