Retiring CECs had favoured appointment panel | India News


NEW DELHI: While many chief election commissioners, at the time of demitting office, may have written to the President of India suggesting a collegium-system for appointment of CEC and election commissioners, the formal proposals of the Election Commission on electoral reforms – as available on ECI website – don’t make a mention of it.
However, the poll panel had over the years pushed for three key electoral reform proposals in the interest of independence of the Commission – constitutional protection for election commissioners on par with CEC in terms of procedure of removal (as directed by the apex court on Thursday); charging the expenditure of EC on Consolidated Fund of India; and an independent secretariat for the commission, which currently draws its officers and staff on deputation from departments and ministries of government of India.
All ex-CECs who TOI spoke to on Thursday – N Gopalaswami, Syed Nasim Zaidi, SY Quraishi and TS Krishnamurthy – agreed that the broad-based selection of the CEC and election commissioners would improve the perception of EC as a neutral body. “Having the leader of opposition part of the selection process will extend the moral authority of CEC and election commissioner,” Quraishi pointed out.
While proposing an independent secretariat for itself, the EC argues that it will enable the commission to choose and appoint officials considered suitable by it.


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