Bill seeks to remove CJI from panel that picks CEC and ECs

Syllabus: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary


In a controversial move, the Union government on Thursday introduced a Bill to remove the Chief Justice of India (CJI) from a panel to select the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.

In Detail

  • Instead of the CJI, the three-member panel would now have a Union Cabinet Minister, besides the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Prime Minister, who would head it.
  • The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023, was introduced by Law Minister in the Rajya Sabha.
  • The Opposition was quick to point out that this will put a question mark on the neutrality of the Election Commission (EC) as the selection panel would effectively have two members of the BJP — the Prime Minister and the cabinet minister.
  • The EC would see a vacancy in February next year when present Election Commissioner demits office, possibly days before the announcement of dates for the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

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