Appointment and Removal of Election Commissioners
2022 NOV 28
Polity > Institutions/Bodies > Constitutional Bodies
Why in news?
- Over the last week, the Supreme Court of India (SCI) and the government of India have been engaged in a sharp exchange of words over the manner of appointment of Election Commissioners (ECs).
How Election Commissioners are appointed?
- The Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioner are appointed by the President of India.
- They have a fixed tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court (SC).
- The Constitution does not fix the size of the Election Commission. Article 324(2) says that “the Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix”.
- The president may also appoint after consultation with the election commission such regional commissioners as he may consider necessary to assist the election commission.
- A list of serving and retired officials in the position of Secretarie is prepared. On the basis of this, a panel of names is prepared for consideration of the Prime Minister and President.
- The Prime Minister, after considering the panel, recommends one name to the President. A note with the recommendation is submitted to the President of India
- They can resign anytime or can also be removed before the expiry of their term.
- The CEC can be removed from office only through a process of removal similar to that of a SC judge by Parliament.
- In other words, he can be removed by the president on the basis of a resolution passed to that effect by both the Houses of Parliament with special majority, either on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.
- Thus, CEC does not hold his office till the pleasure of the president, though he is appointed by him.
- However the Election Commissioner or Regional Commissioner is not provided with this security of tenure. They can be removed by the President on the recommendation of Chief Election Commissioner.
Consider the following statements:
1. The Chief Election Commissioner of India cannot be removed from his office except in same manner and on the same grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court
2. The Constitution does not fix the size of the Election Commission
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2