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Lok Sabha clears three contentious bills on appointment of Election Commissioner
Photo courtesy: UNI

Lok Sabha clears three contentious bills on appointment of Election Commissioner

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 21 Dec 2023, 06:56 pm

New Delhi: The controversial Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023, was passed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

Earlier this month, it was approved by the Rajya Sabha, even as the opposition staged a walkout.

The bill aims to establish procedures for the appointment of the three members of the Election Commission of India (ECI).

It directly conflicts with the Supreme Court's direction that the Election Commission should be selected by a panel comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

In March this year, a constitution bench of the Supreme Court, led by Justice KM Joseph, had ruled that the election commissioners shall be selected by a committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and the Chief Justice, until the parliament frames a law prescribing the selection process.

The Supreme Court passed this direction to ensure the independence of the election commissioners.

However, in an attempt to keep the Supreme Court away from the selection process, the new bill has dropped the Chief Justice of India from the selection committee.

One of the most important amendments is the clause that safeguards CEC and ECs from legal proceedings related to actions taken during their tenure, provided such actions were carried out in the discharge of official duties.

According to the new bill, courts are prohibited from entertaining civil or criminal proceedings against a current or an ex-CEC or EC for acts done or words spoken in the discharge of official duty or function.

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