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SC dismisses pleas seeking stay on fresh appointments to ECI


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New Delhi, March 21: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed pleas seeking to stay fresh appointments to the Election Commission of India (ECI), made under the legislation which excludes the Chief Justice of India (CJI) from the process of appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and the other Election Commissioners.

“Applications are dismissed. Reasons to follow,” said a Bench presided over by Justice Sanjiv Khanna.

The Bench, also comprising Justice Dipankar Datta, was hearing the interlocutory applications seeking to restrain the Centre from filling the vacancies in the poll panel in accordance with the Chief Election Commissioner and the other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Act, 2023.

Last week, the Union government issued the notification for the appointment of former bureaucrats Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu as Election Commissioners.

The decision comes days after the resignation of Election Commissioner Arun Goel ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The other Election Commissioner, Anup Chandra Pandey retired in February this year.

Several PILs were filed challenging the constitutional validity of the legislation introduced by the Parliament providing that the CEC and the ECs will be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a Selection Committee consisting of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition (or the largest Opposition party) in the Lok Sabha, and a Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the PM.

Earlier in March 2023, the Constitution Bench judgment required the appointment to be done by the President on the advice of a panel comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and the CJI.



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