SC Rejects Petition Seeking A Stay On Appointment Of 2 New Election Commissioners

The Supreme Court on Thursday has dismissed petition seeking a stay on the appointment of 2 new election commissioners.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta stated that it will examine the main applications challenging the validity of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Terms of Office) Act, 2023.

The bench stated, “We are dismissing the applications for stay on the appointment.”

The bench told the petitioners challenging the new law, “At the stage, we can’t stay the legislation or suspend it operation. It would lead to chaos and uncertainty and we can’t do it (stay) by way of an interim order. There are no allegations against the new election commissioners.”

During the hearing, the bench questioned the Centre over the procedure adopted for appointment of 2 new election commissioners.

It stated that the selection committee should have been given more time to apply its mind on the appointment of election commissioners.

The bench observed, “The search committee for appointment of election commissioners should have been given a fair share of time to understand the background of candidates.”

It stated the 2023 verdict of its constitution bench nowhere said there has to be a member from the judiciary in the selection panel for appointment of election commissioners.

Retired IAS officers Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu were recently appointed as election commissioners.

The appointments came ahead of the Lok Sabha polls starting on April 19.

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About the Author: Meera Verma