SC questions Centre on enabling law on appointment of CEC, ECs

SC questions Centre on enabling law on appointment of CEC, ECs
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre why no enabling law as mandated by the Constitution for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners has yet been framed.
"The Election Commissioners supervise and hold elections across the country and this is the significance of their office and their selection has to be made in the most transparent manner," a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said.
The bench referred to the mandate of Article 324(2) of the Constitution and said, "it is expected from Parliament to make the law, but it has not been made."
Article 324(2) reads: "The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such numbers of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix and appointment of the CEC and other ECs shall, subject to provisions of any law made in that behalf by Parliament, be made by the President."
The court, however, acknowledged that till now, the appointments of Election Commissioners has been "very, very fair and politically neutral".
Referring to the void in the law, the bench said that to ensure "fair and transparent" selection process, it may step in to lay down guidelines.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, representing the Centre, said the President and the Prime Minister appoint the CEC and ECs and the court cannot be asked by the petitioner to intervene.
"Tell us, why no law has been made," the bench then asked.
When the Solicitor General said the Centre had made a law on appointment of judges in the higher judiciary, the bench replied in a lighter vein "forget judges." The Centre had enacted the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act which was struck down by the apex court.



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