38.6c New Delhi, India, Thursday, July 18, 2024
Legislative Corner

Decoding the Election Commissioner Bill and the debate around it

By Mahima Katal      15 December, 2023 04:01 PM      0 Comments

NEW DELHI: In a big move the highly contentious Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023, has been passed by the Rajya Sabha in the winter session recently, amidst a walkout by the Opposition.

The Centre has made some key amendments to the controversial Bill which replaces the Chief Justice of India with a Union Cabinet Minister in the selection panel for the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and other Election Commissioners (ECs).

The Bill has been brought in following a Supreme Court judgment in March, which had ordered a panel comprising the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, and the leader of the opposition for the selection of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.

The Opposition argued that replacing the Chief Justice of India with a Union Cabinet Minister in the selection panel runs contrary to the judgment of the Supreme Court as it would place the power of picking the election commissioners back firmly in the hands of the executive, since it would have two of the three members in the committee.
While denying the Oppositions charges, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said in the Rajya Saba that the Bill had been prepared following a direction from the Supreme Court. 

So far, the appointments had not been guided by any laws, and the Bill made the process transparent, Mr. Meghwal said.

One of the most important amendments is the clause that safeguards CEC and ECs from legal proceedings related to actions taken during their tenure, provided such actions were carried out in the discharge of official duties

A new clause, 15(A), has been added to the bill, which specifies that no civil or criminal proceedings can be initiated against the CEC and the ECs in the discharge of their official duties, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said while presenting the Bill. 

Notably, accepting suggestions from former CECs, the Centre brought two official amendments, bringing the protocol of the CEC and ECs at par with Supreme Court judges, with similar salaries and emoluments.

The Law Minister said the 1991 Act did not have a clause related to the appointment of the CEC and other ECs. The names of the Commissioners had so far been decided by the government, and from now on, a search and Selection Committee would overlook the process, the Law Minister further added.  

The Opposition wanted to send the Bill to a Select Committee but this was rejected by the House.



Share this article:

About:

Mahima Katal, journalist with a commitment to high-quality research, writing, and production. Proven...Read more

Follow:
FacebookTwitterLinkedinInstagram


Leave a feedback about this
Related Posts
View All

SC Issues Notice to Centre on PIL by Ashwini Upadhyay to Debar Candidates From Contesting Polls on Framing of Charges  [Read Petition] SC Issues Notice to Centre on PIL by Ashwini Upadhyay to Debar Candidates From Contesting Polls on Framing of Charges [Read Petition]

A bench of Justices K M Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy sought a response from the Union government's Law and Justice and Home Ministries, and the Election Commission on plea by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.

Telangana High Court Suspends Judge for Directing FIR Against Chief Election Commissioner and Others Telangana High Court Suspends Judge for Directing FIR Against Chief Election Commissioner and Others

Telangana High Court suspends sessions judge for ordering FIR against Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and others. The judge had directed police to register the FIR based on a complaint by the Election Commission of India.

Amicus curiae supports plea for permanent disqualification of convicted lawmakers [Read Report] Amicus curiae supports plea for permanent disqualification of convicted lawmakers [Read Report]

Explore the plea for permanent disqualification of convicted lawmakers in India. Discover why legal experts argue that limiting disqualification to six years is arbitrary and violates Article 14 of the Constitution. Dive into the debate surrounding this crucial issue.

Supreme Court Rejects EVM Source Code Audit Plea, Citing Hacking Concerns Supreme Court Rejects EVM Source Code Audit Plea, Citing Hacking Concerns

The Supreme Court declines a plea for an audit of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) source code, citing concerns about potential hacking risks. The petitioner sought transparency and adherence to standards in EVM source code audits.

TRENDING NEWS

state-govt-has-got-no-power-to-tinker-with-list-of-scheduled-castes-supreme-court
Trending Judiciary
State govt has got no power to tinker with list of Scheduled Castes: Supreme Court [Read Judgement]

The Supreme Court ruled that state governments lack the authority to modify the Scheduled Castes lists, a power reserved exclusively for Parliament under Article 341.

17 July, 2024 09:31 AM
sc-asks-telangana-govt-to-replace-judge-in-commission-of-inquiry-into-power-pact-by-previous-govt
Trending Judiciary
SC asks Telangana govt to replace judge in Commission of Inquiry into power pact by previous govt

SC directs Telangana govt to replace Justice L Narasimha Reddy in Commission of Inquiry probing former CM KCR's alleged power sector irregularities.

17 July, 2024 09:40 AM

TOP STORIES

bombay-high-court-denies-interim-relief-in-plea-against-1-year-pan-masala-ban
Trending Judiciary
Bombay High Court denies interim relief in plea against 1 year Pan Masala Ban [Read Order]

Bombay High Court denies interim relief to petitioners challenging the 1-year ban on pan masala, citing arguable questions and ongoing similar cases.

12 July, 2024 10:00 AM
sc-collegium-recommends-appointment-of-chief-justices-of-eight-high-courts
Trending Judiciary
SC Collegium recommends appointment of Chief Justices of eight High Courts [Read Order]

SC Collegium recommends appointments of Chief Justices for Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, and Meghalaya High Courts.

12 July, 2024 10:55 AM
sc-orders-interim-bail-for-kejriwal-in-ed-case-refers-issues-on-arrest-to-larger-bench
Trending Judiciary
SC orders interim bail for Kejriwal in ED case, refers issues on arrest to larger bench

SC grants interim bail to Kejriwal in ED case, refers arrest issues to larger bench; AAP leader remains in jail due to separate CBI arrest in liquor scam.

12 July, 2024 11:21 AM
hathras-incident-sc-refuses-to-consider-pil-on-inquiry-adequate-compensation
Trending Judiciary
Hathras incident: SC refuses to consider PIL on inquiry, adequate compensation

Supreme Court declines PIL on Hathras stampede inquiry and compensation, directs petitioner to approach High Court for addressing the issue.

12 July, 2024 01:38 PM

ADVERTISEMENT


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email