ANI Photo | Congress leader Jaya Thakur moves SC, urges court to restrain Centre from appointing new ECs

A plea was filed in the Supreme Court to restrain the central government from appointing the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners as per Sections 7 and 8 of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment Conditions of Service and terms of office) Act 2023.
Sections 7 and 8 lay down the procedure for the appointment of ECI members.
The application filed by the Congress leader Jaya Thakur also sought direction to appoint members of the Election Commission as per the Supreme Court judgment which had directed the constitution of a committee consisting of the CJI, the PM, and the leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha for appointment.
Following the resignation of Election Commissioner Arun Goel last week and the retirement of Anup Chandra Pandey, two vacancies of Election Commissioners have arisen.
Advocate Varun Thakur, appearing for the petitioner, also mentioned the plea for an early hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud. The bench asked the lawyer to send an email regarding this and it will look into the listing.
Thakur had earlier also challenged the provisions of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and terms of office) Act, 2023.
Underscoring that the Lok Sabha Election 2024 may be announced shortly, the application was filed to prevent the appointment of the next Election Commissioners under the amended CEC Act, 2023.
In its fresh application, Thakur told the top court that during the pendency of her plea, in which a notice was issued on January 12, “one member of Election Commission namely Arun Goel gave resignation on March 9, 2024, which has been accepted by the President”.
“Given facts that election for Lok Sabha Election 2024 may be announced shortly, therefore the appointment of a member of new Election Commissioners is required immediately, for that this court has given a clear verdict in the case of ‘Anoop Baranwal Versus Union of India’ (March 2, 2023 verdict) about the appointment process…,” the application said.
“Given the facts and circumstances, the petitioner is filing the present application for the immediate direction of this court to direct the respondents to follow the norms/procedures
for appointment of the posts of chief election commissioner and the
election commissioners, as per verdict passed by this court in the case of Anoop Baranwal,” it added.
On December 28 last year, President Droupadi Murmu gave assent to the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023.
The bill by Parliament said that the Supreme Court had, in response to a writ petition,, declared that the appointment of CEC and ECs shall be made by the President on the basis of advice tendered by a Committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and in case, there is no such leader, the leader of the largest party in the opposition in Lok Sabha having the largest numerical strength; and the Chief Justice of India.
“It has been clarified in the aforesaid judgment that the said norm provided by the Supreme Court will continue to hold good till a law is made by the Parliament,” the bill stated. (ANI)

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