Published On: Thu, Dec 21st, 2023

LS passes Bill to appoint CEC, Election Commissioners

New Delhi: In a significant move, the Lok Sabha passed the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023 on Thursday.

President will appoint the CEC and ECs following the Selection Committee’s recommendation

Union Law Minister Arjun Meghwal underscored that the bill, prompted by a Supreme Court ruling, seeks to regulate the appointment and service terms of the CEC and election commissioners.

The bill encompasses crucial facets such as appointment procedures, qualifications, the establishment of Search and Selection Committees, terms of office, salaries, resignations, removals, leaves, and pensions for the Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners. Notably, the legislation addresses the void in the Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Act, 1991, which lacked provisions for qualifications and search committees.

Meghwal emphasized the Supreme Court’s directive that the President, based on a committee’s advice, appoints the CEC and election commissioners. The committee includes the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, or the leader of the largest opposition party, and the Chief Justice of India. Pending parliamentary legislation, the Supreme Court’s norm remains in force.

Meghwal clarified that the bill’s amendment designates the Law Minister, not the cabinet secretary, as the head of the search committee. The President will appoint the CEC and ECs following the Selection Committee’s recommendation, consisting of the Prime Minister, a Union Cabinet Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition or the leader of the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha.

This bill is slated to replace the Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Act, 1991.

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