Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
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The Union government introduced a Bill in the Rajya Sabha that proposed that the selection panel for appointing the Election Commission, comprising the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and other Election Commissioners (ECs), will consist of The Prime Minister as the chairperson, the Leader of the Opposition as a member, and a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister as another member
The Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners Bill, 2023
The Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023 is a bill introduced in the Parliament of India in August 2023.
The bill seeks to amend the Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Act, 1991, to change the composition of the Selection Committee for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and other Election Commissioners (ECs).
- Under the current law, the Selection Committee consists of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, and the Chief Justice of India.
- The bill proposes to remove the Chief Justice of India from the Selection Committee and replace him with a union minister, to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
- The bill also proposes to change the term of office of the CEC and ECs.
- Currently, the CEC and ECs are appointed for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- The bill proposes to reduce the term of office of the CEC and ECs to five years.
- The bill has been criticized by some legal experts, who argue that it will undermine the independence of the Election Commission.
- They argue that the removal of the Chief Justice of India from the Selection Committee will make it easier for the government to influence the appointment of the CEC and ECs.
- They also argue that reducing the term of office of the CEC and ECs will make them more vulnerable to political pressure.
- The bill is still under consideration by the Parliament. It is not yet clear whether it will be passed into law.
Here are some of the key provisions of the bill:
- The Selection Committee for the appointment of the CEC and ECs will consist of the Prime Minister, a union minister nominated by the Prime Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha.
- The term of office of the CEC and ECs will be five years.
- The CEC and ECs will not be eligible for re-appointment.
- The CEC and ECs will be entitled to a pension and other benefits on retirement.
The bill has been met with mixed reactions. Some people have welcomed the changes, arguing that they will make the appointment process more transparent and accountable. Others have criticized the changes, arguing that they will undermine the independence of the Election Commission.
It is still too early to say what the impact of the bill will be. However, it is clear that the bill has the potential to change the way the Election Commission is appointed and run.