The Aam Aadmi Party on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court’s landmark judgement that the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners will be appointed by a high-powered committee. As per the order, a committee including the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Chief Justice of India, will appoint election commissioners on the lines of how the CBI Director is appointed. The five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Justice KM Joseph, made it clear that this practice of appointment of election commissioners will be enforced until a law in this regard is made by the Parliament. Celebrating the judgement on Twitter, AAP National Convenor and Delhi CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal wrote, “Truly landmark order by Hon’ble SC on EC issue. We welcome the order.”
Addressing a press conference on the matter, AAP Senior Leader and Rajya Sabha MP Shri Sanjay Singh said that numerous times in the past opposition leaders and the citizens of India have raised doubts about the independence of the Election Commission of India and therefore this was a very crucial decision of the Apex court. “How many times have we seen the Election Commission wait for the Prime Minister to complete his scheduled rallies and announce his poll promises before coming out and announcing the election schedule in a state. The nation has also seen the Election Commission of India wait until the rallies carried out by the Home Minister of India get over before announcing the poll schedule. Time and again in this country several political parties and individuals have raised doubts about the independence of the Election Commission of India and therefore the decision of the SC to appoint a high-powered committee to select the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners is a welcome one,” he said.
On Thursday, the SC bench, also comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy and CT Ravikumar was delivering the verdict on the batch of petitions recommending reform in the process of appointment of members of the Election Commission of India.
In a concurring but separate judgement, Justice Rastogi made it clear that the grounds for the removal of Election Commissioners should be the same as that of the Chief Election Commissioner.
Noting that there is a lacuna in the law, the bench said, “Democracy is inexplicably intertwined with power to the people. Democracy facilitates the peaceful revolution in the hands of the ordinary man if held in a free and fair manner.”
“Democracy can succeed only if all stakeholders work on it to maintain the purity of the election process, so as to reflect the will of the people,” the bench said.