The apex court questions Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on sitting over and not acting on the eight bills sent to him between 2021 and 2022 for his assent.
Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on Thursday introduced in the Rajya Sabha a Bill to regulate the appointment, conditions of service and term of office of the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners amid strong objections by Opposition parties.
The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill 2023 also deals with procedure for transaction of business by the Election Commission.
The Bill proposes that the election commissioners will be appointed by the president on the recommendation of a panel comprising the prime minister, leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha and a Union cabinet minister nominated by the PM, who will also chair the panel.
The Bill, if comes into force, will negate the Supreme Court’s March 2023 judgment that held that the appointment of Election Commissioners will be done by the President on the advice of a panel comprising the PM, Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of India. However, in its judgement, the apex court had held that the procedure underlined by it would hold till a law is enacted by Parliament.
The legislation was strongly opposed by major parties in the Opposition. Opposition leaders, including those from the Congress, alleged that the government was undermining a directive from a Constitution bench.