APPOINTMENT OF EC (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 - Polity)

News-CRUX-10     11th August 2023        

Context: The Union government introduced a Bill removing the Chief Justice of India (CJI) from a panel to select the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.

  • The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023, was introduced by Law Minister in the Rajya Sabha.

Key Points

  • Earlier this year in March, the Supreme Court had ruled that the selection panel should comprise the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha and the CJI
  • Till the SC ruling, Election Commissioners and Chief Election Commissioners (CECs) had been appointed by the President after recommendations by the government.
  • According to the Statement and Objectives of the Bill, in case there is no LoP in the Lower House of Parliament, the leader of the single largest Opposition party would be considered the LoP.
  • At first, a panel of five persons would be prepared for consideration of the selection committee, for appointment as the CEC and Election Commissioners.

Election Commission of India (ECI)

  • Constitutional body: Article 324 of the Constitution provides that the power of superintendence, direction, and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of the president of India, and the office of vice-president of India shall be vested in the election commission. 
  • All India Body: It is an all-India body in the sense that it is common to both the Central government and the state governments.
    • The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, State Legislative Councils and the offices of the President and Vice President of the country.
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