Wednesday, July 5, 2017

'Parliament needs to enact law to appoint election commissioner in transparent manner,' says Supreme Court to Centre

The Supreme Court (SC) today told the Centre that while the country's election commissioners appointed so far "have been outstanding men of impeccable integrity", there is nevertheless a need for Parliament to make laws to ensure fair and transparent appointments.

The top court reminded the Centre that the Constitution expects Parliament to make laws in this regard but it hasn't done so.

The apex court then asked why it shouldn't step in itself and institute appointment norms for election commissioners "so as to maintain their independence".

The Centre replied with a question: "If Parliament feels there is no need to enact a law, can the SC step into the legislative arena and set norms which would be akin to enacting a law?"

The top court said it would decide on the issue after a detailed hearing. It scheduled the case for a hearing after two months.

The hearing will be conducted by a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, who will be the current Chief Justice of India (CJI) J S Khehar's successor. CJI Khehar retires in August.

The court explained that it considers it very important there be norms for the appointment of election commissioners because "they discharge a very important job of ensuring free and fair elections".

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