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Law panel bats for stronger Election Commissioner

Law Commission has pitched for a stronger Election Commission by giving equal constitutional protection to all members of the poll body and appointing the CEC and the two ECs by a high-powered collegium.



New Delhi: Law Commission has pitched for a stronger Election Commission by giving equal constitutional protection to all members of the poll body and appointing the CEC and the two ECs by a high-powered collegium.

In its report on electoral reforms submitted to the Law Ministry, the law panel has also recommended creation of a permanent, independent Secretariat for the EC.

The law panel said Article 324(5) of the Constitution should be amended to equate the removal procedures of the two Election Commissioners with that of the Chief Election Commissioner.

 "Thus, equal constitutional protection should be given to all members of the ECI in matters of removability from office," it said.

The President appoints Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners after the Law Ministry initiates the file for their appointment. The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through impeachment by Parliament. The government can remove the ECs based on the recommendation of the CEC.

The Law Commission said the appointment of all the Election Commissioners, including the CEC, should be made by the President in consultation with a three-member collegium or selection committee, consisting of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition of the Lok Sabha (or the leader of the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha) and the Chief Justice of India.

It said elevation of an Election Commissioner should be on the basis of seniority, unless the three member collegium or a committee, for reasons to be recorded in writing, finds such Commissioner unfit.

The precedent is to appoint the senior-most EC as the CEC.

From Zee News

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