Private member Bill seeks PM-led panel for selecting Chief Election Commissioner

Source: The post is based on the article “Private member Bill seeks PM-led panel for selecting Chief Election Commissioner” published in Indian Express on 13th December 2022

What is the News?

A private member’s Bill has been introduced in Lok Sabha as a response to the growing concern over the independence and autonomy of the Election Commission.

The bill comes at a time when the Supreme Court is hearing petitions on the need for reforms in the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and the Election Commissioners (ECs).

What are the key provisions of the private member bill on the Election Commission?

Appointment process: It seeks that the members of the EC, including the Chief Election Commissioners, to be appointed by a panel consisting of the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister, Leader of Opposition or floor leader in Lok Sabha, Leader of Opposition or floor leader in Rajya Sabha, the Chief Justice of India and two senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.

Tenure: The Bill envisages a fixed tenure of six years for the CEC and EC and three years from the date of appointment for the Regional Commissioners.

Removal Procedure: They should not be removed from office except in accordance with the procedure laid down for the removal of an SC Judge.

– Also, after retirement, they should not be eligible for any reappointment to any office under the Government of India, State Governments and the Constitution.

Monitoring Internal Functions of Political Parties: The Bill seeks to give more power to the Election Commission to ‘regulate, monitor and superintend’ the internal functioning of all political parties, including internal elections of all registered political parties.

– If any registered political party fails to comply with the advisories, duration and instructions issued by the ECI with regard to their internal functions, the recognition of such political party as a State or National may be withdrawn including any other action as the Election Commission deems fit under section 16A of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order 1968.

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