Millennium Post

Want Constitutional protection for ECs: Poll panel

The Election Commission on Tuesday is learnt to have pitched for giving equal constitutional protection to all members of the poll body.

At a meeting between Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and top Law Ministry officials here, the poll body said it wants the government to adopt the same removal procedures for the two Election Commissioners as in case of the Chief Election Commissioner. 

Besides other senior officials, the CEC was accompanied by Election Commissioner O P Rawat at the meeting.

The Ministry said to extend constitutional protection to the two ECs, Article 324(5) of the Constitution will have to be amended, sources told PTI.

In its report on electoral reforms submitted in March last year, the Law Commission had proposed extending constitutional protection to the two ECs.

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 had 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 in the Lok Sabha (or the leader of the largest opposition party in the House) and the Chief Justice of India.

It had 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 for the job. The precedent is to appoint the senior-most EC as the CEC.
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