CEC seeks statute protection for ECs

Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi feels there is need for a constitutional amendment to give protection to the Election Commissioners.

Updated: Jan 01, 2012, 11:18 AM IST

New Delhi: After the episode involving the
demand over his predecessor`s removal, Chief Election
Commissioner S Y Quraishi feels there is need for a
constitutional amendment to give protection to the Election
Commissioners so that they are not under any pressure.

He also favours automatic elevation of the senior-most EC
to the post of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).
"Theoretically, it is a very dangerous situation. The two
Election Commissioners can over-rule me ten times a day and
make me totally helpless. They can do it under pressure of the
government. The government threatening to get them removed...
or in order to promote them," he told PTI in an interview.

Quraishi said he would be writing to the government on the
issue. "Yes, very much... We have been saying it very vocally
and loudly. It is a proposal pending for a long time," he said
when asked whether he would put this on record.

The issue assumes significance against the backdrop of a
demand made by the then Chief Election Commissioner N
Gopalaswamy for removal of Navin Chawla as Election
Commissioner. The demand was, however, rejected by the
government.

Quraishi felt that the two ECs, who do not enjoy
constitutional protection now under the law, be given the
status as they should not feel they are on probation.
"Otherwise he (EC) will feel there is a sword on his head
all the time. Whether the government will make him (CEC) or
not," he said.

PTI