Supreme Court Refuses To Hold Poll Officers’ Appointment

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'There Will Be Chaos': Supreme Court Refuses To Hold Poll Officers' Appointment

New Delhi:

In a significant order weeks before the elections, the Supreme Court has once again refused to order a stay on the law to appoint election commissioners, stating that doing so at this stage would be “creating chaos”.

While making the observations during a hearing on Thursday, the court also noted that there are no allegations against the newly appointed election commissioners, Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, who were picked after changes were made to the selection panel under the new law.

The bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta said, “You can’t say the Election Commission is under the thumb of the Executive.” 

Pointing out to the petitioners that it cannot be presumed that the law enacted by the Centre is wrong, the bench added, “There are no allegations against the persons who have been appointed… Elections are around the corner. Balance of convenience is very important.” 

The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023, had been passed by the Parliament last year and subsequently got the President’s assent. 

The new law replaced the Chief Justice of India on a committee to pick election commissioners with a Union Cabinet minister. The committee now has the Prime Minister, a Union Cabinet minister and the Leader of the Opposition, raising concerns over its impartiality. 

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