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  India   All India  13 Jan 2024  SC rejects plea against CEC, EC appointments; to hear petitions

SC rejects plea against CEC, EC appointments; to hear petitions

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 13, 2024, 12:41 am IST
Updated : Jan 13, 2024, 12:41 am IST

The Court agreed to examine a batch of petitions challenging the new Act and issued a notice to the Centre

Supreme Court (PTI)
 Supreme Court (PTI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday declined to stay a recently-enacted law that allows the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and election commissioners by a panel excluding the Chief Justice of India.

The Court agreed to examine a batch of petitions challenging the new Act and issued a notice to the Centre.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta instructed senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing Congress leader Jaya Thakur, who sought a stay on the new law, to serve a copy of the petition to the Centre’s counsel.

Singh argued, “Please stay this law. This is against the separation of powers.” In response, the bench stated, “No, without hearing the other side, we can’t. We will issue a notice.”

Amid a political controversy over excluding the CJI from a panel empowered to choose the CECs and ECs, several petitions have been filed in the apex court. Advocate Gopal Singh has also moved the top court, seeking the quashing of the new law that grants the Centre sweeping powers for appointments to the poll body.

Singh's plea seeks the apex court’s direction to implement an “independent and transparent system of selection, constituting a neutral and independent selection committee for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and election commissioners.”

The new law specifies, “The Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a selection committee consisting of — (a) the Prime Minister — chairperson; (b) the Leader of Opposition in the House of the People — member; (c) a Union Cabinet minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister — member.”

The Opposition has accused the Centre of defying the Supreme Court by excluding the CJI from the selection panel. In its March 2023 order, the Supreme Court had stated that the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, and the CJI would jointly pick the CEC and the ECs.

Tags: supreme court of india, chief justice of india (cji), chief election commissioner
Location: India, Delhi