Legally Speaking’s Truth Proven: Govt Unveils New Election Commissioners As Gyanesh Kumar, SS Sandhu

election commission

Acting as fast as the situation had changed in the Election Commission after the sudden resignation of Arun Goyal, the Central Government has given an example of its competence and efficiency by announcing the names of new Election Commissioners.

‘Legally Speaking’ was continuously keeping a close watch on the activities of the Election Commission of India and the Government. ‘Legally Speaking’ had already told that the appointment of Election Commission members would be done between 13 to 15 March. And it happened exactly like that.

The situation escalated from the afternoon of March 13 onwards and by the afternoon of March 14, the names of both the Election Commissioners were announced.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, member of the panel headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha, told the media on Thursday that retired IAS officers Gyanesh Kumar and SS Sandhu have been appointed as the new election commissioners.

Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary said that six names were shortlisted before the panel for the selection of two election commissioners. However, he said the Chief Justice of India should have been part of the selection panel and there is no clarity on how six names were shortlisted from over 200 candidates who are said to have been nominated for the post of law minister. Had appeared before the search committee headed by.

The six shortlisted names are Utpal Kumar Singh, Pradeep Kumar Tripathi, Gyanesh Kumar, Indivar Pandey, Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, Sudhir Kumar Gangadhar Rahate, all former bureaucrats.

Earlier, sources close to the Election Commission had revealed that two election commissioners are likely to be appointed by March 15 to fill the vacancies created by the retirement of Anup Chandra Pandey and the surprise resignation of Arun Goyal.

He had revealed that a ‘revised communique’ was sent to all the panel members ahead of the meeting. This meeting was earlier scheduled for 6 pm on March 15, but in view of the circumstances it was hastened.

Goyal had resigned last week, days before the Election Commission was expected to announce the schedule for the Lok Sabha elections. President Draupadi Murmu accepted his resignation on Saturday and the Union Law Ministry issued a notification announcing it.

Following the move, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar became the sole member of the election body. Earlier, another EC Ashok Lavasa had resigned from the post of Election Commissioner in August 2020. He had expressed disagreement over various Model Code of Conduct violation decisions taken by the Election Commission during the last Lok Sabha elections.

After the retirement of Anup Chandra Pandey on 14 February and the sudden resignation of Arun Goyal, Rajiv Kumar was left alone as the Chief Election Commission in the Election Commission. However, now after the appointment of Gyanesh Kumar and SS Sandhu, the quorum of the Election Commission has been completed. There is a possibility that the announcement of Lok Sabha elections may also be issued in a day or two.

New process for appointment of election commissioners

According to the new process for appointment of election commissioners, the selection would be done by a committee comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and a Union minister. This committee has a search committee that searches and examines the names of election commissioners. Whatever names are selected. Six of them are finalized. The panel of these six names is sent to the committee comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and the nominated Union Minister.

This committee announces the names of election commissioners on the basis of mutual consultation, consensus or voting.

Earlier, the appointment of Election Commission members was entirely at the discretion of the government. Before the names of Gyanesh Kumar and SS Sandhu were announced, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar was the only one left.

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About the Author: Meera Verma