DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS
14 April, 2021
5 Min Read
Sushil Chandra assumed charge as the 24th Chief Election Commissioner of India, succeeding Sunil Arora.
Shri Sushil Chandra has been serving in the Commission as Election Commissioner since 15 February 2019. He is also Member of the Delimitation Commission since 18th February 2020 looking after the Delimitation of Jammu Kashmir UT. Having held several posts in the Income-Tax Department for nearly 39 years, Sh Sushil Chandra had also been CBDT Chairman from 1stNovember 2016 – 14th February 2019.
Emphasized the concept of “Inducement-Free” elections and it has become an important aspect of monitoring the electoral process in all ongoing and forthcoming elections.
Various initiatives are taken up by the Commission during the tenure of Sh. Arora:-
Election Commission of India
Structure of the Commission
Why in news?
Recently, the Supreme Court had agreed to hear a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners be done by a three-member collegium. The collegium will comprise of the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India. The PIL also seeks to ensure more autonomy for the office of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners and an independent secretariat for the Election Commission of India.
Historical Demand for Appointment
Law Commission 255th Report on Electoral Reforms: Strengthening the office of the Election Commission of India, suggested:-
Deficiencies in the present system of appointment process needs to be removed. And adequate safeguards must be put into place to ensure that ethical and capable people head the concerned positions.
There must be similar election and removal procedures for CEC and ECs, and they must exercise the same powers unless specifically prescribed by law. Also, the expenses of ECI must be charged expenditure on the Consolidated Fund of India.
Appointments through collegium or any other system as discussed in constitutional debate can bring more transparency in the appointment process.
Even, the Law Commission in its 255th report on electoral reforms (2015) for ensuring greater autonomy to the ECI, recommended for the constitution of a selection committee.
There is a need for debate and discussions in the Parliament on the issue of independence of ECI and consequently passing of required legislation.
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