The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court today delivered its judgment on petitions seeking reforms in the process of appointment of members of the Election Commission of India. Justice K.M. The verdict, pronounced by a 5-judge bench headed by Joseph, said that the election commissioners and chief election commissioner should be appointed by a committee of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Chief Justice of India.
What did the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court say?
In this case, the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court ruled that the appointment of the Election Commissioners and the Chief Election Commissioner should be done by a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Chief Justice of India. The Supreme Court said that if the Leader of the Opposition is not present, then the leader of the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha will be taken into the Committee on the Appointment of Election Commissioners and the Chief Election Commissioner. The Court held that the Election Commissioners and the Chief Election Commissioner shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.
Justice Joseph said – the power of ballot is supreme
In a unanimous verdict, the Supreme Court stressed on ensuring fairness in election processes, saying democracy is linked to the will of the people. The court said that elections must be fair. Pronouncing the judgement, Justice Joseph said that the hallmarks of an adequate and liberal democracy must be kept in mind that democracy is inextricably linked to the power of the people. The power of the ballot is supreme, capable of ousting the most powerful parties.
The Election Commission is bound to act in a fair and legal manner.
The court said that in a democracy, fairness should be maintained in elections, otherwise it would have disastrous consequences. Justice Joseph said that the Election Commission should be independent and it is bound to act in a fair and legal manner, following the provisions of the Constitution and the directions of the Court. Meanwhile, Justice Ajay Rastogi said the process for removal of election commissioners would be similar to that of the CEC.
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