The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre why no law has been made for the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioners, as mandated under Article 324 of the Constitution.
Pointing out that there is a law for selecting the Central Bureau of Investigation Director, a bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud asked why there could not be an independent body to make the selections for the Election Commission.
Article 324 provides for the “superintendence, direction, and control of elections to be vested in an Election Commission”.
Article 324 (2) says: “The Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix, and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that behalf by Parliament, be made by the President.”
The court noted that so far outstanding people have been appointed as Election Commissioners, who have conducted elections in a fair manner.
The court’s posers came in the course of hearing of a public interest litigation filed by Anoop Bharanwal to seek, besides other things, a fair and transparent procedure for the appointment of the CEC and Election Commissioners.
The petitioner’s lawyer Prashant Bhushan urged the court to step in till the law was put in place regarding the procedure for appointment.
Bhushan referred to reports of the Administrative Reforms Commission, Election Reform Committee, and the Law Commission to back the plea for a statutory regime for the appointment of Election Commissioners.