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Plea Filed In Supreme Court To Restrain Centre Form Appointing Supreme Court Commissioner

Plea Filed In Supreme Court To Restrain Centre Form Appointing Election Commissioner
Image credit : ANI

A plea has been filed to prevent the Union government from selecting a new election commissioner in accordance with the recently passed Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment Conditions of Service and Terms of Office) Act, 2023.

The petition has been filed by Congress leader Jaya Thakur after the abrupt resignation of Arun Goel as election commissioner, which brings the three-member poll panel down to one ahead of crucial Lok Sabha elections.

In the plea, Thakur requests that the Supreme Court issue an order requiring the Union government to follow the guidelines previously ruled by the Supreme Court. According to those regulations, a panel including the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, and the Leader of the Opposition shall select election commissioners.

After being passed by Parliament in December 2023, the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Act replaced the CJI by designating a cabinet minister as one of the three members of the selection panel.

Thakur challenged the Act’s validity in a petition submitted to the highest court in January. Because the Act’s provisions did not include an “independent mechanism” for choosing the members of the Election Commission of India (ECI), she argued that they went against the idea of free and fair elections.  

However, the court refused to stay the new law, issued notice to the Centre and agreed to examine a batch of petitions challenging the legislation. A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta asked senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Jaya Thakur, to serve a copy of the petition to the Centre’s counsel.

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